This morning, I received an email from our Great Leader, Chadwick Ulysses Dotson. In it, he pointed me to this post I wrote in December 2016 about Eugenio Suarez. I make some fairly bold predictions in that post for a player who had just finished an overall below average season. Essentially, I said that Suarez had just had the most difficult possible season and was still not terrible and still young and given that and his minor league track record we should expect:

His defense to be very good.

His walk rate to increase.

A production level with a 3.0 WAR floor and a 5.0 WAR ceiling.

Check, check, and check.

According to both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs, Suarez produced 0.8 WAR with defense this year, making him one of the 3 or 4 best third basemen in the league. His walk rate went from 8.1% to 13.3% and he produced 4.1 WAR according to FanGraphs and 3.7 according to Baseball-Reference, for an average of 3.9.

Let it never be said I’m afraid to admit when I’m right. And I was REALLY right about this.

And now, obviously, Suarez is slated to be a part of the Reds for the foreseeable future. Barring some type of disastrous injury, it’s incredibly unlikely that he won’t be “worth” what the Reds pay him (as Steve pointed out the other day).

Further, none of Suarez’s recent growth seems luck-based. His BABIP is perfectly normal. His defense passes both the eye and the sabrmetrics test, and walk rate is skill where luck has very little influence. He’s for real and he’s yet to have a particularly lucky year. If he has a year, for instance, where he’s able through luck or Joey Votto tutelage to up his BABIP to around .340 (this happens to lots of players once or twice in their careers), then he’s an MVP candidate.

Finally, there have been multiple quotes indicating that he’s willing to move around the diamond in order to help the Reds field the best possible lineup. This is exactly the kind of player you want to sign to an extension. He’s not going to cause tension in the clubhouse, and he’s going to be an excellent player on the field.

Eugenio Suarez is 26 years old. Last year, according to FanGraphs he was the 34th best position player in MLB (remember, there are 30 teams, so that’s REALLY good). There is absolutely no reason to expect any of his numbers to decline substantially for several years and he is already a borderline all-star. In fact, as I close this out, let me make one more prediction:

In at least one of the next three seasons, Eugenio Suarez will have an OPS over .900 and will finish in the top-10 in MVP voting.

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 48 Comments

  1. Great article, excellent prophetic insight.

    And a big +5000 for the new layout. I like it on the PC and mobile. Makes me very proud to be a supporter of the BEST fan blog in all of MLB.

  2. Maybe I’ll get used to it, but, on first blush, it makes me claustrophobic.

  3. Suarez is the kind of solid player winning teams need. It will take awhile to adjust, but I preferred the previous format.

  4. Also prefer the previous format

  5. Great new format. Change is good.

    • Change can be good, but isn’t always. Without getting into various medical situations (changes, and rarely for the better), A player getting injured is a change.

  6. That’s a bold prediction, Cotton.

  7. I’m going to make a prediction that someone will post an article similar to this only about Peraza should he ever reach his potential.

    As far as Saurez being “worth” his contract I suspect the, “It’s not right for the Reds”, crowd to rear their ugly heads at some point. You know, the same crowd that says that about Votto! Now, I realize that Votto’s contract is substantially larger than Saurez’s but, some ppl just like to complain about contracts.

  8. I posted this on the bottom of an old thread, but I’ll repost here: I won’t comment on the overall redesign (unless you ask for feedback at some point), but studies have shown again and again that reading white text on a dark background is difficult and fatiguing. Please consider fixing that, because the comments on this site are very valuable and enjoyable 🙂

  9. Congrats on your excellent prophesy. I hope your prophesy win streak continues – as long as your prophesies are Reds-positive!

    I like the redesign, particularly the easy-to-read layout of the main article. Don’t personally mind the white font on dark bg in comments as it helps demark that section from the rest. Not sure about reading fatigue as the above commenter brought up.

    Nice article on Suarez again. Glad he’s a Red!!

