Blaze Blast Lancaster

Bakersfield outfielder Juan Silva is once again threatening the .400 OBP mark since his promotion to high-A for the beginning of the season. It's now the 22 year-old outfielder's fourth season in the organization and he's been able to perform well at every level to which he's ascended thus far.

Bakersfield arrived with bats ready for their game at Lancaster Wednesday and rallied for five runs in the fifth inning and another four in the seventh in their 11-5 win over the JetHawks. Juan Silva was atop the Blaze lineup and he got things started right by leading off the game with a home run. Bakersfield loaded the bases in the fifth and plated runs from back-to-back two-run doubles from Ryan Wright and Juan Silverio followed by an RBI single off Steve Selsky's bat. After Lancaster had pulled back to within one the Blaze added insurance the next frame by leading off with five hits including another run-scoring hit from Selsky, and RBI double by Junior Arias and a two-run double from Yovan Gonzalez. The final run of the game crossed in the eighth when Silva led off with a triple before the next batter, Wright, doubled.

Silva stepped into the batter's box five times as his team racked up runs and reached base safely on every occasion. At the end of the day he was 2-2 with two walks, a triple, homer, three runs scored, and was hit by a pitch. Selsky, Gonzalez, Silverio, and Kyle Waldrop all had three hits each while Wright and Junior Arias added two apiece. On the mound Mike Dennhardt got the start and even though he was lifted in the sixth inning but still picked up the win by allowing four runs in five-plus. Jake Johnson worked the final two and two thirds without allowing a run for the save.

Silva is once again passing the test after promotion from a lower level. He's been in the Cincinnati organization since they drafted him out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in the eighth round in 2009. He spent a couple of years in the Arizona League before cracking the .400 OB% level at Billings in 2011. Last year at Dayton he hit .271/.380 OB/.475 SLG with eight home runs over a full season while playing regularly with the Dragons. Thus far after 51 games in high-A he's at .285/.392 OB/.508 SLG with eight homers.

He's now 22 years old and stands 6'0"/190# while batting/throwing left-handed. His time as a professional has been split among all three outfield positions, with more action in left. However, he's made more appearances in center with the Blaze this season and is running down almost two and a quarter putouts per game without an error in 23 games at that position.

Since arriving Silva's skill set has been more polished that what is normally expected. Earlier he struggled against southpaws, which is very common for young left-handed hitters, but thus far in 2013 his platoon splits are roughly the same versus righties and lefties. His plate discipline has produced a nice AVG/OB differential and thus far this season he's made an improvement to his contact rate over 2102, striking out in 20.6% of his plate appearances compared to 23.4% one year ago.

He's hit at every level thus far and appears to be progressing nicely along the development curve. Ability to stick in center field will further enhance his prospect value and he's been clocked off the mound at 88 mph which suggests plenty of arm strength should he ever need to move to right.

Silva is an intriguing prospect that hints at having a good all-around game and nice athleticism. He's got a level, line-drive swing and could perhaps add more power as he develops so the Reds will be content to watch his intrigue unfold in their organization. His power output is up in 2013, but it remains to be seen how much of that increase is coming from the high-altitude venues in the California League. He's not yet been overwhelmed while ascending up the organization and he's a candidate for a spot on the 40-man roster after this season to protect against the Rule 5 draft.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds did something they were unable to do last postseason and that was to finish off a sweep of the Giants when they won 3-2 in eleven innings at Great American Ball Park. Chris Heisey sac flied a run home in the second inning to give his team an led off the sixth with a homer to tie the score. Todd Frazier led off the final inning with a walk and scored on Shin-soo Choo's walkoff single. Choo finished with two hits and Devin Mesoraco stroked three singles. Tony Cingrani got the start a got no decision after he was lifted in the sixth allowing two runs. Six Reds relievers combined for five=plus scoreless innings with J.J. Hoover tossing the final two frames for the win.

Louisville came back with three runs in the ninth inning to win over visiting Indianapolis 4-3. Josh Fellhauer led off the first inning with a walk and later scored on a double play. He then ended the game with a walk-off single after Nevin Ashley doubled home two runs. Yohan Pino started and got no decision from allowing three runs (two earned) in six plus innings over which he recorded ten strikeouts. Nick Christiani entered in the tenth and finished without allowing a run for the win.

Pensacola jumped out to a three-run margin after five innings and held on for a 5-3 win at Jacksonville. Marquez Smith got scoring started with a solo home run in the fifth and Ryan LaMarre had two hits including a homer that added an insurance run in the ninth. Josh Smith got the win for allowing two runs in six innings pitched. Loek Van Mil tossed one-plus scoreless innings to end the game with the save.

Dayton made up for a postponed game on Tuesday by splitting a doubleheader at Bowling Green. The Dragons were held to four hits when they lost the first one 2-1. Starter Jackson Stephens took the loss for allowing two runs in three-plus innings.

In the second game the Dragons scored four in the second inning and three in the fourth to win 7-5. Adam Matthews plated the first runs with a grand slam. Humberto Valor doubled home two runs in the second rally before the final one crossed on a Hotrod error. Matthews, Daniel Piggott, and Beau Amaral each had two of their team's ten hits while Jeff Gelalich reached safely with a hit and a walk. Sal Romano got the start and ran into some control issues with five walks in four innings pitched over which he allowed four runs. Alejandro Chacin relieved him with two scoreless frames for the win. Kyle McMyne allowed a run in the seventh for the save.

Billings allowed five runs in the seventh inning in their 7-6 loss at Missoula. The Mustangs scored first on a three-run home run by Jose Ortiz in the second and increase their lead to three when he came back to hit a solo homer in the sixth. In between Phil Ervin and Carlos Sanchez delivered run-scoring hits. Ty Washington and Ronald Bueno had three hits apiece while Ortiz reached with a walk in addition to his homers. Sanchez and Gabriel Rosa both finished with two hits. Amir Garret got no decision for allowing two runs (one earned) in five innings pitched. Nick Fleece was charged with three runs in less than one inning pitched for the loss.

The AZL Reds allowed three runs in the eighth inning in their 4-1 loss to the visiting AZL A's. The Reds had five hits in the game including one by Aristides Aquino who doubled and also drove in their only run with a sac fly in the first inning. Michael Lorenzen pitched the first inning and allowed an unearned run. Junior Morillo relieved him with five scoreless innings that included five strikeouts. Franderlin Romero took the loss for allowing three runs (two earned) in two innings pitched.

The DSL Reds took a five run lead after rallying for four in the fourth inning in their 8-2 win over the visiting DSL Padres. Derek Capitillo got their scoring started with a solo homer in the second inning. Raynar Guerrero doubled home two in the fourth and later scored himself on an error. Jose Siri added on when he led off the seventh with a homer and singled home the final run the next inning. Junior Arias allowed one run while pitching the first four innings. Damien Taveras allowed one unearned run over the next three frames for the win and David Jones finished with two scoreless innings.

The DSL Rojos dropped to 10-17 after a 9-2 loss at the DSL Pirates. Francis Azcona had three hits while Luis Hernandez and Jose Monegro added two apiece. Wendolyn Baustista allowed three runs over the first four innings for the loss.

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