• Adam Duvall Here’s a love note of sorts on Duvall by Asher Kohn (Vice Sports).
“At 27, Duvall is improving in his first full big-league season, and getting at-bats every day with the Cincinnati Reds; as I write this, only three players in the league have more home runs. Duvall is nothing like the lithe superstars-in-waiting like Manny Machado or Nolan Arenado, nor is he a surly old cut of meat like David Ortiz or Nelson Cruz. No, Duvall is something unique to the game of baseball in 2016, if also something like a cousin to Mark Trumbo, the dark-horse MLB home run leader. What makes Duvall different is that he is a galoot.”
More Adam Duvall reading: C. Trent Rosecrans (Cincinnati Enquirer) on Duvall’s emergence and coping with diabetes; a breakdown of Duvall’s success by Zachary Rymer (Bleacher Report); a note of moderate skepticism by Corinne Landrey (FanGraphs); and, for posterity, our Greetings! post when the Reds acquired Duvall, by Kevin Michell.
• Talent Acquisition By most accounts, the Reds did quite well in the recent amateur draft. That includes progress in signing the top picks. The top three picks, among others, play their first game for Billings tonight. But the American draft is just part of the talent acquisition period. International signings are also a big piece. Yesterday, Doug Gray (Reds Minor Leagues) posted a fairly negative analysis of the Reds apparent plans for the upcoming period.
“If the Reds are going to spend 95% of their money in the 2016 international period on one player it seems awfully strange to see it spent on a player where there are enormous questions about whether he can even be an every day player in the future because no one is sure if he’s ever going to hit enough to make that happen. Every prospect signed in the international period has questions, but a majority of them are because the players being signed are 16 and 17-years-old and still have to develop. Rodriguez is already 22-years-old, so there’s not nearly the same kind of projection left in his tools.”
• Cody Reed Since Reed is making his first start for the Reds tomorrow in Houston (did ya’ hear?), you might want to read up on him.
J.J. Cooper (Baseball America): What to Expect from Cody Reed
“Reed had one of the best 1-2 pitch combos in the minors before his promotion. Reed can spot his mid-90s fastball to both sides of the plate. That kind of velocity from a lefty starter is still quite rare. While there are 15 righthanded starters among league qualifiers who are averaging 94 mph or better with the four-seamer, there are no lefty starters among qualifiers who sit 94 mph or better. But as good as Reed’s fastball is, it’s his mid-to-high-80s slider that is his best pitch. Numerous scouts are willing to give it a plus-plus grade.”
Ben Badler (Baseball America): Cody Reed Throws a Great Slider
“Reed’s slider is an easy plus pitch that earns 70 grades from some scouts, with sharp, two-plane break and late diving action underneath the barrels of hitters expecting a fastball. It’s a nasty weapon against left-handed hitters, but Norfolk had only one lefty in its lineup, so Reed pounded the Tides’ righthanded hitters with back foot sliders, resulting in empty swing after empty swing.” (This article is about a lot more than just Reed’s slider.)
Doug Gray (Reds Minor Leagues): What to Expect from Cody Reed
“There are some things to watch for from Reed. He usually throws his hardest in the first inning of games, then he sees his velocity dip down from there. It doesn’t dip into the 80’s, but he will touch the mid 90’s often in the first inning and then things start to creep down. He’s been a tad home run prone of late as well. Reed generated a high rate of grounders with the Louisville Bats. 56% of the balls in play against him were on the ground, though I don’t expect that to continue in the big leagues. I would expect him to fall more in line with a league average groundball rate pitcher as that better matches up with the stuff he brings to the table.”
Doug Gray (Redleg Nation): Is Cody Reed the Steal of the Cueto Deal?
“The numbers in those eight starts were fantastic. The 22-year-old went 6-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 49.2 innings pitched. He walked 16 batters and he struck out 60 opposing hitters (good for a 30% strikeout rate) to go along with a 1.11 WHIP. Reed had at least eight strikeouts in five of his eight starts with Pensacola, including two double digit strikeout performances.” (Doug also interviewed Reed in this column.)
Jeremy Conley (Redleg Nation): The Return for Cueto: Cody Reed
“It’s funny to write about being happy that a pitcher has a big frame when talking about the Cueto trade, but the Cueto’s and Pedro’s of MLB are the exception not the rule. Despite liking to watch Cueto more than any other Reds pitcher in my lifetime, I still feel better about getting a big pitcher because it often means they can generate velocity and movement with less stress on the body. And big doesn’t begin to describe Reed, as he’s currently listed at 6’5”, 220 lb, which is pretty gigantic. While that’s not quite Jumbo territory, he’s the type of guy that when scouts say he can touch the high 90s, it’s easier to believe.”