  10. Love the redesign — appreciate all the work you guys put into this site.

  11. Jason,I really enjoy when you and Chad get together on the podcasts

  12. Ah, Finnegan’s on the bump for the Reds today. Interesting to see how far he extends in the game today with 2 more starts available before the 9th and 3 more starts available before the 14th.

  13. On the new format, well meh. It looks just like any other blog now. It has lost its specialness. Sort of like the feel of old Riverfront Stadium. Cookie cutter.
    The old format had the comfort of home. You knew you were home at RLN. This has the feel of a gray empty shell building. Re-think the gray background please in the comments section. Sometimes change for the sake of change doesn’t bring the desired result.

  14. Could a listing of the recent posts and comments be at the top of the blog?

  15. I always dislike change, but you know what? I’ll get used to it. Love the posts.

  16. I’ve already said this over on Twitter but I think it needs repeating.

    I’ve seen a lot of negative feedback about the new design. But one thing I think a lot of you fail to realize is that it’s their site to do with as they please. Unless they asked for your feedback (which I don’t recall seeing anywhere) then just be happy that you still get to talk about the Reds here on redlegnation.

    I don’t know if they’ve encouraged feedback before on design changes but even if they did I don’t know if it’s right to give it every time even when they don’t ask for it.

    Just go with the flow!

    • I agree that is is the site owner to do with as they please and if you don’t like it you can always leave. I will however argue that feedback should not be discouraged. If everyone left the site it would probably cease to exist. I assume running a site such as this is dependent on donations or advertising so the opinions should be important.

      • Bill,
        I agree, but only if they asked for the feedback. If they didn’t, then ppl shouldn’t just assume their opinions/criticisms/critiques (whatever you want to call it) are wanted.
        But, if they don’t mind…I don’t mind (I guess). I just hate when ppl try to tell someone what to do with their own stuff.

  17. As expected, Finnegan is facing the Friar’s A lineup. A good test for Finnegan.

  18. Finnegan gives up a solo HR in the 1st and a single and double in the 2nd, but no walks and jut 1 run thru 2.0 innings.

  19. Straily to the DL
    Giants season at risk- bumguarner out 2 months, semardja on DL.

    Perhaps some clubs with lefty power bat needs or speedy centerfielders needs will have injuries.

  20. Finnegan pitches 3.0 innings. Don’t have a total pitch count.
    3.0 IP w/ 1-HR, 2-2B, 0-BB, 2-SO & 2-ER

  21. Votto walks and Scooter homers…a formula for success. Game tied 2-2 after 4 innings complete. Votto with a 1-H & 1-BB today in 2-PA.

    • Scooter needs to play almost every day to get 250 at bats and 15+ home runs for the trade deadline. Pennington is filler.
      It’s Senzel and utility Blandino as infielders in July. If Herrera ever gets straight…he can be the 6th since Duvall is now the back up first baseman freeing up more time for Winker.

  22. Amir Garrett in to pitch the 5th inning.

  23. After back-to-back doubles to lead off the 5th inning, Garret limits the Friars to 2-R on 3-H & 1-BB in the inning. Tough inning for Garrett.

  24. Another double and a HR for Garrett in the 6th. Tough day from the mound for the LH.

  25. Two strong innings to finish the day for Garrett, but not a good day.
    4.0 IP w/ 5-H, 1-HR, 3-2B, 1-BB, 6-SO & 4-ER. He also had an error.

  26. Votto finished the game 1-1 w/ 2-BB.
    Gennett finished the game 2-3 w/ 1-HR
    Winker finished the game 1-2 w. 1-HBP

    Winker has 2-HBP this spring, tied with Votto for the team lead…getting on base from the Choo school of hitting at the top of the lineup.

  27. Whoops, e on the Old Cossack. Winker is still in the game, playing all 9 again. Finished the game 1-3 w/ 1-HBP.

  28. Reds fall 6-2. Doubles and home runs by Finnegan and Garrett.

  29. Hughes had a nice innings wedged between Finnegan and Garrett.
    1.0 IP w. 0-H, 0-BB & 3-SO
    That may turn out to be an excellent signing by the Reds.

