RHP Homer Bailey, Double-A Chattanooga (Reds)
Commence breakout. The seventh overall pick in the 2004 draft, Bailey had a fantastic but frustrating first half at High-A Sarasota in the Florida State League, alternating between being literally unhittable (with a pair of six-inning, no-hit outings) and pretty bad (allowing four or more runs in six of 13 starts). Pushed to Double-A for the second half despite just turning 20 in May, Bailey has reeled off his best three-start run of the season. Coming off his third six-inning no-hit game of the year last week, Bailey struck out nine over five shutout innings on Sunday, extending his scoreless streak in the Southern League to 17 innings while allowing just seven hits and striking out 22. As we approach the All-Star break, the Reds are not just still in it, they're only one game behind the Cardinals, and their weakness is pitching. I'm just saying...
From a Minor League Ball Diary:
...I've been waiting for this....looks like he just wanted the competition...He had far too much talent to produce such mediocre numbers in A-ball...I normally don't follow pitching "prospects" so closely, but from the moment I saw his scouting video after he was drafted, I was in love...He also has quite the personality, and the name (nickname) to match...for those not checking the boxscore, his line tonight: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 0 ER, 9 K.I'm inclined to think he'll stay in AA for most of the rest of the season, but he sure is tantilizing... Please just don't get hurt! :)