Pitching in the California League can be a daunting task. The ballparks are unforgiving and the pitching numbers that come out of that Class A Advanced circuit annually tend to be on the ugly side.
That makes what Tony Cingrani is doing all the more impressive. The Reds' No. 14 prospect has been very stingy while pitching for the Bakersfield Blaze.
The lefty was lights-out this past week and is given the Prospect Watch Pitcher of the Week nod after going 2-0 and not allowing a run in 11 innings. He gave up just four hits and two walks while striking out 17.
This wasn't an aberration. Cingrani has allowed just one earned run (two runs total) over 28 innings this season. That's a 0.32 ERA, best in the Cal League, as is his 0.64 WHIP. He's yielded 12 hits for a ridiculous .126 batting average against. He's struck out 37 (third in the league) while having allowed just six walks.
Cingrani was a senior signee out of Rice and will turn 23 in July. He was a successful reliever in his final season with the Owls, and he could be shortened up again and get to the big leagues in a hurry. But with how Cingrani has pitched so far in his brief pro career -- 1.25 ERA, 9.75 K/BB ratio, 13.3 K/9 and 0.744 WHIP -- he could start moving pretty fast as a legitimate starting prospect.