Boyle unhittable again for High-A Dayton

2:36 AM UTC

Welcome to the Reds prospect update, where you’ll find news, promotions and standout performances, all year long.

Reds top prospect: Rankings | Stats | Box scores

Boyle twirls six hitless innings for Dragons (May 24)
Joe Boyle has been masterful, not to mention unhittable, in his second professional season.

Cincinnati's No. 27 prospect was unhittable for the fourth time this year. He also didn't allow a run for the fifth time in 2022 in High-A Dayton's 10-1 win over West Michigan.

The 22-year-old matched his career high with six shutout innings, fanning eight while issuing three walks. He struck out eight for the third time, the second-highest total of his career.

It was the 11th scoreless performance as a pro for the 143rd pick in the 2021 Draft. -- Ethan Sands

Ashcraft makes strong MLB debut (May 22)
After dominating in his seven starts at Triple-A Louisville this season with a 1.56 ERA, Graham Ashcraft made his Major League debut on May 22 against the Blue Jays in the finale of a three-game series at Rogers Centre. Initially called up on May 20, with the intention of being used as a reliever, Ashcraft, ranked as Cincinnati's No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline, got a chance to start after Connor Overton was scratched with back soreness.

Ashcraft, a hard-throwing right-hander, handled himself well against a Toronto lineup loaded with star hitters. Ashcraft’s heater was consistently humming at around 97 mph, and while he tripped up at times, it was mostly a solid debut.

His dominant stuff was on display in the second inning, when he broke out the cutting and sinking versions of his fastball to strike out three straight hitters. Ashcraft induced seven ground-ball outs -- which helped keep breakout innings to a minimum -- and was done after 4 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks to go with three strikeouts.

There are questions about whether the sixth-round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft’s future resides in the rotation or the bullpen, with command as the determining factor. But it looked like Ashcraft's stuff will play at the Major League level, regardless of what role he assumes on the Reds' staff. -- Ethan Diamandas

No. 14 prospect fans 13 in High-A (May 20)
Connor Phillips racked up the K’s for High-A Dayton.

The No. 14 prospect matched his career high with 13 strikeouts in the Dragons’ 5-3 Game 2 victory over Quad Cities. Phillips allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits across six frames of a seven-inning game and struck out 56% of the batters he faced. The righty struck out the side around two singles in the second and sent down 11 batters in a row between the second and the sixth before a triple, a HBP, a single and a throwing error brought home two runs for the Bandits. He fanned the last two batters of the frame to cap off his outing.

The player-to-be-named-later in the Jesse Winker trade with Seattle, the 21-year-old Phillips has amassed 60 strikeouts to go with a 3.00 ERA and a .165 batting average against in 36 innings this year. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Ashcraft joins Reds' roster (May 20)
Just two days after being added to Cincinnati’s taxi squad amid a three-city road trip, right-hander Graham Ashcraft was selected to join the Reds’ active roster prior to their Interleague series opener against Toronto. That marked his first callup to the big leagues.

Ashcraft, ranked as the Reds' No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline, is 3-1 with a 1.65 ERA in seven starts for Triple-A Louisville in 2022, and he has yet to allow a home run in 32 2/3 innings. He credited Louisville pitching coach Seth Etherton with helping him succeed.

“It’s been going good. Working with Seth has been great,” Ashcraft said. “He’s made real small tweaks with my mechanics and it’s kind of helped hone everything in and kind of quiet my body down a little bit, to try and get a little bit more control.”

Ashcraft allowed one run and struck out nine over five innings in his outing vs. Toledo last weekend. He also touched 101 mph on the radar gun for the first time.

“I hit it a couple of times and was sitting at 98,” Ashcraft said. “It felt pretty good. It was pretty exciting.” -- Mark Sheldon

Cerda goes deep twice for Dayton (May 17)
Allan Cerda entered the weekend with two home runs, but in the span of his next three games, he's eclipsed that total. The No. 22 Reds prospect belted a pair of long solo homers -- one to left field and the other to right-center -- during High-A Dayton's 8-7 loss to Quad Cities.

Despite a .211 average, Cerda owns a strong .839 OPS on the strength of 19 walks, which has contributed to a .383 on-base percentage. The 22-year-old is up to 11 extra-base hits, five roundtrippers and nine RBIs in 90 at-bats for the Dragons.

The Bronx, N.Y., native batted .250 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs across two Minor League levels last year. -- Michael Avallone

More of the same in Double-A for Abbott (May 14)
It may have been his Double-A debut, but nothing seemed to have changed for the Reds' No. 13 prospect, Andrew Abbott.

The 22-year-old left-hander was promoted to Chattanooga on May 10 after spending a month carving through opposing batters with High-A Dayton, striking out 40 over 27 innings and pitching to a sparkling 0.67 ERA. His first start after the callup was more of the same -- he tossed a spotless 5 2/3 innings, allowing just three hits with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Full story »

Phillips compiles nine strikeouts over six scoreless (May 13)
Across six starts since joining the Cincinnati organization, Connor Phillips has certainly not pitched like a player to be named later. The Reds’ No. 14 prospect came aboard as the final piece in the offseason deal that saw Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez head to Seattle.

In Dayton’s 6-2 victory over Lansing, Phillips struck out nine, giving him at least seven strikeouts in five consecutive starts. His slider was particularly unhittable, leaving Lugnuts batters -- particularly the right-handed ones -- waving at air. The righty -- who was clocked as high as 99 mph on the radar gun -- finished with six scoreless frames under his belt, having yielded just three hits, all of which were singles.

Phillips began his outing with three straight punchouts, eventually retiring the first seven batters that he faced. The third inning represented the only time that multiple runners reached, but he sidestepped trouble with the assistance of a double play. He finished with a flurry, retiring eight of the final opposing nine hitters.

