My musings on the Todd Frazier trade

The Reds really, really like Jose Peraza, who just may be the next Dee Gordon.

The Reds obviously believe in their own scouting of Peraza over the otherwise apparent industry consensus that Peraza’s future is that of a utility player.

I’m not going to sit here and write that the fact that Peraza’s on-base rate sunk once he reached Triple-A, that he’s never walked much, or that he possess basically zero power isn’t worrisome.

But I also see player that rose steadily through the Braves system and reached the majors at age 21. The talent, however raw and unmolded it may be, is clearly there. Perhaps Peraza is the next Dee Gordon? (Hat tip to my good friend Brendan for originally proposing this comparison.)

Let’s compare Gordon and Peraza’s minor league statistics.

Gordon Peraza
Plate appearances 2,283 2,021
Batting average .301 .302
On-base percentage .360 .342
Slugging percentage .388 .387
Stolen bases/Success rate 227/76% 210/81%
On-base plus slugging .748 .729

Gordon first appeared in the majors at age 23. He racked up 4.9 bWAR in his age-27 season last summer, only his second full season in the big leagues. If Peraza — who the Reds control through 2021 — can approach that that level of production in a few years, this trade will go down as a win for the Reds.

A left-field platoon of Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler would be heavy on power…and strikeouts.

Duvall’s combined minor and major league slugging percentage is .409. Schebler’s is .500. On the other hand, Duvall’s combined minor and major league strikeout rate is nearly 31 percent. Schebler’s is nearly 33 percent. And neither player walks at all.

I am interested to see what both Duvall and Schebler do with regular playing time. Between them, the duo have only logged 189 plate appearances in the majors, with Schebler only recording 40 of those.

If there was such a thing as a honeymoon period for new general manager Dick Williams, that time has passed.

For the first time in recent memory, the Reds are being judged harshly in a major trade. The club nailed the Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon trades, and obviously the original deal for Latos and the swap for Shin-Soo Choo worked out really well. The early returns on the Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake trades are encouraging, too.

I don’t think the Reds necessarily boxed themselves into a corner by not wanting additional young pitching (to be potentially flipped later on) and instead settled for lesser-talented position player prospects. I also don’t believe the Reds were content to acquire two position players who are near-ready or ready for the majors in favor of more talented prospects.

It’s clear that the Reds are big Peraza fans. Williams appeared on Mo Egger’s show on Wednesday and said as much.

“It was very important to us to get a key player that had a very good chance of being an everyday big leaguer — especially at an impact position,” Williams said. “That’s why we were keyed on Peraza from the beginning. Our scouts like him a lot.”

Fairly or unfairly — especially since Walt Jocketty retains the final say in baseball operations this season — Peraza’s future performance will always be connected to Williams.

37 Responses

  1. KnoxReds (@KnoxReds)

    Good thoughts. I think one aspect of the Reds’ apparent strategy in this rebuild you mentioned is being overlooked by the press pundits in their rush judgments – namely, that they are primarily focused on MLB-ready (or very close) prospects. This is in line with Walt & Dick’s earlier statements about a “reboot” and wanting the process to be quicker. We’ll see if it pays off, but it at least explains why they may be passing on higher ranked prospects that need more time to cook in the MiLB.

    • Grant Freking

      I’ve been thinking along these lines as well, but we can’t prove (unfortunately) that this is the case.

  2. Adam

    This is so well written. Perfectly articulated. Thanks, Grant.

  3. seat101

    I really enjoyed your article.

    Sportsonearth believes we gave more than we received with a boo. I disagree.

    Did you know that not one penny of the Reds income has been distributed to any of the owners?

  4. Michael_Øk

    Nice article, and I tend to agree with the entirety of its content.

    On another note, does anyone else notice the Cardinals fan who liked this article?

  5. wkuchad

    Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler platoon in LF? Need to look up minor league splits. Curious if this is a possibility.

    • Grant Freking

      I did. It makes sense on paper.

      • jdx19

        Hmmm. It’ll be interesting to see if Price will go for a full platoon situation. I can’t recall the Reds ever using the method… at least not based on L/R matchups.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Xavier Paul was used primarily as a platoon option, and performed pretty well in that role.

      • jdx19

        Nice memory, Hotto! Looks like Paul recorded 190 PAs against righties in 2013 to the tune of a 113 wRC+. And 19 PAs against lefties to the tune of an 11 wRC+!

        I more meant like a platoon where on Opening Day they say something like “Both Schebler and Duvall are the starting LFer and we’ll make the decision who to start based on the matchup.” I believe Paul was more of an injury fill-in and PHer, right?

      • Dbobud8

        The Gomes/Nix platoon worked out great. I have been saying for a few years they should try to do something like this (assuming that is there plan). Especially with the price of FA. Pick up 2 playoon split type players for cheap and platoon them, it also strengthens the bench which has been an issue for awhile. I remember reading at the time that the Gomes/Nix platoon’s combined numbers were top 3 in mlb for LF or something close to that. Not sure if it would work out that well with these two, but it could work.

    • doofus

      Platoon or no Platoon, I still don’t think they’ve solved the whole that’s been in LF since Dunn left.

