Boyle fans career-high 12 batters at High-A

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Boyle notches career high in strikeouts (June 29)
Joe Boyle had everything working against the Loons.

Cincinnati's No. 27 prospect gave his team a chance in High-A Dayton's 2-1 win over Great Lakes.

After exiting in the fifth inning, Boyle still stared at a scoreless game with the tide ready to tip in either direction. But he could be satisfied with his performance in the making of a pitchers' duel that had a dual no-hitter between both starters for four-plus innings.

The fifth-round (143rd overall) selection in the 2020 Draft was masterful, tossing five innings while giving up just one hit and striking out a career-high 12 batters on his way to lowering his ERA to 0.65 over 12 starts this season.

The 22-year-old has allowed five runs (four earned) over 55 1/3 innings in 2022 while currently ranking second in strikeouts (90) for the year in the Midwest League. He's just three strikeouts behind Wisconsin's Antoine Kelly. --Ethan Sands

De La Cruz stays hot, blasts homer (June 28)
Elly De La Cruz
showcased his power.

The Reds’ No. 2 prospect has been having his best month, slashing .322/.392/.621 in the month of June. De La Cruz built on his strong stretch, going 3-for-3 with one homer in High-A Dayton’s 18-6 loss to Great Lakes.

The 20-year-old reached base in every plate appearance, hitting a single in his first two at-bats and crushing a long ball to left field in the sixth inning. De La Cruz showed off his speed as well, stealing second base in the first inning.

The infielder’s impressive stretch brought his slash line to .300/.356/.575 and brought up his SB to 22 on the season. -- Edwin Perez

Reds promote Williamson, Cerda and Phillips (June 28)
The Reds promoted left-handed starting pitcher Brandon Williamson from Double-A Chattanooga to Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday. Williamson, who is ranked as Cincinnati’s No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was 5-2 with a 4.14 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 14 starts. He struck out 74 batters and walked 40 over 67 1/3 innings.

Williamson, 24, came to the Reds organization in March in the trade that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to the Mariners.

Outfielder Allan Cerda was promoted on Tuesday from High-A Dayton to Chattanooga. Ranked at No. 21 in the Reds organization by MLB Pipeline, Cerda was batting .219 with an .857 OPS, 13 homers and 31 RBIs in 62 games.

 The 22-year-old Cerda was protected on the 40-man roster in the offseason to prevent him from potential exposure to the Rule 5 Draft. Cincinnati signed Cerda out of the Dominican Republic for $100,000 in 2017.

Also promoted from Dayton to Chattanooga was their No. 13 prospect, right-handed pitcher Connor Phillips. In 12 starts and 64 innings this season, Phillips was 4-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.

Phillips, 21, was also part of the trade with the Mariners during Spring Training. -- Mark Sheldon

Lodolo strikes out five in rehab start (June 23)
Nick Lodolo is bouncing back from his injury.

After being transferred to the 60-day IL, the No. 1 Reds prospect made his second rehab start with Triple-A Louisville.

The 24-year-old, who's recovering from a lower back strain, racked up five strikeouts while allowing two hits without a walk over four scoreless innings before departing the Bats' eventual 6-5 loss to the Iowa Cubs. Lodolo threw 58 pitches, 38 for strikes, and hit a batter.

The southpaw has tallied 11 strikeouts, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk over six frames in two starts for Louisville. -- Alyssa Gomez

De La Cruz, Cerda pace Dayton in victory (June 14)
The legend of Elly De La Cruz continues to grow. 

The prodigious skill set of the 6-foot-5, 200-pound 20-year-old infielder has earned him considerable pomp throughout the Reds’ Minor League ranks. During Dayton’s 6-5 win over Cedar Rapids, De La Cruz collected three hits, the most impressive of which left his bat at 110 mph and landed 430 feet from home plate in the second inning.

The Reds’ No. 2 prospect has decimated the ball across 11 contests in June, collecting 16 hits -- half of which have gone for extra bases. 

