Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Uncustomed Heroes of 2019: Reds (Part One)

 Yes, you've read right. I made so many Reds customs this offseason that I need another post to post them all.

The Reds. The...fourth-place, sub-500 Reds.

And just to make sure, I already posted the following during the season- Derek Dietrich, Luis Castillo, Eugenio Suarez, Sonny Gray, Yasiel Puig, Amir Garrett, Tanner Roark, Aristedes Aquino, Anthony Desclafani and Joey Votto.

That's a large chunk of the Reds' story for this year. And I still had a ton more to make, because this team had so many people contribute to the overall story. And...they just had so many fun players.

For instance, the starting catcher, Tucker Barnhart. After his scorching gold-glove year a few years back, Barnhart has mellowed into a very safe, very okay catcher, with his fielding numbers at a 2, and his batting numbers still below zero. He was also injured for portions of the year, which was fun in itself.
Why Him in 2019?: Gave more time to Curt Casali, who definitely ran with it.
2020 Prediction: The Reds will make their mind up about how much of a liability Barnhart is.

 A guy the Reds definitely made up their mind on is Jose Peraza, an infielder who was supposed to be a glorified backup this year, only to need to start after Derek Dietrich proved to be more of a bench bat. In 141 games, he hit .239 with 33 RBIs, a disappointment for the once-impressive infielder.
Why Him in 2019?: His infield woes got the Reds to trade for Freddy Galvis
2020 Prediction: Will be the new Brock Holt in Boston...in every way that implies.

 The Reds, post-Puig, left their outfield to a trio of younger players who were all kinda in the same boat. Winker was the most experienced, having spent 2018 as a bench bat (I saw him walk-off against Colorado last June). Despite only playing 113 games, he bat .269 with 38 RBIs and 18 homers.
Why Him in 2019?: Proved he could start, especially after Senzel's call-up.
2020 Prediction: Will hit 25 homers, chase an ASG nod and finally come to his full power.

 Meanwhile, Jose Iglesias came to Cincinnati on a one-year deal to play shortstop, and he did pretty dang well, with a 1.5 WAR, a .288 average, 145 hits and 58 RBIs, which is on par with his stuff from Detroit.
Why Him in 2019?: Acted as a bridge from Peraza in 2018 to Galvis next year
2020 Prediction: Someone's gotta sign him, but everyone seems pretty set at SS. My guess is Milwaukee.
 And yeeeeah, let's talk about this. Matt Kemp came to Cincinnati in the trade that also brought Puig and Wood, and...Kemp probably worked out the least for all of them. Everything he did for LA in 2018 he shat away here, only hitting .200 with 19 strikeouts in 20 games. No wonder they released him.
Why Him in 2019?: Fell so the farm system could succeed
2020 Prediction: Preferably retirement, but someone could sign him to a minor league deal

 ...Michael Lorenzen slowly became one of my favorites on the Reds. Not only was he a damn-near-immaculate as a relief specialist, with a 2.92 ERA and 85 strikeouts, but he was pretty good as a bench outfield bat too, hitting .208 with 6 RBIs in 53 plate appearances, which is not bad at all for a two-way guy. You just want someone like him to succeed, and he has been.
Why him in 2019?: Probably the best two-way guy in the MLB, since Ohtani didn't pitch at all this year.
2020 Prediction: More homers, and a higher ERA, but same stuff.

And then there's the closer, Raisel Iglesias, who might be the most standard closer in the leagues. He doesn't light the place on fire, he has human moments, but he still gets a lot of saves- this year he got 34, a career high for him, as well as leading the league in games finished with 55. However, he also finished the year with 12 losses, meaning some non-save appearances didn't go well for him.
Why Him in 2019?: Had more saves than any NL Central closer not named Hader.
2020 Prediction: Another 30 save year with a bit more consistency.

All these guys were in the picture on Opening Day. Tonight, a bunch of guys who were added to the roster over time.

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