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.

30 Responses

  1. Swayne1

    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. cfd3000

    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.

  3. TR

    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.

  4. TomN

    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.

  5. Bill

    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.

  6. Sandman

    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

      Greenmtred, Are you saying that neither Winker, Schebler or Bruce can catch or throw?

      • Sandman

        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.

    • Josh G

      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.

  7. scottya

    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.

  8. Jason Linden

    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.

  9. Jason Linden

    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.

  10. Scott Carter

    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.

  11. bouwills

    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.

  12. bouwills

    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 .

    • bouwills

      Sorry, didn’t mean to post twice.

  13. PLAYTOWIN

    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?

  14. Sandman

    JREIS, Ain’t no reason to keep them. But that’s just my opinion.

  15. cupofcoffee1955

    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.

    • Bill

      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.

  16. Scott Gennett

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

  17. kmartin

    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.

  18. Steven Ross

    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.

  19. JB WV

    This topic creates negative karma for the coming season. There will be no disappointing players in 2018. Think positive, dude.

  20. IndyRedMan

    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.

  21. Ethan L

    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.

  22. MattStantonComedy

    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.