The Dynasty Guru’s Triple Play: Cincinnati Reds!
Welcome to The Dynasty Guru’s Triple Play! This is a brand-new series where three very cool dynasty baseball nerds- Adam Lawler, Patrick Magnus and Keaton O. DeRocher- bring to you a succinct analysis of a pitcher, a hitter and a prospect from each organization. We’ll be running this regularly leading up to and through Opening Day!
Each team will be covered in alphabetical order. This article we’re covering the Cincinnati Reds. While we here at The Dynasty Guru are primarily baseball obsessed, we’ll also be touching on some music we’ve enjoyed from each team’s home state. Enjoy, and leave us your question and comments below!
Eugenio Suarez, Age 26, 3B
Analysis by Patrick Magnus
Wait, Eugieno Who?
I’ll cop to not even looking at Suarez during the 2017 season. As you’re probably well aware of, we’ve had a busy off-season of player debates and determining where players rank. One of our writers at TDG, Brady Childs, is a huge fan of Nick Senzel. Hardly a hot-take of any kind, Senzel is a consensus top prospect across baseball. Our discussion quickly moved from Senzel’s talent to “Where exactly is he going to play?” That’s when I noticed the year Suarez had.
In 2017, Eugenio Partied Like It Was 1999
So what is it that made me take notice?
|Player | Year||Runs||HR||RBI||SB||OPS|
|Eugenio Suarez | 2017||87||26||82||4||.828|
Those numbers made me take notice, and they should make you take notice too. The question, then, is how real is Suarez’s production, and can we count on it for our dynasty leagues? A 26 year old with a .828 OPS at third base is a desirable asset.
Despite my ignorance on Suarez, his 2017 did not come out of nowhere. He has been making subtle improvements his entire career. Take a look at the improvement in his approach over the course of his career.
I don’t know about you, but that graph looks pretty to me. His overall approach has made some very good and seemingly sustainable improvements!
- Lowered strikeout rate? Check.
- Increased walk rate? Check
- More power? Check.
- Power translating to home runs? Check.
Eu Are Where Eu Play
While the adjustments Suarez made are impressive, there is a bit of muck in the numbers. He is most definitely benefiting from Great American Ballpark. While he’s launching the ball at a good angle (14.7 Average in 2017), he’s not doing so with very much authority. Suarez ranked 283rd in Average Exit Velocity according to Baseball Savant. Also, 21 of those 26 home runs he hit came at home. That’s a bit of a mark against our underrated third basemen, and an important piece of data for those of you who play in daily leagues. Take a look at his spray chart from Baseball Savant.
My fellow co-host of the TDG podcast Keaton O. DeRocher has a bit of a thing for Travis Shaw. In our most recent pod (Fast Forward to Min 43:30, or don’t, ’cause the pod is good), I argued that Shaw was a product of his environment. Keaton elegantly responded with “Good news, Patrick. He’s hitting in Miller Park next year.” That same logic applies to Suarez too. He’ll most likely be in GABP for next three years.
What does this mean for Brady Childs not-so-secret admiration for Senzel?!
Senzel it ain’t So!
Let’s compare Saurez’s production at the Major League Level with Senzel’s performance in the minors.
|2017 Player | Level||PAs||BB%||K%||ISO|
|Nick Senzel | Single A||272||8.5||19.9||.171|
|Nick Senzel | Double A||235||11.1||18.3||.220|
|Eugenio Suarez | MLB||632||13.3||23.3||.200|
Brady is certainly right about one thing: Nick Senzel will be in the majors very soon. Those are some very sexy numbers he’s putting up in the minors. Senzel’s 2017 in the minors looks very… Suarez-like, yeah? The point here isn’t to pour cold water on Senzel, but rather to question if he’ll be playing third base for the Reds, because Eugenio Suarez is a good baseball player.
By the way, the Reds appear to have realized this as well. Senzel will be competing for the starting shortstop gig in Spring Training, and this writer happens to think he has a rather strong chance at winning it (Not a Jose Peraza fan).
What should you do with all this Suarez and Senzel love? While everyone is looking at Senzel and his future value at shortstop, go ahead and get yourself a share of Saurez on the cheap. He’ll be worth it.
Patrick’s Artist Selection
Let’s get this out of the way, I really wanted to pick the National. While Jackson Fox was a strong contender for my future child’s name, we recently found our little baby is a girl. So, the current clubhouse leader is “Ada”
Anyway! Now onto my real pick, Cincinnati’s own Hi-Tek! I spent a lot of time listening to Hi-Teknology- Volume 2. While I’ll never have the glory of walking-up to bat in a Major League game, this would be my walk-up song.
Amir Garrett, P, 25
Analysis by Adam Lawler
Garrett’s dynasty owners have probably stewed over him for far too long. You all know his story by now: the 25-year-old former St. Johns college basketball player-turned-baseball player was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2011 Draft. People saw the athletic profile and fell in love with the narrative. Reputable sites like Baseball Prospectus saw 6’5” with a heater, became drunk on the potential and listed him in their top 100 prospect lists.
