You could be forgiven if you hadn’t heard of Tony Cingrani before the 2012 season. Now you’ve got no excuse.
The Reds’ third-round pick out of Rice University in 2011, he debuted that summer in the Pioneer League with Rookie-level Billings. He went 3-2 with a 1.75 ERA for the Mustangs, giving a glimpse of what was to come.
Entering this season unranked among Cincinnati prospects by MLB.com, Cingrani tore through the California League, posting a 1.11 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 56 2/3 innings. It didn’t stop there as the 23-year-old left-hander notched five wins and a 2.12 ERA following a promotion to Double-A Pensacola.
Overall, Cingrani was 10-4 with a 1.73 ERA and finished second in the Minor Leagues with 172 strikeouts. By the end of the year, not only did he crack the Reds’ Top 20 Prospects (he’s currently No. 3), he’s ranked 57th overall by MLB.com.
The guys over MiLB.com talked to Cingrani about his rapid rise through the ranks. Below are a couple highlights. To read the entire article, click here.
MiLB:You started 2012 as something of an unheralded prospect and ended it on everyone’s top prospect lists. Did you enter the year with a bit of a chip on your shoulder?
Cingrani: No, I just go out and work hard and try to beat the guy that’s standing up at the plate. Just do what I need to do, and this was just the result of it.
MiLB:Some scouts think you’ll wind up in the bullpen in the Majors because they consider you a two-pitch pitcher. What would you say to that?
Cingrani: The numbers speak for themselves. Give me a chance to be a starter and we’ll see what happens. Until I fail, I should get a chance. I should be good to go next year.
MiLB:You got a chance to play with Billy Hamilton this year. Did you pick up any tips about holding baserunners on?
Cingrani: He’s just a different breed. You can’t catch him. He stole off me twice in instructs last year. He’s just got some ridiculous speed. I’ve got a pretty good pickoff move. Being a lefty, it’s easy to hold runners on.
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