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O’Grady, Solmon take top monthly honors in Reds’ minor league system

Monthly look at how the future Cincinnati Reds are performing throughout the minor league system. Here’s a peek at what happened down on the farm in May.
Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Month: Jared Solomon
Reds Minor League Player of the Month: Brian O’Grady
Louisville Bats
‘Brian O’Grady
Brian O’Grady
April Record: 13-15
Top Hitter: Brian O’Grady
Top Pitcher: Cody Reed
It was a month of the long ball for the Bats, with the team knocking 29 homers throughout the month. Leading the charge was a breakout month for outfielder Brian O’Grady, who hit .340 in the month with 35 hits, 22 runs, 10 home runs, and 22 RBI. Phillip Ervin hit four home runs over a span of two days late in the month as part of a pair of wins in Durham.
The team dealt with the loss of its best offensive player from April with Josh VanMeter being promoted to Cincinnati for much of the month, but had others step up on offense. Christian Colón maintained a .305 average through May. Nick Longhi ended May with a .306 average, clubbing 26 RBI with 45 hits through the month. Rob Refsnyder drove in 17 RBI in May. The top six hitting leaders within the Reds farm system by batting average were all Louisville Bats.
The pitching staff had to deal with losing Cody Reed on three separate occasions, who pitched 7 2/3 innings in 8 games, while allowing just one earned run on four hits. Lucas Sims, who earned a promotion for a start with the Reds based on his strong start to the season, started four games in May and never allowed more than two earned runs, going 2-0. Late in the month, Alex Powers was promoted from Chattanooga to boost the bullpen, which he did, not allowing a run in four appearances beginning May 23.
Other highlights included:
5/1: O’Grady’s 8th inning home run, as part of a 3-for-4 day, pushes the Bats to a win over Toledo to begin the month, and sets the pace for O’Grady’s month.
5/4: The Bats score five times in the 8th inning to stun Indianapolis and win 6-3.
5/19: O’Grady crushes three home runs, becoming the 7th player in Bats history to hit 3 homers in a game, to win in Buffalo.
5/27: The Bats fall into a 5-0 early deficit, only to score 10 runs after the 5th inning to defeat Toledo.
5/30: Ervin hits two home runs, for the second straight night, to defeat Durham. He would later be named the International League’s Player of the Week.
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Chattanooga Lookouts
‘Ibandel Isabel
Ibandel Isabel
April Record: 18-12
Top Hitter: Ibandel Isabel
Top Pitcher: Tejay Antone
The month could not have started better for the Lookouts, who won nine of 11 games to begin May. Then, a lull hit mid-month, with the team losing seven of eight games including six consecutive games. Chattanooga would bounce back by winning eight of its final 11 games to put together a very convincing month of May. The Lookouts finished the month in third place in the Southern League’s North Division, just 2.0 games back of Montgomery and Jackson.
Tejay Antone was terrific starting on the mound, going 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA in five starts in May, allowing just eight runs in 29.2 innings of work.
Ibandel Isabel recorded five straight games in the latter half of the month with a home run as part of a team that tied him with Brian O’Grady for most within the Reds farm system. His 37 RBI through May are the most in the system. Also leading offensive categories within the system are Jose Siri with 15 stolen bases and Taylor Trammell with 38 walks, 13 more than Dayton’s Shard Munroe’s second place 25.
Other highlights included:
5/4: The Lookouts explode for 11 runs, seven of which come in the 7th and 8th innings, in a win over Birmingham.
5/11: Siri crushes a 3-run walk-off home run in the 10th inning as the Lookouts down the Smokies.
5/13: Down 4-0 in the team’s final at-bat, Isabel’s grand slam sends the game to extra innings, which the team wins with Siri’s RBI single.
5/25: Isabel homers for the 5th straight game in a 7-4 home win over Birmingham.
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Daytona Tortugas
Packy Naughton
Packy Naughton
April Record: 16-13
Top Hitter: Andy Sugilio
Top Pitcher: Packy Naughton
Packy Naughton was dominant on the mound for the Tortugas, so much so that it earned him a promotion to Chattanooga. In four starts with the Tortugas in May, he went 3-0 by allowing six runs over 23.2 innings, striking out 20. His 57 strikeouts through April and May rank fourth in the farm system.
Six Daytona players were named to the 2019 Florida State League All-Star Game: Naughton, catcher Hendrik Clementina, third baseman Jonathan India, second baseman Alejo Lopez, reliever Ryan Nutof and outfielder Andy Sugilio. Sugilio ended the month with a .287 season batting average with 15 RBI on 47 hits.
The team would move within a half game of first place on May 19, and although would never take over first place, would hover around the top of the Florida State League North for the entire month.
Other highlights included:
5/11: The team is out-hit 14-7, but manages to defeat Lakeland behind a 6-run 4th inning.
5/18: The team scores four runs in the 9th inning to send the game to extra innings, while Randy Ventura’s 11th inning sac fly pushes the Tortugas to a win.
5/22: A walk-off walk allows Daytona to defeat Clearwater in 10 innings.
5/28: India goes 3-for-5 with a home run as the Tortugas score five unanswered runs in a win over Palm Beach
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Dayton Dragons
Pabel Manzanero
Pabel Manzanero
April Record: 8-15
Top Hitter: Pabel Manzanero
Top Pitcher: Connor Bennett
The Dragons struggled throughout May, with the team being eliminated from contention for the Midwest League’s first-half crown.
While the team was on the road, the devastating late May storms hit the Dayton area. In response to the widespread damage caused by the weather emergency on the night of May 27th, the Dayton Dragons accepted non-perishable food items at Fifth Third Field, which proved to be a very successful cause for the damage.
In the first game back at home, the Dragons played inspired, defeating Lansing 8-1 while matching season highs for largest victory margin, most hits in a game (13), and most home runs in a game (4).
It was also fitting that Findlay, Ohio native Connor Curlis, an Ohio State product, earned the win on the mound.
Brian Rey and Pabel Manzanero became offensive leaders for the club, with the duo combining for 29 RBI and 10 home runs through the month of May. Rey improved his average from .143 in his first game in May to .286 by the end of the month. Connor Bennett saved three games in the month of May, while allowing five runs across 14.2 innings of relief work to become Dayton’s reliable pitcher down the stretch.
Other highlights included:
5/14: The Dragons score in each of the first three innings to take down the Loons.
5/18: Dayton’s pitching shuts out South Bend for eight innings, while Shard Munroe’s 3-run home run guides the Dragons to a 4-1 win.
5/21: Morgan Lofstrom goes 3-for-3 with four RBI and James Marinan pitches a 7-inning complete game in a rout of Lake County.