Daily Reds Obsession

DRO: Which Reds position player will be the biggest disappointment in 2018?


This week’s respondents are Chad Dotson, Matt Habel, Steve Mancuso, Clay Marshall and Tom Mitsoff.


Our Daily Reds Obsession: Which Reds position player will we be talking about at the end of 2018 as being the biggest disappointment? 

Chad: Adam Duvall, I guess? Duvall did have 31 home runs and 99 RBI last year (after posting 33 homers and 103 RBI in 2016), but after a disastrous second half (.212/.277/.385), he ended the season as pretty much a league-average hitter, with an OPS+ of 100. Duvall now has over 1400 plate appearances in his big league career, and his OBP over that span is .296. His defense is still good — for the second straight year, Duvall is a finalist for the Gold Glove Award in left field — but if his defense recedes any or his hitting falls off any more, we’re talking about a below-average contributor.

Remember, Duvall will turn 30 during the 2018 season. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if he were to decline. I think he’ll be the biggest disappointment among position players in 2018.

Matt: Billy Hamilton has been a “what-if” story for years now and at this point I do not see him as the team’s future centerfielder. His defense and base-running are great to watch but will not hold their value for much longer. He cannot produce at the plate consistently and at this point it doesn’t appear that is going to change. With Price back as the manager for 2018, I fear Billy will keep the bases unclogged at the top of the lineup. As he enters his second year of arbitration, projected to earn $5MM, I see him becoming an increasingly more expensive liability to the team.

Steve: Jose Peraza. You can manipulate end points and parse small samples of Peraza’s record, looking for improvement. Yes, he’s only 23. But no matter how you torture the numbers, either in his minor league or major league careers, you can’t find power or an ability to draw a walk. Those are two keys to being a successful offensive producer. He may hit for average and steal a base here or there (Peraza’s SB success rate was break-even in 2017, no net value). But by the end of 2018, it’s going to be clear that the Todd Frazier trade was a bust, at least in terms of the headliner return. If Scooter Gennett isn’t traded, and Reds fans head into 2018 assuming he’ll repeat his 2017 season, Gennett is the answer to this question. But I don’t see Gennett playing the full season in a Reds uniform.

Clay: If either are still with the team at the end of 2018 (which presumably means that they were playing too poorly to trade them), I’m guessing the answer will be either Scooter Gennett or Zack Cozart, who seem like locks to regress from their stratospheric 2017 outputs. I hope that won’t happen, and I’ll certainly root for them both to prove me wrong, but their numbers — especially Gennett’s — seem like outliers when compared to their career stats, and it seems unrealistic to expect them to maintain them in 2018. There will also be higher expectations for both going into 2018 — especially if the Reds fork out big money to re-sign Cozart — which always makes disappointment a likelier outcome.

Tom: I have been one of the big Adam Duvall supporters in his two years as a starter, but the second half of 2017 left me with serious concerns. After the All-Star break, he batted only .212 with 11 homers and 38 runs batted in. On September 15, Mark Sheldon tweeted: “This season, Adam Duvall has 96 RBIs. But he leads MLB with 292 runners left on base, 40 more than second places’ Albert Pujols.” I could not find the season-ending statistic, but it’s hard to believe that gap of 40 could be closed in two and a half weeks. Duvall has shown that he wears down at the end of seasons, and should not be an everyday player moving forward. He should play maybe four or five days per week, but I think Bryan Price is going to put him out there every day if he is still on the team come spring training. While saying that, let me say that I love his outfield defense. He should win the Gold Glove, and I hope he does.

57 thoughts on “DRO: Which Reds position player will be the biggest disappointment in 2018?

  1. Being the eternal optimist, I don’t like the question. Therefore, I am going to say Zack Cozart will be the biggest disappointment, but only because he will put up 2017-like numbers…for a different team.

  2. Concerning Duvall: Whether he is disappointing or not may hinge on whether or not he is given ample rest.

  3. Does it count if I don’t expect much from Billy Hamilton? Can it really be considered disappointment? Man, I wish he would prove me wrong, but I just don’t see any progress at all. Meseraco would be my 1B, since I do expect him to come back year after year and hit the cover off the ball again, only to end up with season ending surgery.

