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Remembering 2018: Scooter Gennett

Jeff

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© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This past season will be one Reds fans soon forget, or try to, at least. With that being said, there are some players who had good seasons that I’d like to delve a little deeper into, starting with the Reds popular second baseman, Scooter Gennett.

According to fangraphs.com, Scooter led Cincinnati in WAR, with a 4.5 mark. The 28-year old posted his best-ever season with a career-high in batting average (.310), on-base percentage (.357), runs scored (86), and games played (154). Scooter competed for the National League batting title up until the final week of the season, with part of his continued improvement due to a more aggressive approach at the plate.

Gennett took a swing at 52.9% of the pitches he saw, in 2018. That is a 4.1% increase from 2017. Contrary to some opinions, his uptick in swinging actually brought with it an uptick in contact. Scooter made contact on 82% of swings. That, coupled with a sort-of high .358 batting average on balls in play, led to his .310 average and constant production. 

Scooter thrived on pitchers tossing him off-speed junk, forcing them to go more to the fastball. Fangraphs stated his pitch value (his ability to produce runs against each pitch type) was all-star level against changeups (10.2, with 0.0 being average) as well as above average against sliders (4.4) and curveballs (2.9). A lot of those numbers have to do with simply making contact, though, and do not take into uccountthe type of contact, but that wasn’t a problem, wither. Just 15% of balls that Scooter hit were designated in the soft contact variety. He mostly turned contact into line drives (40%) and avoided the easy-out variety infield fly ball (6.6%).

Early in the year, when the Boston Red Sox got out to a roaring start from the batters’ box, an article was written for The Athletic that detailed the aggressive approach with which Alex Cora was preaching hitting. Scooter took on some of that and enjoyed a .393 average when swinging at the first pitch. His aggressiveness also led to some nice clutch stats, as he put together a .312 average with runners in scoring position as well as 65 RBI.

Gennett is one of the players due to see some turmoil, this offseason. If nothing else, he has arbitration coming up, but more than likely will hear his name come up in many a trade rumor. He may be a piece that lands an ace, or he may simply be moved for some prospects, and to open up a spot in the lineup for Nick Senzel. Scooter has become a household name, in the Queen City, so his departure may leave a mark. Whether he wears a Reds uniform in 2019, or not, the Reds received the two best years of his career, thus far, and all they did was pick him up off waivers.

The next post will take a dive into Eugenio Suarez’s season. 

Keep it tuned to Locked on Reds, whether the podcast, the website, or social media, for all your offseason Reds content. Check out @lockedonReds and @jefffcarr on Twitter as well as @lockedonReds and @lockedonreds_jeffcarr on IG.

Jeff has spent his entire life around sports. From playing baseball and golf in high school to traveling with college softball, volleyball, and men’s basketball teams as their media relations guy, sports have always been his focal point. He’s pumped to be bringing Reds content to the Locked on Sports Podcast Network!

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Cincinnati Reds

Should the Reds Sign or Trade Puig?

With the way he has struggled, and the Reds’ current pace, we may see Puig on the move before the trade deadline.

Clay Snowden

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Yasiel Puig gave this team energy in December. The Cincinnati Reds haven’t had excitement in December in years. Acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Dodgers, Puig came to town with a lot of buzz. You may remember him parading around town posting on social media about how much he loved Cincinnati and how excited he was to be a Red. I was thrilled. The talks of 30+ home runs and reaping the benefits of GABP had many fans following the Reds once again. Fast forward to mid- June and no one is too excited about the .213 hitter. The Reds’ chances at making the playoffs seems slim and it might be time to move some rentals. With an expiring contract the question is this: should the Reds look to trade Puig at the deadline?

One thing we all know about Puig is that he’s an emotional player and a big personality. This season, hitting and getting on base has been a struggle for the Wild Horse. A .213 average and a *squints* .256 on-base percentage are awful. 62 K’s to 13 walks is not pretty, either. Sitting at a -0.3 WAR you wonder what’s going on. 11 home runs and 9 stolen bases are positives. He has a strong arm in the outfield as well. While a walk off hit and “I am going to fight an entire Pirates’ team” were memorable moments of the season and, fun as hell, I am not sure if he’ll have a chance to make many more moments like these. So what teams are looking for a corner outfielder who is struggling and is maybe “a bit too much of a personality” for some? That might be the problem. The first corner outfielder off the market was Jay Bruce (name sounds familiar) to the Phillies. The amount of contending teams needing a corner outfield bat is not high and honestly there are simply better options available.

