2018 Reds / Reds History

More Fun With the Baseball-Reference Play Index

As I noted the last time around, sometimes, I like to poke around the Play Index over at Baseball Reference. If you aren’t a subscriber, I urge you to consider it. I love it.

Anyway, for whatever reason, I was thinking about Jesse Winker’s rookie season, which will be 2018. (He’s still a rookie, according to MLB rules.) I have high hopes for Winker, of course, so I began wondering how he might stack up to previous Cincinnati Reds rookies…

Actually, that would be third-best among all Reds rookie outfielders. But it would still be top-five among all Reds rookies ever.

Go pre-order that book! (Here’s the Amazon link to pre-order. And here’s Barnes & Noble.)

This has been another episode of “Chad Re-purposing His Tweets As Actual #Content.” Enjoy!

28 thoughts on “More Fun With the Baseball-Reference Play Index

  1. Great fun Chad. But if we don’t get more info on Orval Overall then RLN will have let me down in ways I may not recover from. As a kid I thought one of the greatest things about baseball was the amazing names of yore. Cuckoo Christensen is a new one for me, but how can you not love some Orval Overall?

    • We are doing an abbreviated 1906 Strat-o-Matic league (I am the Giants), and Orval Overall’s name came up. He was apparently traded to the Cubs in mid-season, having gone 18-23 for the Reds as a rookie in 2005. He led the league in shutouts in 1907 and 1909 for the Cubs, plus Ks (at 6.5/9IP in 2009). The game was vastly different, even aside from no power. Pretty much no regular hitter has any platoon splits; strikeouts are rare; and they make tons of errors. It’s kind of like high school ball now.

      Cuckoo Christensen is a new one for me, too.

    • Agreed. I think we’re way past due for a feature piece here at the Nation about Orval Overall.

    • From what I was able to dig up, he started his career with 4 seasons playing for St Paul in the American Association (essentially a minor league, but defined in other places as an “outlaw circuit” not fully associated with MLB.) Cuckoo actually led the AA league in runs scored one year and stolen bases in another. St Paul traded his rights to the Reds prior to the 1926 season, hence the reason for being a 26 yr old rookie in the league.

      Despite his ability to get hits, Cuckoo was only 5 ft 6 and 150 lbs so the majority of those hits with the Reds were singles. He never hit a big league home run and combined for only 28 extra base hits in his 2 years of pro ball. The only thing I could really find is that his second year slump was pretty drastic, especially in terms of slugging (from 438 to 286.) After his 2nd year, it said he just never returned to the league. The next time he resurfaced in baseball was a return to the American Association where he finished his baseball career with the Milwaukee Brewers from 1930 to 1933.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuckoo_Christensen

      https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Cuckoo_Christensen

  2. Jay Tibbs and Gary Redus. That was when we were rebuilding the machine.

    I would have thought Kal Daniels would have slipped into one of those lines

    • Good ol’ Jay Tibbs. There’s a blast from the past. I think we got him in the Bruce Berenyi(sp?) trade to the Mets. I remember when Redus, Milner, and Householder were supposed to be the next Griffey,Collins, and Foster. Milner and Redus were serviceable, but Householder was a major bust.

    • Kal Daniels could really hit. I often wonder how good he could have been if his knees would have held up at all.

  3. Joey Votto only had a .368 OBP in his rookie year?! What an awful player. No wonder he never panned out.

  4. How about Scott Williamson with 2.8 WAR as a RELIEVER in 1999. What a special year he had.

  5. As a one time database jockey, I marvel at how the entire BBRef site can mine data for users. Glad I don’t have to compete with whatever generates their queries

    • You should see what AWS is capable of doing. StatCast is unreal. It’s built on a bunch of different services there. PowerBI from M$ is also a strong reporting and analytics tool.

  6. The chances for Winker to crack the the top 3 Reds rookies in OBP would appear to be pretty good, but the really interesting aspect of Winker’s rookie season will be his power production. A meager 21 HR’s seems very attainable for Winker and that would place him among the top 3 Reds rookies in HR also. Winker’s prospect star and power production diminished drastically after his wrist injury, but he’s now two years removed from that injury and on track to make a statment with regular playing time at the major league level. Winker could seriously threaten Votto’s rookie totals of 24 HR and .368 OBP! Can you say Choo Who???