  4. Peraza. I just don’t see him producing any significant power or OBP numbers to justify a starting slot. I fear the double whammy here. The Reds will keep him instead of resigning Cozart OR give him lots of starts at second, only to yield another disappointing season at the plate. That will be an unnecessary drag on the Reds offense and leave the Reds with an untradeable player. It’s time to move Peraza (and, I’m sad to say, Hamilton). Addition by subtraction.

  5. I’ll be disappointed if the front office does not come up with a clear strategy for the outfield and Winker is not a position player.

  6. Scott Schebler. He’ll struggle to keep his BA above .200 with less power and fewer RBI’s. The sophomore slump hits Schebler hard early on and he loses his starting job by mid-May.

  7. Duvall. Love the guy. I’m a UL grad, after all! But his second halves the last two years have been awful. I think he’ll be packaged in a trade this year. I hope so, at least. I think Cozart will go elsewhere after a very good Reds career. I’m still somewhat hopeful that Peraza comes around with a decent OBP. Gennett? Who knows. Probably packaged in a trade also. Giving Herrera/Blandino a chance.

  8. Reading a lot of comments about Duvall declining, maybe the Yankees would be willing to make a deal for a good DH. They have a SS prospect named Estrada who will be 22 in February, could be what the Reds need. I agree with the Peraza disappoint.

  9. I agree with all the above mentioned players except for Cozart & Gennett. Call me crazy but I think both of em could maintain their success. I realize that both of their seasons this past year were so far outside the norm for them. So I’m cautious about them doing it again next year. But people are saying that Cozart made a fundamental change and that’s why he had the year he did. They believe that he’ll be able to maintain this level of production offensively. I guess I trust in that.

    For Gennett, I didn’t really follow his career before Cincinnati, but I do know that he never had the kinda season he did this year. But, as I was looking at his career numbers, I did happen to notice that in the year before joining the reds Scooter had hit 14 HR’s which was a career high for him at that time (until this year obviously). So, that makes me think that he can maintain his offense as well. Plus, he played in a hitter friendly park at GABP and it was his hometown team he was playing for. Maybe all that worked together to produce an unusual year for Gennett I don’t know. It’s certainly possible. I just happen to think that his year before joining the reds is proof that Scooter’s made a fundamental change as well.

    Cozart and Gennett I truly believe are late bloomers and if they’re late bloomers then I believe they can maintain their level of offensive production which would seemingly make Cozart & Gennett’s ages a moot point…for now. I know there are some of you that hold steadfastly to this age related decline stuff like it’s your religion or science or whatever. I understand the logic behind ARD (as I’ve come to call it) and don’t doubt it’s validity. All I’m saying is that some players defy their age and maintain a productive level of offense throughout their entire careers.

    Now, grant you, Cozy and Scooter haven’t produced the level of offense they did this year throughout their entire careers but I believe we’ve seen flashes of a fundamental change in their offensive philosophy (if you will) in the small handful of years leading up to this past season. I believe it would be a mistake to get rid of both or even just one of them.

    But I REALLY agree with Steve & Matt regarding Hamilton & Peraza (which will come as no surprise to some of you, lol). To trade Duvall & Hamilton (2/3 of our starting OF) last year would seem to leave at least one gaping hole in the OF but I wouldn’t mind seeing Bruce come back to Cincy. Stick him back in right, Scheb in Center & Winker in Left. I don’t think that’d be a bad OF. Peraza, I know he’s working this offseason to get better offensively (I think it is) but, bottom line, he ain’t never gonna hit for power and if you’re the type of player where power is just not part of your game then hitting for average or getting on base better well be. When I say average, I don’t mean .260/.270, I’m talking about .300+. .280/.290’s I guess would be acceptable for a short while and I might even have a little flex room on the .270’s. Basically though, I wouldn’t consider it no big loss if we got rid of Duvall, Hamilton & Peraza.

