The Cincinnati Reds return to Great American Ball Park this weekend after losing six in a row on the West Coast.
They are in last place in the National League Central, but within striking distance in the division at only 4.5 games out of first place.
If they end up truly contending this season, it will come as a surprise, though. The 2017 campaign has always been about the future, and it appears bright with several young players producing in the lineup and the bullpen for the Reds.
But what about the next wave?
As of June 15, here are the most productive players in the Reds minor leagues so far:
Top batter: Among players with at least 200 at-bats, former Dragon Shed Long has the highest batting average at .316 and highest OPS at .921.
Long has 12 home runs and 15 doubles for the Daytona Tortugas (advanced Single-A).
Honorable mention: Nick Senzel. Another former Dragon now playing for Daytona, the 2016 first-round pick is batting .303 with four homers and nine steals. He has 30 RBIs.
Most power: Gavin LaValley has 15 home runs for the Tortugas. That is already a professional career high for the 2014 fourth-round pick who only had four dingers in 125 games for the Dragons two years ago.
Honorable mention: Long’s 12 homers are No. 2 in the organization.
Most steals: Jose Siri has 20 steals at Dayton, where the team might need to change its name to Speed Demons.
The Dragons lead the Midwest League in thefts, and they have four of the top five base-stealers in the organization through Thursday. Taylor Trammell has 17, Brantley Bell 15 and T.J. Friedl 12.
Honorable mention: Daniel Sweet has 12 steals for the Tortugas. He stole only six all year at Dayton in 2016, his first as a pro.
Top reliever: Jimmy Herget leads the organization with 16 saves for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Double-A).
The third-year pro has blown three saves but posted an ERA of 2.73 in 24 appearances. He has 44 strikeouts
Honorable mention: Geoff Brussard (Pensacola) has the best ERA (1.03) in the organization among players who have thrown at least 20 innings.
Best starter: Tyler Mahle is 7-2 with a 1.54 ERA (best among pitchers with more than five starts). He has struck out 84 and walked 17 in 82 innings for the Blue Wahoos. He notably pitched a perfect game in April.
Honorable mention: Scott Moss is 8-2 with a 2.47 ERA for the Dragons.
Moss and Mahle are tied for the organization lead with 84 strikeouts.