Here are the cliff notes on Garrett: he’s not that good. He’s probably going to end up as a washout reliever on a bad team. I am sorry; I know this is hard for you, but it’s time for you to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Don’t believe me? Alright, here’s some data.
The chart above describes Garrett’s pitch usage over the last year. The data collected assessed over 1,000 pitches last season. He used the four-seam fastball (which is average in velocity) at least 60% of the time. If you’re a pitcher has such a mix with middling-to bad-offerings, you’re gonna have a bad time. Now, let’s take a look at the whiff rates.
Woof. His predominant pitch hardly generated whiffs. In fact, it’s below the league average. In addition, it seems that the league got wise to his changeup after the first two months and misses went down as the season carried on. Not a good formula when considering his home field is Cincinnati. But wait, it gets worse!
Uh oh. His fastball was put in the air a lot. Now, if you were pitching in O.Co that’s one thing. However, Garrett is pitching in Great American Ball Park. Sure, it’s not Coors or Chase Field, but according to 2016 analysis from ESPN, Cincinnati is the most favorable park for right handed power hitters and the 5th best for lefties.
Compounding the issue is that while rotation options in Cincy are not great, they are plentiful. Garrett might be pitching in Louisville come March, not Cincinnati. Now, there is a theory that his tailspin was due to a hip injury Garrett failed to disclose. This could definitely have affected his delivery and motion. However, his velocity never tailed and an injury to his hip would not affect the pitch mix. I guess we could see early in spring training whether that was the case. If he is still terrible, my guess is Garrett defenders (AKA , managers trying to foist Garrett upon you) will say, “it’s spring training, who cares?” I do. You should too.
If you’re still reading this, it’s too late for you. You, the Amir Garrett owner, were probably searching for some kernel of optimism. There isn’t. Abandon all hope and let the dream die.
Adam’s Music Selection
Your music is, by and large, bad, and I refuse to pick any music from there. For reference, here is your hometown boy Nick Lachey, which seems fitting.
You did this to yourselves, Cincinnati. Maybe build an school for the arts? Maybe you all deserve this though after trying to hock that abomination you call “Skyline Chili” upon the world.
[Ed. Note- the views of Adam Lawler on Cincinnati, which are clearly some sort of personal grudge, do not reflect those of The Dynasty Guru or his editor. Except for Cincinnati Chili. Gross.]
Taylor Trammell, Age: 20, OF
Analysis by Keaton O. DeRocher
Let Me Draw You A Diagrammell
Drafted #35 overall by the Reds in 2016, Trammell Was a two sport athlete in High School (football and baseball). Trammell excelled at both, coming into the draft rated as the 32nd best draft prospect by MLB.com and winning Georgia Class-A Offensive Player Of The Year in football. Upon graduating, Trammell had the opportunity to play football or baseball at Georgia Tech on top of his opportunity to head straight to the majors. So, here we have an 18-year-old just drafted in the first round of the MLB draft and now has to choose weather to go play baseball and/or football for Georgia Tech, or sign a well over-slot value 3.2 million dollar check to head into pro ball. Guess which one he chose?
Bringing The Whammell
Trammell more than held his own in his first taste of pro ball, slashing .303/.374/.421, at the ripe young age of 18. To go along with that impressive stat line, he added 24 steals and a 9.1% walk rate. This shows he has a tremendous ability to get on base, and once he’s there he wreaks havoc with his speed. If there was one thing he left wanting it was his power. He was only able to muster up 2 homers in his 228 at-bats.
Promoted to Full Season A-Ball for 2017, Trammell was able to repeat his impressive output and produce at a high level once again. His slash was a hearty .281/.368/.450, he upped his steals total to a dominant 41, and bumped his walk rate up to 12.4%. At this level Trammell’s power kicked in and he was able to send 13 balls over the fence. From Rookie ball to Full Season ball he also increased his HR/FB rate 3.5% (from 5% in 2016 to 8.5% in 2017).
He Ain’t No Scammell
The toolset is there for Trammell to excel in every area. He has a balanced stance from the left side and, coupled with his above average bat speed and feel for getting the bat on the ball, it allows him to drive the ball to all fields. He has true plus speed, and the ability to hit for both power and average. He gets on base at a high rate and then runs all over the diamond once he’s there. The jury is out on his total defensive ability and weather or not he can stick in center field, but that has more to do with his arm strength rather than his defensive ability. Even if he ends up moving to a corner position, he’ll still be an above average defender.
Should I Give A Damnmmell?
Although it’s not a major jump from Rookie to Full Season ball, it is encouraging to see Trammell produce at a higher level facing more difficult competition. Trammell has the potential to be a monster five-tool threat and really fill up the box score. He is still a ways away from the majors, so of course he carries the usual long ETA risks and due to his two sport focus Trammell’s skills coming into pro ball were more raw than most. However, the overall package of Trammell is certainly enticing enough to warrant scooping him up and waiting it out.
Keaton’s Artist Selection
My artist pick for Cincinnati is The National. I have a thing for some chill alt vibes and The National has some good ones. The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness, Day I Die, Nobody Else Will Be There and About Today and just a few to check out.
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Previously Covered Teams