This week’s respondents are Jason Linden, Wes Jenkins, Bill Lack, Grant Freking, and Chad Dotson.

Our Daily Reds Obsession: Will Jesse Winker win the 2018 Rookie of the Year award?

Jason: Nope. Because Nick Senzel will. Yes, I’m serious. What I think can be realistically expected from Winker: an OBP right around .400, enough homers and doubles to put the SLG around .480, and mediocre defense. That is really, really not bad. Jesse Winker will definitely hit. I have no doubts about that. However, the Reds have shown their hand by saying Senzel will take reps at second in the spring. I don’t think Senzel will start the year with the club, but I think he’ll be up by mid-April, once the Reds have assured themselves an additional year of control. At which point, he’ll get on base like Winker except with more power and while playing the infield. And this isn’t like when Suarez had to learn third. Senzel played some second in college, which wasn’t that long ago for him. Winker might well finish second (now, that would be a fun year, huh?).

Also, here’s a fun fact for you: Jesse Winker is only still a rookie because rookie status is determined by at-bats (he has 121) and not PAs (137). If he had walked 9 fewer times, he wouldn’t be a rookie anymore.

Wes: I mean, probably not, but you could’ve asked “Will Tucker Barnhart win a Gold Glove” last year and I also would’ve said no. Personally, I’ve always thought the expectations put on Winker were way too high. He’s a good player with sound tools, but he won’t make or break the trajectory of this team. No one should expect Winker to pull a Judge and light the world on fire. Best-scenario for Winker in my mind is Reds-era Shin-Soo Choo, which I think he can be, it’ll just be a couple years down the road. But if Winker does a Choo impression this season? Yeah, I could see him taking Rookie of the Year, assuming, you know, Nick Senzel doesn’t take it.

Bill: Based on past history, I’d say not a chance. I’m almost completely convinced that Winker will be no more than a part-time player in ’18. Brian Price has already basically said as much. I think the Reds outfield will be some form of four-headed monster through most, if not all, of 2018 and I believe this will come at the expense of playing time for Winker. The only way this will be avoided is for the front office to make a trade that clears a spot for Winker to play every day. What I’d like to see is Winker in the lineup every day, hitting in the 1 or 2 spot and clogging the bases for Votto and company that would be hitting behind him.

Grant: Winker’s bid for Rookie of the Year depends on Dick Williams’ desire to trade Adam Duvall and/or Billy Hamilton. (I think it’s possible both players could be moved, and I’d be surprised if Duvall and Hamilton were both on the Opening Day roster). A four-man outfield rotation of Winker, Duvall, Hamilton and Scott Schebler — with Phil Ervin deserving of some spot starts, too — is untenable and an unnecessary day-in, day-out headache for Bryan Price. Once the dust settles on the outfield market next month, I expect the trade rumors to kick into high gear. If Winker plays every day, he could be the Reds first ROY since Scott Williamson (!!!) in 1999.

Chad: Yes. Unless he doesn’t, in which case it’ll be Senzel. This is all so obvious, I don’t know why you’re asking.

15 Responses

  1. RedAlert

    Not as long as clueless Price is managing his playing time …

  2. Bill

    I am also of the opinion people have high expectations that will be difficult for Winker to achieve. I think he will be a solid player, but I don’t believe the ceiling is as high as someone like Senzel. Hopefully he turns into a perennial all star and leads the Reds to the World Series. It happens to every prospect, look at Jay Bruce for an example. When he came up people were ready to hand over the MVP trophy and then when he only delivered a couple of All Star appearances and 30 HR a year everyone was disappointed.

    • Scott Carter

      If I remember right (and I may not) but I believe they said the same things about Votto, when he first came up. Or maybe that was just what I thought.

  3. Bill

    JREIS are you saying keep Hamilton and trade Winkler?

    • Dave Bell

      What would constitute Hamilton staying healthy? 155 games played? For his career, he has averaged just under 84 runs per 155 games. Hit Winker leadoff for 155 games and I’d be absolutely shocked if he doesn’t come far closer to 100 runs than Hamilton ever would. Hamilton is the better fielder, true.

  4. another bob from nc

    Even with a monster year, he has no chance of winning RoY if it’s voted on by the same people who voted on this years Silver Slugger or MVP awards.

  5. Ethan L

    No b/c he won’t get enough PT. Price is too dense to give him playing time with the current outfielder even though he is better offensively than all of them imo.

  6. TR

    No. With Price as the manager, Winker will not get enough playing time.

  7. Jason Linden

    This isn’t actually a thing. Every MLB city gets two votes for the major awards. You might not always agree with the awards, but there’s no discernible regional bias. It’s just an old wives’ tale.

  8. cupofcoffee1955

    Bellinger of the Dodgers did not debut this year until April 25 so Jason has a point about Senzel. He should be up with the Reds by that time.
    I think given the chance to play everyday Winkler will be a solid player too with a great OBP. It will depend on the moves made this winter by GM Williams where Winkler plays but somehow you need to get his bat in the lineup.

  9. cfd3000

    If Winker doesn’t play every day or nearly so, then no chance. Who would vote him ROY if his own manager didn’t even see him as a regular? If he does start the last five months of the season then his only competition could be Senzel. I’d expect him at .290 / .380 / .440 with 20 home runs. That’s not MVP level stuff, but it could easily be a ROY line.

  10. james garrett

    DW has had BP’s back and that won’t change.Never got involved in the line up nor mandating that this player play or set so why should he do it now.The simple things such as giving Duvall rest and giving Winker more playing time were not even considered,The good news to me is that our pitching will improve and we will be involved in much closer games in 2018.That will bring to light the big offensive hole we have at short with Peraza and in center with Billy especially when they hit 1 and 2 ahead of Votto and we lose close game after close game while he watches them get 5 at bats.Winker won’t play much unless an outfielder is traded because Price doesn’t view him ahead of any of the other three guys.

  11. James H.

    I wish the Reds would be bold and trade both Duval and Hamilton, freeing up playing time for Winker and Ervin. That would also open up another spot for a new bench player from within the minor leagues. Start the flow talent flow now, not later.

    • James H.

      Edit: Start the talent flow now, not later.