Reds look towards a breakout 2019


Red Reporter

Beautiful picture from Opening Day 2018

July 26, 2015: The Cincinnati Reds deal starting pitcher Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for three minor league pitching prospects. This was the start of the new Reds, the start of the rebuild.

Pretty much ever since this trade, the Reds have endured season after season of losing, losing, and more losing. No one expected it to be pretty, and it wasn’t.

But is the rebuild and losing over, though? I’m here to tell you that it is.

The ball club has changed it up immensely, starting with the coaching staff. Lead by new manager David Bell, the Reds have an almost completely new coaching staff.

The Reds showed signs of greatness at times this past season. The club won seven straight games in the month of June, and played pretty good baseball throughout much of the summer. At least better than the past Reds have played.

The Reds core players at the major league level really came into their own this year. Obviously, Joey Votto is a baseball freak each and every year, but other players have literally and figuratively stepped up to the plate.
Back when the Reds were good: Jay Bruce hits a walk off home run to clinch the NL Central in 2010

Third baseman Eugenio Suarez had an MVP-caliber season in 2018, and could be an all-star for several years. Scooter Gennett is a very solid player. Jose Peraza showed glimpses of a great shortstop this season. And Jesse Winker could have been in the Rookie of the Year conversation if he hadn’t gotten hurt in the middle of the season.

The farm system flourishes with potential as well. Infield prospect Nick Senzel looks to be a stud as early as the 2019 season, and is currently ranked as the #6 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Outfielder Taylor Trammell (ranked #17) exploded his value and potential this past season, and will be a centerpiece in the organization in the future. Pitching prospect Hunter Greene (ranked #22) is the most hyped up baseball player out of high school since Bryce Harper, putting a lot of expectations on Greene. Other prospects to watch are infielder Jonathan India (#51), infielder Jeter Downs, cathcer Tyler Stephenson, and right-handed pitcher Tony Santillan.

The Reds could also receive help via free agency or trade. Pitching is the prime focus for the Reds, and there are plenty of good arms on the market that could fit with the club. The guy who I think could get the Reds over the hump is LHP Dallas Keuchel. He won a World Series with the Astros in 2017, and gets lots of outs through ground balls which is critical playing at GABP.

Fancred Sports writer Jon Heyman says that the Reds are ‘all over’ Dallas Keuchel, so I expect to hear a lot surrounding the lefty.

Cincinnati has a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to free agency, though. The 513 is not the prime location for a free agent player to land. The average player would rather play for big city teams that offer the most money, and unfortunately, the Reds are located in a small market city.

To support my claims about the Reds, I asked avid Reds fan and fellow Quill member Michael Frogge about his take on the upcoming Reds season. Believe me, Frogge did not disappoint.

Frogge has a hot take on just about every aspect of the Reds.

Houston Chronicle
Free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel, who the Reds are very interested in

He started off by saying that the Reds need to add some free agent pitchers. Specifically, the starter who will help the young core of pitchers the Reds already have, such as Luis Castillo, Robert Stephenson, and Cody Reed. Frogge’s prize for the Reds is free agent Dallas Keuchel.

Frogge likes the Reds bullpen, starring Raisel Iglesias and David Hernandez, and believes that Michael Lorenzen needs to become a starter, saying, “The guy’s too good to be in the bullpen. The guy out-hit Billy Hamilton.” Billy Hamilton has since lost his ties with the organization.

When it comes to the minor league system, Frogge loves the potential in Senzel, Trammell, and Santillan, and would not like to see those guys be traded.

The core is also strong according to Frogge. Frogge says that if all the guys in the lineup can contribute like they did last year with the help of new pitchers, “You have a team that can win 80, maybe 90 games.”

Frogge is a fan of the new moves on the coaching staff, too. He likes how the Reds hired someone who was already in the system at one time, and has familiarity with the organization.

At the end of the day Frogge predicts the Reds to go 84-78 in 2019, as of early December 2018. “They can be the most improved easily,” says Frogge.

I hope that one day I can be as knowledgeable about baseball and specifically about the Reds as much as Michael Frogge. It really is a pleasure talking baseball with a guy like Frogge. Stephen A. Smith, watch out!

Ultimately, the Reds may be Cincinnati’s only hope. The Bengals continue to disappoint me each and every year, but this could be our first successful sports team in several years.

I’m not guaranteeing anything, but do not be surprised. The Cincinnati Reds are on the come up.