    • I think he can do it. Votto and Winker. Add in Senzel some day in 2018 with a .380+ OBP. Can Geno improve upon his .367 OBP from last year?
      This hurts even more when you think about what might have been possible with Yelich in this mix.

      • I agree. There is no real issue regarding his OBP. Winker has proved he can control the strike zone with the best hitters in MLB. Winker just needs to make pitchers respect his stick and based on the SSS from last season, he’s on his way to developing that respect. If he does, then he creates the Votto conumdrum. Pitch to him and pay the price or pitch around him and let him move the line along.

      • To get Yelich would have cost Senzel so you wouldn’t have both in the lineup. The only argument would be is Winker Votto Yelich, better than Winker Votto Senzel. The biggest difference would likely have come from the subtraction of Hamilton for Yelich and who gets replaced for Senzel. Of course Senzel hasn’t proven anything yet so it is hard to say which is better

        • It didn’t have to be Senzel to the Marlins. It could have been Greene, or others. We shouldn’t assume Senzel was the deal breaker.

          • While I don’t know exactly, it was reported that Senzel was the starting point in discussions, and considering what the Brewers gave up Senzel is probably what it would have taken to beat that offer. It is possible it could have happened with Greene, but then it would have required even more talent on the secondary pieces. Which is why the Reds backed away.

            Yelich by himself doesn’t make this team a contender unless the pitching is improved significantly. There is no reason to throw away the future for the hope that a rotation can be pieced together. If the Reds figure out how to win 85 games this year, then go after a star CF or SS to push them over the edge in the off season. Some people are acting like Yelich is the only player capable of hitting a baseball in the entire majors.

    • I just don’t see that much power in Winker. I think maybe, at some point, he could hit 20+ but really see him in the 13-18 range given 500 PA or so. I know he showed power in his call up but I don’t think it’s going to play like that over a longer sample. Doug seems to think the power is real though and he’s probably right. He knows about 1000x more than I do about Reds prospects.

  7. The biggest disappointment for the Old Cossack of the Reds off-season to this point is the failure to sign an extension for Suarez. I really believe there is an ongoing effort to make that happen. That’s the only reason I can fathom for the failure to reach an agreement on his pending arbitration with such a small ($0.45MM) gap ($3.75MM-$4.20MM) seperating the two sides. Extending Suarez has to be a priority for the Reds. Otherwise, Suarez will be a free agent by the time the Reds are competitive again and the Reds will have another missed opportunity. Of course it takes two to tango during the negotiation for a contract extension.

  8. Agree Cossack. I’m not sure that’s my single biggest disappointment, but it is big. If the Reds aren’t in talks with Suarez and his agent something is very wrong. And if they haven’t resolved it by arbitration day, they need to go in and make this short but simple presentation to the arbitrator: “Please rule in favor of Mr. Suarez. We hope he’s a long term key player for the Reds and hope to negotiate a significant contract extension with him. Until that deal is completed we want him to know we really appreciate what he contbutes to the Reds.”

  9. Without the ability to confirm reds record for castillos starts, I still laugh at his 2.5 WAR – just shows how even advanced stats can get messy. His win loss record was 3-7. So … a replacement level pitcher would’ve generated 0 wins in those games started?

  10. What a cold off-season this has been in contrast to the usual hot-stove league of years gone by. But the Reds have made three acquisitions for the relief corps which will, hopefully, mean they can identify the young pitchers who have what it takes to be starters in the majors. Always glad when the Super Bowl is here since ST is not far off.

  11. I am in the minority here but I do not see a place for Winker in the reds organization. He looked really bad in Right field. Into sure he would be better in left so I would just ride with Duvall until Siri and Trammel are ready.

    Maybe you keep Winker around to be votto’s replacement at first base but hopefully there will be no reason to do this for many years

    • Winker will only get a real chance in the outfield when Price is no longer the manager. In the meantime, the Reds will miss out on his daily on-base ability.

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