Selecting in the top 10 is nothing new for the Reds in recently. Senzel, Greene, India, and now Nick Lodolo, a 6-6, 185 lb, southpaw from TCU. Senzel has impressed early with his opposite-field hitting and speed on the bases while the latter two are still developing in the minors. The last pitcher the Reds selected 7th overall also had Texas ties; Homer Bailey. You might remember him for his two no hitters. You might also remember him for his 6.16 ERA over his injury ridden final 5 years in a Reds jersey. By the way, he plays for the Royals? I digress.
Some considered this draft to not be strong on pitchers. The last draft to not have a pitcher go top 5 was in 2005 when Ricky Romero went to the Blue Jays. Nick Lodolo was the top pitcher on just about everyone’s board and most mock drafts slotted him 7th to the Reds. And that is exactly what happened.
Originally drafted by the Pirates 41st in 2016 out of high school, he decided not to sign and elected to play at TCU. This season he pitched 103 innings striking out 131 while walking 25. He was 6-6 with a 2.36 ERA (stats from TCU baseball page). He throws a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. Unlike Greene, Lodolo doesn’t seem to be “a few years away”. College experience and being 21 years old have helped accelerate him towards being MLB ready. Many think he is 1-2 years away.
What would that look for the Reds rotation? Well, you will have Castillo and Gray as locks. DeSclafani could be there, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Mahle will probably fit. Roark and Wood would be elsewhere. Prospects such as Vladimir Gutierrez, Lucas Sims, Tony Santillan, and many others will fill in. It will be interesting to see how quickly Lodolo can move through the minors.
With the 49th pick in the second round the Reds selected the 6-4 “SS” LSU commit from IMG Academy in Florida Rece Hinds. He will start at third, play some first and corner outfield. His 70 power grade (out of 80) jumps out at you. Defense needs some work, epically, with the position change, though. Everything I read about him mentions how “raw” he is. Seems to be a high upside pick but a lot of polishing to do. And that’s fine. The Reds do not need him to play this week. His path to the MLB will most likely take more time than Lodolo.
One thing about the MLB draft is many good MLB players are taken in late rounds. Many early rounders never get their cup of coffee in the show. We at Locked on Reds will be following the rest of the draft and see how the players fit into the Reds future.
The Moose Stops Here
The Reds have reportedly signed Mike Moustakas to a four-year deal, per Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic
How we looking, Reds fans? I, for one, can’t stop randomly yelling “YES!” in my apartment. My neighbors may be calling the cops as you read this.
Or maybe I should be yelling “Moooooooose!”
The Reds began their offseason of acquisitions by signing Mike Moustakas to the largest contract in franchise history. The Moose is coming to Cincinnati for four years, $64 million dollars. He compiled 3.2 bWAR last year and had a 113 WRC+.
The big key is that he will be the Reds second baseman. Per Baseball Reference, the group of players who combined to shoulder the second base duties in Cincinnati put together a -0.6 WAR. Clearly it was one of the most important positions to upgrade during the offseason and the Reds have done that.
There are two ancillary considerations from this move. One is that Nick Senzel will remain in center field in 2020. One can figure from this move that the Reds have complete faith in his ability to rehab his surgically repaired shoulder. The other is a possible Plan B at first base as Moose has shown an ability to play all infield positions with some degree of aptitude. Now, that’s not to say there are rumblings of Joey Votto retiring or going anywhere, but it does not hurt to have a plan B.
All this is to say, I am excited. I also believe this is just the start. More to come from this front office that is clearly putting money to their words. For now, get ready to chant “Mooooose” all summer long!
Reds All-Decade Team: Everyday Eight
Introducing the blog post about the Locked On Reds All-Decade Team!
We are coming to the end of the 2000-teens. Weird, isn’t it? This decade started with a lot of success for our Redlegs and ended with lots of questions. Maybe they can regain their winning form as we head into the 2020’s, but for now let’s look at the players that made the past ten years what they were.
To set only a few parameters, this will be based on impact and not necessarily longevity. For example, based on their time on the Reds and performance, my thought on the best center fielder, for the past 10 years, is Shin-Soo Choo. Now, I get it, he was only here a year, but that what I mean when I’m looking at the All-Decade Reds. Who had the greatest impact during his tenure with the Reds from 2010-2019?
I also want this to be interactive. Comment, tweet (@lockedonreds), and call/text the Locked On Reds Line (513) 549-0159. This post will be finished on December 31, 2019.
I don’t know why anyone would argue this. He is the Reds Player of the Decade, and arguably the National League’s Player of the Decade. If you don’t believe me, look at this.
Dat Dude was electric at second and a constant stand-in as an argument to everyone’s favorite Red, at the time. I forgot to mention him as a lock on the first All-Decade podcast, so that’s a bit embarrassing, but no second baseman deserves it more. He could hit anywhere in the lineup, and perform well to boot. There was no other second baseman that was better from 2010-2019 in Cincinnati.
Few Reds have provided such iconic moments as was Clinchmas which got this past decade started off with a bang. Beyond that, Bruce was a constant force in the middle of the lineup. His arm was a lethal and gunned down anyone foolish enough to try and run on him. No outfielder eclipsed him and he is definitely a lock for this All-Decade team.
Cozart could do it all. He had a good bat, a great glove, and the ladies loved him. Find another Reds shortstop from this past decade and I’ll tell you why they aren’t as good as Cozart was.
Your first thought on this is going to be “but he only was a Red for a year?” Here’s the thing, no centerfielder had a better year. Does he get a bump because he may not have been here long enough to leave a bad taste in our mouthes? Sure. Did he absolutely kill it his one year and is still talked about? Absolutely. If I’m building an everyday eight that is the best of this past decade, he’s on that team.
The options at catcher are Tucker Barnhart, Ryan Hanigan, and Mez. Maybe you include Ramon Hernandez for the two halfway decent years at the start of the decade. This is a position that can be hotly debated, but I am throwing my hat in the ring for Mez. When he was healthy and got regular at-bats (2014) he was the best Reds catcher this decade. I’ll take those numbers he posted that year and pretend that he isn’t injured when named to the All-Decade Team. A healthy Mez was worth slotting 5th or 6th in the lineup. That’s not something I’ve never said about Tucker.
My rationale behind this is two-fold. Unless they were just absolutely amazing (like the next lean) then I’m looking at the playoff teams. Ludwick had a great first year as a Red. His final two years soured some fans to remembering him, but he was money in 2012. When faced with the options, I lean Ludwick.
This one took some thinking because I really liked Scott Rolen, but I think Suarez has outperformed him. He has the misfortune for playing on the bad Reds teams, but he has become the face of the franchise, heading into 2020. The thing that keeps him from being a lock, to me, is there is an argument for Rolen over Suarez…but I will argue Suarez is the Reds third baseman of the decade.
Reds All-Decade Team: The Pitching
Here’s the blog post accompanying the idea of the Reds All-Decade Team, the pitching side of things.
We got things started with a blog post about the everyday eight, now let’s start thee pitching. For this, we’ll do a starting five, a closer, and two relievers. I’m not sure we have any locks, but we have some really strong cases, here. Okay, maybe one lock. Johnny Cueto is a super lock for the rotation, maybe the Reds Pitcher of the Decade.
You know the drill, comment, tweet (@lockedonreds), and call/text (513) 549-0159. We’ll finalize it on December 31, 2019.