      • whodeythinkgonnabeatthemredlegs

        Whoever is it will be a placeholder for Winker in 2017. Hopefully they can both get some experience and find roles as bench guys in the future

      • jdx19

        Agreed. I’m actually hoping Winker will get a 1/2 season in the bigs this year. If he does well in AAA for the first 2 months they should bring him up and let him start getting experience at the big level so he’ll be all the more ready to help a winner in 2018.

      • earmbrister

        Whodey — If everyone in the OF stays reasonably healthy and are somewhat productive (which of course is a big If), I wouldn’t be surprised to see Winker in right. If Winker does do well in AAA, the Reds could bring him up and move Bruce at the July deadline. Yeah, Winker only has an average arm, but his OBP skills more than make up for that “averageness”.

        It seems that the Reds view Schebler as their LFr of the future.

      • lwblogger2

        Aside from one good year from Ludwick, I agree.

  6. WVRedlegs

    Nice thoughts and good timing. It takes just a little sting out of this trade so far.
    With BHam batting 9th, Peraza most likely leading off, do you think the Reds move Joey V. back into the 2 hole this year? I am not sure I see a good option for #2 and leaving Votto 3rd at this time, pending other trades.

    • jdx19

      My guess is whomever of Peraza or Hamilton has a higher OBP in spring training will lead off. If Ham lead off, Peraza will bad 2nd (because 2nd base, of course) and Votto will bat 3rd. If Peraza shows enough to lead off, I think Votto will go 2nd and Hamilton will go 8th/9th.

      • Michael E

        Peraza and Hamilton are two different hitters. Hamilton is an easier out and hits too many into the air. Peraza is a ground ball, line drive hitter with doubles power. Peraza is suite for either leadoff or #2 (due to high contact rate, assume he’d be pretty good at moving runners), whereas Hamilton shouldn’t bat higher than 8th UNLESS he suddenly finds his line drive/ground ball (slap hitter) stroke and forgets about home runs.

  7. Steve Mancuso

    Brandon Phillips has become a singles hitter. If Peraza plays 2B next year, even if he didn’t have a great year he still might outproduce what 34-year-old BP would have.

    • doofus

      I believe you’re on to something.

    • Pooter

      I was looking at the Steamer predictions (not sure ho much stock to put into the them) and it predicts BP to have a slightly higher wRC+ (86 v 79). There’s not a big difference in the predictions, so I think there is indeed a possibility that Peraza does outperform BP next season offensively. Also, BP is injury-prone, which could cost him in the production category. Not sure on Peraza’s injury propensity. In the long-run, I believe in two seasons it would be safe to say that Peraza will eclipse Phillips’s offensive production.

      • jdx19

        I think Steamer has a very strong recency-bias for players without a MLB track-record, so they are likely very heavily weighting his slightly sub-par AAA season.

        Ultimately, with his profile, I think he’ll be fine as long as he can keep from hitting a lot of lazy fly balls like Billy. Something like a .270 BA with a .300 OBP and steal 30 bases while playing above-average D.

    • VaRedsFan

      “Brandon Phillips has become a singles hitter.”

      Slightly unfair label.

      BP changed his plate approach depending on where he batted in the order. He slugged 80 points higher when he moved to the 4 hole later in the season. He adjusted to the situation. I’d rather see a guy drive in a run with a poke to the opposite field, than strike out swinging from the heels trying to hit a double or HR, just for the sake of not being a singles hitter.

      I think a better label would be a situational hitter.

      • asinghoff

        5 years ago BP, yes. 2015 BP, no. He is absolutely a singles hitter. In fact, 81% of his hits last year were singles.

    • Michael E

      on this I can agree with you Steve. Phillips is okay, but power and speed fast fading. I would think his defense (range especially) begins fading soon too.

      I sure hope we can move him and not eat too much money (unless we get a really good prospect for doing so of course).

  8. IndyRedMan

    If I’m not mistaken it was Adam Duvall’s first atbat with the Reds but he got behind in the count against a pretty good hardthrowing reliever w/the Cubs and laid off a few pitches and then hit a hanging breaking ball down the line for a HR. I haven’t seen him much but he def didn’t look like a hacker with no plan up there? I’d like to see him a lot of atbats and see what happens? He can play 3B too!

  9. Branch Brown @wvredlegs

    I thought as soon as I heard about the Frazier trade, that Walt/Dick wanted Peraza in the failed Chapman trade, and their future moves were based on getting him. I still can’t help but think that this caused us to get less than we should have for an Allstar 3rd Baseman who by the way can hit, in the middle of a line up, for power. All at a fraction of the cost of a FA, that isn’t even out there right now. I really hope that someday I will feel different, but right now, I don’t.

  10. james garrett

    I could believe that a Duvall/Schebler platoon in left would give us just as much as Byrd did offensively and defensively at a very minimal cost.I could also see Peraza taking over at second base and duplicating or exceeding what Phillips will do if he is traded.We all need to remember that we play 81 game at a hitters park so I could see 20-25 homers out of left field and 8-10 out of Peraza.We are heading in the right direction.

  11. Michael E

    I’d think a Duvall/Schebler platoon would outperform anything we’ve had in LF in many, many years. They both are solid hitters (not great, but quite acceptable mix of decent average and good power).