Every fifth game, a 6'5", 228 pounds lefty steps on to the pitching mound for the Cincinnati Reds. Once he steps on to the mound, every single fan opens their eyes. The fans are about to witness one of the best pitching prospects in the league. He is one of the reasons why the Reds have had much success to begin the season, leading the team to a 9-6 record, with sole possession of the National League Central Division. His name is Amir Garrett.
So, who really is Amir Garrett? Garrett, 24, is ranked as the 32nd best prospect in the league. His alma matter is from Saint Johns, where he was a four-star basketball recruit. He did play basketball for two seasons. After basketball season would be over, he would play for the Reds in their Rookie League team in Arizona. He was drafted by the Reds in the 22nd round of the 2011 First Year Player Draft.
In 2015, Garrett really caught the eye of many major league scouts and the Cincinnati Reds organization. While playing for the Daytona Tortugas of the High A Florida State League, Garrett was dealing in 26 starts. He proved he was a top pitching prospect, when he closed the season with a 2.44 ERA, while pitching 140.1 innings, and striking out 133 batters. He was sure hard to hit in High A, as he only allowed 117 hits and was named the Most Valuable Pitcher of the Florida State League.
In 2016, Garrett played extremely well in Double A, and earned a promotion to Triple A midway through the season. He sure impressed in Double A, owning a record of 5-3, with an ERA of 1.75 in 12 starts. His hard worked payed off. He was called up to the next level, where he pitched solidly, facing some of the toughest prospects of minor league baseball. In 11 starts, he had an ERA of 3.46, and a record of 2-5.
A year later in 2017, he heard the biggest news of his life. He had made the 25-man roster, and a spot on the opening day roster. He made his major league debut on April 7th in Saint Louis. The Cardinals have some of the best hitters in league. That did not bother Amir. He threw six innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits, two walks, and striking out four. He earned his first career win.
Five days later, he pitched against the Pirates, in Pittsburgh. Pitching against Andrew McCutchen and company did not alarm him. He pitched 6.2 innings, allowing five hits and two runs, striking out five, while walking none. He earned his second career win.
Last night, April 19th, Garrett made his Great American Ballpark debut. He sure impressed once again. This time he was facing Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles. He dominated in seven innings, striking out 12, and allowing only one walk. Unfortunately, Ubaldo Jimenez out pitched Garrett, giving Garrett his first big league loss.
Garrett, has sure played extremely well, leaving many fans optimistic for the future.
Major League Baseball announced earlier today that Pittsburgh Pirates star OF Starling Marte has been suspended for 80 games, effective immediately, for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was first to report the suspension.
This is a tough blow for the Pirates, who have started the season with a record of 6-7. The Pirates, who have made it to the postseason several times in the past five seasons, were hoping their star studded outfield of Gregory Polanco, Andrew McCutchen, and Starling Marte, would help them once again make it to the postseason and compete with the Chicago Cubs.
The Pirates have already called up OF Jose Osuna to take over for Marte, who will begin serving his suspension this evening. Another possible replacement for Marte, is top prospect OF Austin Meadows.
Marte, 28, was an all star last season. He batted a slash line of .311/.362/.456 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs in only 489 at bats. Marte also tallied 47 stolen bases in 2016. This year, Marte was off to a slow start offensively. He owns a slash line of .241/.288/.370 with only two home runs and 13 RBIs,
Since making his big league debut in 2012, Marte has had a successful career with the Pirates. Overall in his six year playing career, he owns a slash line of .288/.344/.446 with 60 HRs and 242 RBIs.
Marte, signed a six-year, $31 million deal three seasons ago.
The Toronto Blue Jays have announced they have claimed infielder Ty Kelly from the New York Mets. To clear space for Kelly on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays have transferred Glenn Sparkman from the 10 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list.
Kelly, 28, has played in the minor leagues for most of his playing career. Last season, he finally reached the majors with the New York Mets. Last year, he owned a slash line of .241/.352/.345 in 58 at bats, while hitting one double, one triple, and one HR with seven RBIs.
Kelly, over his eight year playing career in the minors, owns a solid slash line of .280/.381/.380 with 44 HRs and 404 RBIs in 3219 at bats.
Kelly has played for five different organizations during his eight seasons in the minors. He has played in the farm system of the Orioles, Mariners, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and the Mets.
Kelly was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round of the 2009 first year MLB player draft.
The St. Louis Cardinals and outfielder Stephen Piscotty have agreed to a six-year extension, worth $33.5 million. Jon Morosi of MLB Network was the first to report that both sides were progressing towards an extension earlier today.
Piscotty, 26, was not expected to become a free agent until after the 2021 season. This is a great deal for the Cardinals because Piscotty is one of the top young outfielders in the big leagues.
Piscotty only has two years of MLB experience. He was once a top prospect in the minor leagues. Before making his major debut at 24 years old in 2015, Piscotty was ranked No. 57 on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Chart.
Piscotty owns a career .282/.349/.467 slash line, while earning 231 hits, with 29 career HRs and 124 RBIs. In his big breakout season last year, Piscotty had a slash line of .273/.343/.457, while collecting 159 hits, 35 doubles, 22 HRs, and 85 RBIs in 582 at bats.
*career stats include the 2017 season