Blaze Win in Ten

Juan Silverio was once a high-profile Dominican signee by the White Sox and he immediately became one of their higher-rated prospects as a teenager. Later a scandal in their organization showed that he was used in a bonus-skimming fraud and he eventually left the organization under a cloud of doubt. Now at 22 years old he's making a reputation for himself as a hitter at high-A Bakersfield.

Bakersfied lost a three-run lead before winning 6-5 over visiting Modesto in ten innings. The Blaze had a nice start and took a two-run lead in the first inning off of RBI hits by Kyle Waldrop and Yorman Rodriguez. Juan Silverio plated two more runs with a home run in the third. After the Nuts cut the lead to one Kyle Waldrop took over by adding a run with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the sixth and a walk-off home run in the final frame to increase his total to 7 HR on the season. Silverio and Waldrop both had three hits in the game. Waldrop also reached safely via a walk and the two combined for five RBI and four runs. Marquez Smith added two singles.

On the mound Carlos Gonzalez got his second start and allowed one run on four hits in three innings while striking out five. Jimmy Moran finished regulation with two scoreless innings of relief before Pat Doyle shut out the Nuts in the tenth which gave him the win and improved his record to 3-0.

This is the first season in the Reds organization for Silverio after playing in the White Sox system the previous five years. The Palehose had signed him in 07 as a sixteen year-old Dominican free agent for a then-reported $600,000 bonus. Unfortunately for Silverio, through no fault of his own there would eventually be a cloud over his signing and reports that he received only half of that amount after a bonus skimming scandal.

After signing the White Sox sent him stateside for his professional debut in 08 in an aggressive move and he proceeded to show that it was probably too fast and struggled against Appalachian League pitching. A discrepancy in his age interfered with his work visa and he was sent to the Dominican League the next year where he gave some justification for the hefty signing bonus, slashing .321 AVG/.366 OB/.547 SLG. He made another go of it in the US rookie leagues the next year and had a nice start, but bumped his head after a promotion to Kannapolis and hit .200 in the South Atlantic League while spending most of his season with the Intimidators.

He did better after returning there the next season and earned a promotion to high-A where he hit .276 in forty-five games for Winston-Salem. Unfortunately he was unable to sustain that success over a full season in the Carolina League last year and his .245 average helped signal the end of his career in Chicago.

Silverio was drafted as a shortstop and it didn't take long to realize that he was not going to stick at that position when he committed 24 errors in his first 58 rookie league games. Most of his action has been at third base, where he hasn't fared much better, fielding a flat .900 in over 300 minor league appearances. Though he had moments at the plate his offense was not enough to offset challenges he faced with the leather and some allegations emerged that his original scouting report as a teenager was intentionally inflated to justify the amount for the fraudulent signing.

Now he's trying a different path in the Reds system. It's not easy to get as excited about a prospect after his first employer give up on him, but with the long and somewhat dubious history of Silverio it's easy to forget that he's only recently turned 22 years old (or so it is thought, his birthdate has never been changed from the earlier discrepancy). His three hits Saturday lifted his average over .300 and he's slugging around .450. He's never walked much and has drawn only two free passes thus far this season, but it's not unusual for foreign prospects to need to improve plate discipline. He's walked in 4.5% of his 1,800 career minor league plate appearances.

Though there are still some serious doubts that his glove will allow him to remain in the infield, Silverio's bat could give good reason to try him in a corner outfield position. In the past the Reds have been quick to give a shot to high-profile Caribbean free agents and though Silverio is in his second organization, he's still one of the younger players on their high-A roster. It will be interesting to see if he can sustain the success at the plate while improving selectivity in 2013.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds came with their bats ready Saturday and won again over Milwaukee 13-7 in the second of a three-game set at Great American Ball Park. The Brewers took a two-run lead in the first, but Cincinnati soon blew the contest open with a five-run rally in the second and another seven in the third. Jay Bruce started his team's scoring with a solo home run leading off the second. Five doubles the next inning put the score out of reach. Bruce finished with three hits while Todd Frazier, Xavier Paul and Devin Mesoraco each had two hits and a walk. Joey Votto knocked in two while stroking a couple of singles and Mat Latos helped himself out with two hits/two RBI. Shin-soo Choo reached via a hit and a walk. Latos was roughed up for seven runs (six earned) in six innings on the mound, but his team's offense made sure he picked up the win. Logan Ondrusek and J.J. Hoover combined for three scoreless innings to end the game.

Louisville scored a lot of runs but couldn't overcome a five-run rally by visiting Buffalo in the sixth in a 10-7 loss to the Bison. Henry Rodriguez had three hits and scored twice while Felix Perez finished with three walks and a solo home run. Denis Phipps also reached four times with two hits/two walks, Kristopher Negron had two hits and a walk, Billy Hamilton stroked two singles, and Mike Hessman walked twice. Chad Reineke was tagged for eight runs (seven earned) in four-plus innings for the loss. Pensacola fell behind when they allowed four in the fifth inning at Jacksonville in a 7-2 loss to the Suns. Bryson Smith and Devin Lohman each had two of the six Wahoo hits while Smith plated a run with a solo home run. Tim Crabbe was victimized by and error and allowed four unearned runs in five innings for the loss. Lee Hyde and Wilkin De La Rosa both tossed a scoreless inning of relief.

Dayton and Fort Wayne scratched out single runs in six different innings as the Dragons lost to the TinCaps 5-3 at Fifth Third Field. Zach Vincej plated the first run when he led off the first inning with a home run. He, Beau Amaral, and Robert Ramirez each had two of their team's seven hits. Drew Cisco had a quality start, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits without a walk in six innings, but that was enough to pin the loss on him. Joey Housey finished the game with one-plus innings of relief in his third appearance of the season.


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