Reds Midseason Report





Best Player: Catcher Devin Mesoraco's numbers dipped upon his promotion to Triple-A last year, so the Reds wanted to see him put up the kind of stats for the Bats that he did at the lower levels. He has done that and more. He was hitting .304/.380/.519 with nine home runs and leading the International League with 30 doubles.

Mesoraco, 23, was slated to the play in the Futures Game. Barring a trade or injury, he'll probably be in Triple-A until September.

Biggest Leap Forward: It wasn't surprising that the Reds had righthander Brad Boxberger repeat Double-A to open 2011. After all, he went 1-4, 8.49 last year for Carolina. But Boxberger quickly showed he's ready for the next step, with a 1.31 ERA and four saves. In 34 innings, he had 57 strikeouts and 13 walks. Opponents were hitting .139 against him.

The Reds took Boxberger, 23, with their supplemental first-round pick (43rd overall) in the 2009 draft. The former Southern California player began last season as a starter at high Class A Lynchburg. He was moved to the bullpen after the promotion to Double-A to limit his innings.

Biggest Disappointment: In some ways, shortstop Billy Hamilton's year hasn't been entirely disappointing. He set the season and career record for steals at low Class A Dayton before June was over, and had 60 stolen bases in 68 attempts.

But as the baseball axiom goes, you can't steal first base. Hamilton, 20, was struggling with the bat. He hit .212 in April and .218 in May. He started to come on in June, hitting .292, but his overall numbers still stood at .232/.291/.312. He had also struggled in the field, making 24 errors in his first 70 games. That was up from 10 errors in his 69 games the year before.

RED HOTS

• The Reds have had little contact with righthander Robert Stephenson, their first-round pick in June. The club brought him out to the park when the team was in San Francisco but had no concrete negotiations. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty doesn't expect Stepthenson to sign much before the Aug. 15 deadline.

• Infielder Ronald Torreyes made his debut at low Class A Dayton in mid-June. He was hitting .379/.419/.483 with five stolen bases in 14 games. Torreyes, 18, hit .370 last year, moving from the Rookie-level Venezuelan Summer League to the Rookie-level Arizona League to Dayton.