On paper, you would not see a larger return for a player with his stats. Look at his track record, a career .273 hitter that is no doubt a talented player. It might take an injury on a contending team to get his value up. A trade of “we lost a player and need to replace him” not a “let’s see if we can upgrade from our current player” type of trade. When the Reds traded Bruce to the Mets they took a flyer on an injured former high prospect Dilson Herrera. Sometimes taking a flyer on a prospect who might need a change of scenery can pay off big time. Someone did mention they could trade him and try to sign him back in the offseason. While true, I think the Reds would not trade him if they plan to sign him to an extension.

Signing Puig to an extension would pretty much set the outfield for a few years. Winker, Senzel (assuming he stays there), Puig. But with Taylor Trammell approaching quickly where would that put him? Ervin, Schebler, Sirri, Siani, and others could play a role in the future. Puig is not going to be cheap, either. What he does from here on out will give us a better idea but at only 28 years old he has many years left in him. Plenty of expiring contracts will need to be resigned and, well, the Reds don’t have Yankees-type money.

The trade deadline is coming soon and the Reds making the playoffs is very unlikely. Look for the front office to move some players for prospects and for Puig to be a prominently rumored player on the move.

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Cincinnati Reds

Locked On Reds – 6/13/2019 Reds Split with Indians

Thursday’s episode is up!

Jeff

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Scooter Get Off The Pot

Scooter Gennett is a dude who will be hard to say goodbye to. The team’s current makeup, however, makes it seem that is coming, sooner rather than later.

Dave Pemberton

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© David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff has brought up a lot of talk about who we as fans would hate to see get traded this year. For me there is only one answer. Scooter Gennett.

Without a doubt it has to be him. While I completely understand if they do from a financial and bigger picture stand point, it will eat my soul. I haven’t seen a Cincinnati native this well liked since Barry Larkin.

Everything about him including his name screams a Cincinnati Reds ballplayer. You can see it in his play, character, leadership, and communication that this guy LOVES playing for his home town team. The man is already a Reds legend after smacking 4 home runs in a game. A game that, by sheer luck, I was able to witness. It was, by far, the best moment I have ever witnessed in person at GABP. He put up the best numbers of his career in 2017 only to follow it up with a better season as an All Star in 2018.

Scooter has made it clear he would like to remain a Red and loves this organization. I was really hoping the Reds would extend him to a short term deal last season after an incredible season that almost saw him win a batting title. I even tried starting the #ScooterGetOffThePot trend. Instead, like many things in recent memory with this team, good things go wrong quickly. He suffered the worst injury of his career with a severe strained groin.

Making the case for extending him even more difficult has been the off-the-wall performance by Derek Dietrich. Another free agent find who has been as wildly entertaining and likable. Dietrich has already made himself the face of the team this year with his kid like swagger for the game. Dietrich was just named second basemen of the month of May by the MLB. Per Stats by STATS Dietrich played in 55 games with a .706 slugging percentage. The only other player in baseball history to match that in there first 55 game with an organization was a HOF 2B Rogers Hornsby. The Reds also have control of Dietrich’s contract next season being an arbitration year. If you remove Dietrich from the equation it’s not any better.

Jose Iglesias is a must start for this team, currently, at shortstop. Iglesias is the best defensive infielder the team has had since Brandon Phillips. Iglesias also currently holds the highest batting average on the team nearly two months into the season. Meaning Jose Peraza has no place left to play but filling in for guys on their day off. Peraza also seems like a guy that, come next season, will more than likely be the starting shortstop simply because of his age and salary.

The Reds have their current center fielder, Nick Senzel, who has been the spark to this offense since coming up to the big leagues. The Reds have averaged nearly 2 more runs a game since Senzel has been playing for the team. Senzel definently stands a chance to be Rookie of the Year. Most importantly he seems to a guaranteed core player of this team’s foreseeable future. Senzel is a player who could, hypothetically, be the Reds starting second baseman for 2020. Plus they have Johnathan India, last year’s first round pick, quickly making his way up through the minors. He could potentially take that spot if not next season the following year.

None of this leads me to believe Scooter will be playing for this team next year. He is the perfect trading chip if they are looking to have a sale at the trade deadline or add a missing piece as well. I think what I enjoy about Scooter Gennett most is his GRIT. There is no denying the dude has GRIT. Something many of the players on this team currently do not have. More than anything that is why I will hate if he is traded.

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