    • Sandman: Not a bad outfield if you aren’t concerned with catching and throwing. They need lots of playing time for Winker, no argument, but, small park or not, the fielding part of being an outfielder is important: Ask any pitcher.

        • Sandman: I don’t know how Bruce is defensively now–he was fading a bit near the end of his time with the Reds. Schebler has seemed (eyetest) to be an adequate right fielder, albeit a weak-armed one, but he’s not a center fielder. Winker may prove to be okay, but he’s unlikely to be as good as Duvall. I was saying that the outfield would decline defensively, but gave in to a fondness for hyperbole and overstated it. My larger point is that the Reds, as currently constituted, are not a weak offensive team: the problem was pitching. My preferance is to address that.

          • greenmtred, not sure if you’ll read this but what you said about the reds not being a weak offensive team is exactly why I don’t wanna see Cozart and Gennett go.

    • not sure if I’d expect Cozart and/or Gennett to have as good of years as 2017, BUT I think they are both very capable of sustaining abouve league average offensive numbers… in Scooters case I expect the HR’s to decline but the rest to pretty much stay the same.

  10. I have noticed a lot of people are down on Hamilton and Peraza on RLN. I understand they don’t have the best analytics/obp. I get it. but without them we become the slowest team in the league by far.

    • Even if you removed the SB total of Hamilton and Peraza and assumed their replacements stole zero bases (incredibly unlikely), they would not be last in the league in steals.

      Would they be slower? Yes. Significantly. Would that make them a worse team? It depends on who replaces them and what those replacements do.

    • Speed is great, but if you don’t get on base it becomes a non factor. Even on the field while it is great having speedy guys covering the outfield, yu still have to score runs to win and to do that you have to et on base.

      • you at least have to have a couple guys that can score from second on a base hit though. or can go from first to third on a hit or it will start to affect the offense. doesn’t matter how many homers you hit.

      • It is great having speedy guys in the outfield. A run saved is a run earned. Ask any pitcher.

  11. Jose Peraza. Because of the things we already know about him. Below average defender at SS, Swing at everything approach, very low slugging percentage and not a good outfield defender that would make him possibly a good utility player. These are things that our front office should have known about him prior to trading for him. Thankfully we also received schebler in the deal for frazier.

  12. Homer Bailey is my vote.I say this because disappoint implies that there are expectations for a certain level of performance. I don’t think anyone expects Peraza or Hamilton to suddenly be great, but I do think a lot of people are assuming Bailey will be average to above average and I think there’s a really good chance he isn’t.

  13. DeSclafani is one I am worried most about. I don’t think he makes it out of spring training before another elbow injury and then misses the entire 2018 season and then some with Tommy John surgery.
    His work in Arizona in August and September has me hopeful of a return but it comes crashing to the ground like a Russian satellite in spring training.

  14. Can we all start referring to Hamilton and Peraza as the Draino-Bro’s whenever Price inserts them into the top of the line up? They are certainly effective at unclogging the bases.

  15. I’ll probably start WW3 with this comment, but Jesse Winker. He has not hit ML LH pitching yet & projecting “above average defense” from Jesse in either LF or RF is unsubstantiated. Unless Winker is 2018 ROY & GG finalist, he will have effectively dissapointed the hype.

  16. Probably start WW3 with this comment, but Jesse Winker. He has yet to demonstrate he can hit ML LH pitching, & playing “above average defense” by Jesse at either corner OF spot is unsubstantiated. Unless Jesse is a finalist at both GG & ROY for 2018, he will have disappointed at least some of the hype .

  17. The Reds have too many players who could be the most disappointing next year. That’s the problem. Reds have several who had career years at a later age. This is not something that is usually repeated. The Reds are not loaded with excellent young players in the minors who are ready to burst on the scene next season. We are looking at another 95+ loss season. Senzel and a Winker need to play to find out if they can be MLB regulars. Peraza is 24. A rebuilding team has to give him a chance to develop. It would be different if the Reds were contending. Teams who are rebuilding need to have patience with young players. Schebler does not have the skills to be a regular center fielder. He can be a cheaper Jay Bruce in right field. Hamilton has to stay until they find a legitimate center fielder to replace him. Duval or Schebler are trade bait to open an OF spot for Winker. Assuming Gennett will never repeat his year I would move him if Senzel can handle 2B. I see Suarez as a keeper at 3B. None of this will matter if the pitching does not improve. The Reds are loaded with tough to solve problems. Can they be fixed in time to capitalize on Votto’s current high level of play?