But before De La Cruz could shine, No. 21 prospect Allan Cerda jumpstarted the Dragons’ offense in the first with his 10th roundtripper of the season, a three-run shot. 

The 22-year-old Cerda also collected a trio of hits in the win, as he picked his fourth multihit outing in his last six contests. He raised his season average by 23 points in that span and has slashed .343/.489/.714 thus far in June. -- Jesse Borek

Ruben Ibarra named Florida State player of the week (June 13)
Single-A Daytona first baseman/designated hitter Ruben Ibarra was named the Florida State League’s player of the week on Monday. In the previous week, Ibarra batted .600 with a 1.200 OPS, three home runs and 10 RBIs. He slugged two of his homers during Sunday’s 11-4 win over Fort Myers.

Ibarra, 23, was Cincinnati’s fourth-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of San Jose State. He is listed at 6-foot-5, 290 pounds. -- Mark Sheldon

Jay Allen II notches a career-high three hits (June 10)
During Single-A Daytona’s 10-6 win over Fort Myers on Thursday, outfielder Jay Allen went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a stolen base. It was a career-high for hits in a game for Cincinnati’s No. 5 prospect. Overall, Allen is batting .241 with a .720 OPS and two home runs in 47 games entering Friday. As the designated hitter, Ruben Ibarra also had a career high with three hits and catcher Wilfred Astudillo drove in a career-best four RBIs. -- Mark Sheldon

De La Cruz drives in career-high five runs (June 7)
Any time Elly De La Cruz is penciled into the lineup lately, he's a highlight waiting to happen. The second-ranked Reds prospect finished a double shy of the cycle -- with a career-high five RBIs -- as he powered High-A Dayton's 14-8 victory over Great Lakes.

De La Cruz crushed his 11th dinger of the year to left-center in the opening frame before clearing the bases with his fifth triple for the Dragons in the fifth. The 20-year-old legged out an infield single to third in the seventh and stepped to the plate again later in the frame and drove in a run with an RBI groundout to the shortstop.

MLB.com's No. 69 overall prospect is sporting a .301/.342/.602 slash line with 26 extra-base hits and 37 RBIs over 44 games this season.

Cincinnati's 10th-ranked prospect Austin Hendrick also turned in a solid effort for Dayton in the win, collecting a home run and a pair of doubles whiles driving in two and scoring three times. -- Rob Terranova

De La Cruz slugs another home run (June 5)
In High-A Dayton’s 6-2 win over South Bend on Saturday, shortstop Elly De La Cruz slugged a solo home run in the first inning and extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

De La Cruz, who is ranked as Cincinnati’s No. 2 prospect and No. 69 overall, has 10 homers this season. -- Mark Sheldon

Okey claims the seventh cycle in Louisville history (June 4)
Chris Okey
already had a single, a home run and a triple in the game when he was on-deck with two outs in the ninth inning on Saturday night. The backstop had already driven in three runs and scored twice, and Triple-A Louisville had a sizeable lead on the scoreboard. But when a six-pitch walk allowed Okey to step to the plate for a final time, there was just one thing left to accomplish -- history.

And the 27-year-old did just that.

After working the count full, Okey lined a ball over the head of the right fielder and motored around the bases for a two-run double that not only capped the Bats' 11-3 victory over Gwinnett at Coolray Field, it also cemented the seventh cycle in Louisville franchise history. Full story »

Williamson tosses his sixth one-run game of 2022 (June 3)
Brandon Williamson has been dominant to begin his third professional season. 

Cincinnati's No. 4 prospect was excellent in Double-A Chattanooga's 10-1 win over Rocket City. 

The 24-year-old hurled six strong innings while only giving up one run on one hit and three walks with seven strikeouts. This performance marked his fourth quality start of the season and eighth of his career. 

The left-hander had two starts in April where he allowed five runs, but he's worked his ERA down from as high as 11.25 after his first start to 3.68. 

After a forgetful April, Williamson has shown resilience, winning four and compiling a 5-1 record, with his only loss also coming in the first month of the season. -- Ethan Sands

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