Seven years ago, Greg Reynolds was taken by the Rockies with the second overall pick in the Draft as a college pitcher expected to rapidly advance to the Majors.
In those seven years, he's thrown only 94 innings in the big leagues, all for Colorado. His career ERA is 7.47 and he has 40 strikeouts against 36 walks.
Now with his third organization in as many years, it's tempting to talk about unfulfilled potential after Reynolds posted a 6.81 ERA in the Pacific Coast League in 2011 and followed it up with a 5.30 mark last year.
It's also, as he's beginning to show this year, easy to forget he's only 27 years old with time to turn things around.
Reynolds was at his best on Friday night in what's been a stellar season, tossing a two-hitter for his first career complete game as Triple-A Louisville blanked visiting Rochester, 3-0.
Reynolds (9-0), who struck out eight and walked two, has hit his stride in the last month. After allowing five runs over 6 1/3 innings on May 25, he's won his last five starts while crafting a 0.70 ERA over 38 1/3 innings.
"I think health has a lot to do with it. That's the biggest part," Reynolds said of the difference between this season and some of his past struggles. "I'm the healthiest now that I've been since I got into professional baseball six or seven years ago. It gives me a great deal of confidence, not having to worry about how I'm gonna feel that day or how my arm's going to feel. Just being healthy gives me the confidence to execute pitches."
Reynolds is head and shoulders above the rest of the International League with nine wins and a 2.23 ERA over 101 innings. The next closest competitor, Toledo's Jose Alvarez, has a 2.78 ERA.
There are two primary differences, statistically, from Reynolds' previous two seasons. The first and most obvious is that he no longer is pitching in the PCL.
"The PCL is a tough pitcher's league and coming over here is another confidence-boost," he said. "My main pitch is the sinker, so knowing it's going to sink -- not pitching in like Albuquerque -- is a great feeling just going out there."
The more subtle difference is his strikeout rate, which -- though not robust -- has improved markedly from where it was with Round Rock last year. He's averaging 5.35 punchouts per nine innings, up from 3.81 a season ago. And his walk rate, which was at 2.63 per nine innings for Colorado Springs in 2011 and 2.54 last year, is down to 1.78.
His health, new surroundings and slight improvements in some peripheral stats have added up to the best season of Reynolds' career.
"By far, by far, this is the best I've ever felt," he said. "The health, like I said, but it just feels good to go out there and pitch like I know I can and actually execute the way I know I can. To give the team a chance to win, it feels very good.
"I've worked very hard, had a lot of bumps along the road, so it definitely feels great. And I'm excited to hopefully keep it going."
Reds No. 10 prospect Henry Rodriguez staked Reynolds and the Bats to a 1-0 lead with a run-scoring single in the fourth. Felix Perez and No. 14 prospect Neftali Soto delivered back-to-back RBI singles in the fifth to cap the scoring.