  18. If Cozart is not re-signed and the Reds do not trade for a new SS, Peraza will most likely be the every day SS. I think he will be the biggest disappointment for his defense alone. After a few errors in April people will be screaming and wondering why the Reds did not re-sign Zack. Personally I would like to see the Reds trade for a young SS.

    • The Reds failed to have a succession plan at shortstop. What team lets their 5 WAR MLB shortstop and AAA shortstop leave at the same time? Their AA shortstop cant hit and they have nothing at high A. Williams has said Suarez is staying at 3b. The Reds are not winning in 2018 so it makes no sense to sign a 33 year old for a long term contract with a reconstructed knee, unless he signs a 2 year cheap deal, which he won’t. Peraza is the Reds succession plan come hell or high water. I agree with your last statement

      • I’d like to see Dick Williams make a strong run for Jurickson Profar. I think we match up well with them. I’d do Profar for one of the young starters who are not yet proven (Davis,Reed, or Garrett). I’d expand that Hamilton and same young starter for Profar and DeShields if they’d like also.

      • I still think trying a trade with the Yankees, Duvall for Estrada. He’ll be 22 next year, has hit .283 in 1455 AB in the minors.

  19. For the 4th consecutive year…its Billy Hamilton. He will play CF most days and hit .248 and get on base at .299 and have no power and a wRC+ at 69. He will play a really good CF, smile a lot, make 1- 2 outrageous catches a month and score from first once a month on some impossible play.

  20. Hard to tell, many strong candidates fit that bill: Hamilton, Duvall, Peraza, Gennett, Schebler, Mesoraco. Only Votto, Suarez and Barnhard can be excluded.

  21. Here is what I find amazing about Peraza. In 799 plate appearances he has a career total of 18 doubles. Yes, not a typo, 18 doubles in 799 PAs. You would think with his speed he would at least be stretching some singles into doubles. He must be the ultimate anti-line drive hitter.

  22. Per Duvall, Price doesn’t give his regulars any rest at all. These guys were worn down. I think Hamilton was and will be the bigger disappointment.

  23. Peraza…because he’ll be blocking Senzel. The Red Sox had Benintendi skip AAA, but the Reds are never that proactive? I guess they could trade for a SS, but Peraza makes no sense to me? He’s not been particularly good defensively and will absolutely never outhit Suarez, Scooter, or Senzel? It might not be a great analogy, but the Portland Trailblazers called Bobby Knight about Michael Jordan because he coached him in the Olympics. They told Knight…we’re leaning towards someone else because we need a center and we already have Clyde Drexler. Knight said…well then play him at center then!
    You find a way to get your best possible baseball players on the field and Peraza isn’t one of them. I’d take Blandino over Peraza if Scooter drops off.

    • They were forced into it but they were pretty proactive when it came to promoting Castillo. It’s very rare that they promote someone from AA but it isn’t unheard of.

  24. Duvall. Peraza can’t b/c he already stunk. Duvall had a good first half giving people some hope. I think his second half will carry over to the rest of the 18 season.

  25. Like others have said, a disappointment has to be someone that you have high hopes for, and then they fail to rise to the task. Disappointment would be Votto only having a .390 OBP. (A number 85% of players would kill for.)

    Disappointment will come with underdevelopment of the young arms.

  26. I don’t know if Peraza or Hamilton would qualify for this. I mean, in order to be disappointed, one has to have reasonable expectations for the player’s success, correct? So, I’m going to go with Scooter. I see very little chance he’ll have the kind of season he had in 2017. I suspect he’ll have a fairly good season too. It just isn’t going to be the kind of season that a lot of fans are now expecting from Scooter. I think he’ll land somewhere close to his career averages this year. Still a quality player but not a star.

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