2017 Reds

FanGraphs on Luis Castillo, Joey Votto, and Tucker Barnhart

FanGraphs had a number of pieces about the Reds in the last couple of days, so I thought I’d round them up for those of you who missed them. This is my gift to you.

Eno Sarris took a look at Luis Castillo, and wondered whether he has what it take to become an ace for the Reds:

If you’ve watched the Reds recently, you’ve probably noticed that they can score some runs. They’re among the top five or six in the National League no matter which offensive metric you choose for your sorting, and it’s based around a core that may only lose Zack Cozart next year. For this team, then, the future is dependent on pitching — and finding an ace among the many different arms they’ve acquired over the years. Is it possible they have that ace in Luis Castillo?

Then, Jeff Sullivan examined something that I mentioned in Monday’s game recap, when Joey Votto doubled against Chicago’s four-man outfield:

Joey Votto is doing that thing again. You know, that thing where he doesn’t make outs. That thing where he makes himself the one guy on the Reds worth watching on a regular basis. Under even normal circumstances, Votto is arguably the game’s best hitter. Over the past three weeks or so, Votto’s caught fire. He’s led baseball in average, wRC+, and OBP, surpassing second place in the latter stat by damn near 100 points. In case you haven’t heard, Votto has reached base at least two times for 19 games in a row. Only Ted Williams, Pete Rose, and Barry Bonds have put together longer such streaks, and Williams’ leading streak is but two games away.

Finally, David Laurila has a really interesting interview with Tucker Barnhart that covers a lot of different topics. Definitely worth a read:

Tucker Barnhart has quietly emerged as one of the better backstops in baseball. He leads MLB catchers in Defensive Runs Saved (14) and fielding percentage (.999), and he’s thrown out 22 of 50 runners attempting to steal. He’s coming around with the bat, as well. The switch-hitter is slashing a solid .271/.340/.398. Lauded for his leadership, Barnhart is becoming an increasingly vital part of the Cincinnati Reds’ rebuild.

On which Reds pitchers have the best stuff: “I would say that Raisel Iglesias has some of the best stuff we have, if not the best. Luis Castillo — a guy we got in a trade for Dan Straily — has remarkable stuff. He’s a joy to catch. Those guys would probably be my choices.

“They both have plus fastballs. Iglesias changes arm angles to where he’ll drop down to a lower three quarters, but he doesn’t lose any velocity when he does that. He’s consistently between 96-100 from both angles, which is really rare. And then Luis Castillo’s changeup is tremendous. Couple that with the fact that he throws 100 mph, and it’s fun to call a game for him.”

As a matter of fact, I encourage you to read all of these pieces. Good stuff.

7 thoughts on “FanGraphs on Luis Castillo, Joey Votto, and Tucker Barnhart

  1. Nice to see Barnhart getting some props. Usually I just read that he has no power and is only good as a backup. Catching is a defensive position first, in my opinion, and I think he has enough of a bat to keep him a regular. Pitchers loved Ryan Hanigan and it wasn’t because of his bat. It was because he handled the pitching staff so well.

    • If I wasn’t a 47-year-old man, I would have just let out a “Squee!!” upon reading your comments here.

  2. Thanks Chad. Great stuff, and at this point in the season it’s nice to read some positives about the Reds and the future.

  3. I read that Barnhart is arbitration eligible next year. Good time to sign him to a 3-4 year deal?

    • I don’t like it for pitchers or catchers unless they can get they can get at least one free-agent year, and preferably two free-agent years at a good deal less than market value. So, the player trading certain income over possibly making more, particularly in his 1-2 free-agent years. So, that would mean a 4-5 year extension and only under the right circumstances for the Reds. Otherwise, just let your 3 arb years play out.

      I wish I had more time so that I could do a study on how often buying out arb years works out positively for teams when signing pitchers and catchers to extensions. For most guys it’s a no-brainer if you can do it for reasonable expense but with the high injury and wash-out risk for pitchers and catchers, it isn’t so cut and dry.

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