Through six starts, Phillips has amassed a Midwest League-high 47 strikeouts across 30 innings. He possesses a 3.30 ERA, but batters have hit just .162 against him with a total of five extra-base hits. -- Jesse Borek

Siani swipes career-high four bags for Chattanooga (May 12)
Mike Siani compiled just three stolen bases (in six attempts) in his first 19 games of the season for Double-A Chattanooga. Since then, he has become a steady threat on the basepaths. In the Lookouts’ 3-2 defeat to Mississippi, Siani erupted with a career-best four stolen base performance, perpetuated by three hits. 

Siani opened the bottom of the third with a base hit and promptly took off, earning his 10th steal of the campaign. He would be stranded that inning, but he would not be denied in the fifth, where he also opened the frame with a single. After swiping both second and third base, the Reds' No. 18 prospect came bursting home on a wild pitch.

Much in the same fashion, Siani singled to begin the ninth. He once again benefited from a Matt McLain (No. 4) strikeout, earning his elusive fourth steal. But his aggressiveness on the basepaths backfired in the next at-bat, where as the potential tying run, he was thrown out at the dish. 

Speed is Siani’s biggest weapon, at least per MLB Pipeline, which grades the 22-year-old as a 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale. (His fielding and arm strength both also earn 60s.) While he delivered a pair of three-steal performances in 2019 with then-Single-A Dayton, Cincinnati’s fourth-round pick in the 2018 Draft finally notched the quartet. -- Jesse Borek

Reds promote Abbott to Double-A Chattanooga (May 10)
LHP Andrew Abbott, Cincinnati’s No. 13-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, was the organization’s second-round selection in the 2021 Draft. He earned his promotion with a sizzling first month pitching for High-A Dayton. In five games (four starts), the 22-year-old was 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.

In 27 innings for Dayton, Abbott has allowed two earned runs and 16 hits with seven walks and 40 strikeouts. He’s given up one home run. -- Mark Sheldon

Hendrick homers in third consecutive game (May 5)
Austin Hendrick showed off his power once again for Single-A Daytona.

Cincinnati's No. 11 prospect has gone yard in three straight games. Over that time, he's doubled his home run total for the year to six.

The right fielder was 2-for-4 with four RBIs in the Tortugas' 10-0 shutout of Jupiter.

Hendrick picked up his first hit in the third inning with a single to center field. His night was highlighted by a sixth-inning three-run jack to right-center that put the Tortugas up 9-0.

After being drafted with the 12th overall pick in 2020, he was unable to make his debut because of COVID-19. The 20-year-old center fielder's first professional season was riddled with injuries (groin strain and wrist sprain), but he's starting to find some rhythm this year. Hendrick is hitting .266 with five multi-hit games over his first 22 contests. -- Ethan Sands

Hinds, Bonnin show out for High-A Dayton (May 4)
A duo of Reds prospects shined in a doubleheader with High-A Dayton. No. 9 prospect Rece Hinds went deep twice in Game 1, and No. 15 prospect Bryce Bonnin fanned seven in a row en route to a nine-strikeout performance in Game 2.

In Dayton’s extra-inning walk-off Game 1 victory, Hinds enjoyed a 3-for-4, three-RBI night that included a game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. The 21-year-old got things started with a solo shot to left-center off Lake County righty Tanner Bibee in the bottom of the second. With his team trailing 6-2 entering the bottom of the sixth, he clubbed his second long ball of the game to right on a 2-2 pitch to make it a three run game. The Dragons added two more runs in the seventh to send the game to extras before Hinds knocked in the tying run in the bottom of the next frame. The 2019 second-rounder went 2-for-2 with two singles in Game 2.

Bonnin wasn’t in Dayton's 5-1 Game 2 win for long -- he went only 3 2/3 innings -- but he made the most of it. The righty fanned nine batters, including a streak of seven in a row. The only blemishes on his outing were a hit-by-pitch, a solo homer and two walks, but the 23-year-old tossed 40 of his 71 pitches for strikes and fanned nine of the 15 batters he faced.

After striking out the first batter of the game, he plunked the next but then proceeded to punch out the next seven in a row – three swinging, four looking. His final strikeout came after he allowed the homer and surrendered a walk in the third. The 2020 third-rounder has posted a 1.17 ERA in 7 2/3 innings with three hits and 13 strikeouts. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Reds' McLain has a grand time in 2-homer game (May 4)
Finding the power stroke is usually the last attribute to emerge for a ballplayer. In the case of Matt McLain, consider that potential tapped.

Baseball's No. 85 overall prospect went deep twice for the second time in three games, capping his power-packed stretch with the first grand slam of his career. The display propelled Double-A Chattanooga past Rocket City, 13-4, on Wednesday night at Toyota Field.

McLain's five RBIs equaled a personal best established last Aug. 11 with High-A Dayton and gave him nine in his last three games. Full story »

McLain hits 2 HR, Abbott fans 10 (May 1)
A pair of Reds prospects showed out for their respective clubs on Sunday.

No. 4 prospect Matt McLain slammed a pair of two-run home runs -- his fourth and fifth of the season -- in Double-A Chattanooga’s 6-1 win. The 22-year-old hit for the cycle on April 17 and is slashing .286/.378/.671 with 14 extra-base hits and five stolen bases in 20 games this year.

Andrew Abbott, the Reds’ No. 13 prospect, recorded his third straight game with 10 or more strikeouts with 10 K’s in six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk in High-A Dayton’s 8-0 win. The 22-year-old has a 0.86 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP with 35 strikeouts to seven walks in 21 innings. -- Nick Trujillo