    • I like Hughes but don’t really love him. I would like to see more Ks considering his career walk-rate is right around league average. I don’t know if he’s an “8th inning guy” or back of the pen guy but he is a guy that I’d be ok running out there when there are runners on base. He can get some strikeouts and he also may get a GIDP. He is unlikely to add fuel to the fire due to walks or the long-ball. I think his BB% will be better than what he posted last season.

  30. Just 3 games left before opening day!

  31. John Fay via twitter…

    In other roster news, Tony Cruz is in the mix as a third catcher. Would free up Mess, Barnhart to pinch-hit.

    more veteraniness…

  32. Or lack of confidence in Mes behind the plate?

  33. WITH THREE GAMES LEFT – SPRING TRAINING RESULTS

    OBP/OPS

    .479/1.284 Scott Schebler
    .405/.995 Scooter Gennett
    .341/.973 Tucker Barnhart
    .415/.937 Jesse Winker
    .353/.898 Adam Duvall
    .333/.856 Eugenio Suarez
    .315/.699 Jose Peraza
    .300/.602 Billy Hamilton
    .364/.539 Joey Votto

    .370/.997 Brandon Dixon
    .390/.905 Devin Mesoraco
    .405/.810 Alex Blandino
    .357/.748 Tony Cruz
    .298/.639 Phillip Ervin
    .310/.639 Clif Pennington
    .267/.546 Phil Gosselin
    .268/.499 Sebastion Elizalde

  34. Jon Heyman via twitter

    reds acquire rhp robinson leyer from chisox. hard thrower, needs refinement. could reach reds pen this year.

    Not sure what this accomplished. High walk rate, high hit rate, fly ball pitcher, age 25 in AA.

    • Depth. People get worked up about this stuff, but during this part of the season, teams are largely trying to make sure their minor league rosters are fully staffed. If you look back you’ll see there re always a bunch of seemingly strange signings you never hear about again. It’s just because they need a reliever or an outfielder or whatever at a certain level. Doesn’t always have implications for the big league team.

  35. With the new format did I miss any conversation about Kennys Vargas? We claimed but he didn’t show up so Minnesota claimed him back? I don’t get it? He’s an interesting bat but at 290 lbs…don’t know where he could play besides 1B or DH? He’s not an Adam Dunn type of bat anyway. Oh well. Its good that DW is trying to improve the organization, but I think losing Disco was just too much for this organization. They needed 160-170ip of 3.40-3.50 era type of ball from him. They needed the same from a guy like Romano or Mahle. Now to approach .500 we have no margin for error and all the young guys have to step up instead of some of them. Math is not in their favor any longer.

  36. I haven’t really followed spring training a great deal but the results for Schebler, Winker and Duvall are encouraging. I hope Winker in in the lineup on a regular basis and Hamilton is used in a smart selective way. If that’s the case, the Red’s offense is going to cause trouble for the opposition.

  37. Roster is really shaping up now. Reed, Blandino and Dixon sent to minors and Revere is cut.

    • I thought Blandino was going to make it when it was announced Senzel would be at 2B. I am not sure what the plan is now with Herrera, Senzel, and Blandino all at 2B

      • And Dixon at AAA. Herrera will almost certainly be playing as a DH only for an extended time to give his shoulder ample time to recover. Senzel is obviously going to play 2B because, well just because. The Reds have two SS (Blake Trahan and Calten Daal) ready for AA, but neither is ready for AAA. Blandino can play SS his days as a quality defensive SS a long gone. Dixon is an error waiting to happen no matter what position he plays.

  38. Hello Reds fans! I am a longtime daily reader of this blog. But, I hardly ever post. I decided that with this new format, which I really like, that I am going add to the discussion more. Wish me luck, and go Reds!

  39. Same with me. I said before spring training ever started that at least 2 starting pitchers will see significant DL time this year. And, Disco and Finnegan are already starting the DL on opening day.

Comments are closed.

About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

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2017 Reds, 2018 Reds

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