The Reds made a flurry of moves in the minor leagues Wednesday, including moving three of their top 12 prospects up a level.
Outfielder Jesse Winker and right-handed pitcher Ben Lively, the No. 3 and 12 prospects in the organization according to MLB.com, were among seven players moved from Bakersfield (advanced Single-A) to Double-A Pensacola while left-hander Ismael Guillon (ranked ninth) was among several players elevated from Dayton (low Single-A) to Bakersfield.
Lively, a fourth-round pick out of UCF last year, led the California League in wins (10), strikeouts (95), ERA (2.28) and WHIP (0.92) was the Blaze finished with the best record in either division and clinched a playoff spot while Winker batted .317 with 13 homers and 49 RBI in 53 games. Winker was a supplemental first-round pick by the Reds two years ago out of Olympia High in Orlando, Fla.
Joining them in the cross-country move from California to Florida are outfielder Kyle Waldrop, who hit a team-high .359 in the first half, reliever Carlos Gonzalez, third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean, second baseman Ryan Wright and first baseman Marquez Smith.
Lively, Winker and Waldrop all represented the organization in the California-Carolina All-Star Game this week. Waldrop drove in all three of the victorious California League runs, and Lively pitched two scoreless innings in a 3-2 win.
Winker is the fourth of the Reds’ top five prospects to join the Blue Wahoos this season, joining top-rated Robert Stephenson, No. 3 Michael Lorenzen and No. 5 Carlos Contreras, all of whom are right-handed pitchers.
No. 2 prospect Phil Ervin, an outfielder picked in the first round last year, is at low-A Dayton.