The Cincinnati Reds made a roster move this afternoon, picking up outfielder Nick Williams from the Philadelphia Phillies. Williams was designated for assignment and the Reds put in a claim on the now 26-year-old outfielder. He has been assigned to the alternate roster at Prasco Park.

After two solid seasons with the Phillies in 2017 and 2018 where he hit .269/.330/.446 (105 OPS+), 2019 was a disaster at the big league level for Nick Williams. He went the entire first month of the season without getting a start, going 3-22 as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement in 22 games. He then got a a handful of starts over the next two weeks before returning to the role of bench player. Things never really picked up for him last year as he went on to hit .151/.196/.245 in 67 games with four walks and 43 strikeouts in 112 plate appearances.

The left-handed hitter did spend some time in Triple-A with Lehigh Valley, playing in 48 games and hitting .316/.381/.574 with 27 extra-base hits in 48 games played. The time spent in Triple-A was much better than the time in the Major Leagues, as his walk and strikeout rates matched his previous big league time, while he saw a lot more power output along the way. In 2019 a strikeout rate of 38.4% just wasn’t going to get any sort of offense done. You can see his career stats here.

Here’s the updated roster for the Prasco Park alternate site:

R.J Alaniz RHP Mark Kolozsvary C
Jesse Biddle LHP Francisco Peña C
David Carpenter RHP Tyler Stephenson C
José De León RHP Alex Blandino INF
Brandon Finnegan LHP Jose Garcia INF
Hunter Greene RHP Robel García INF
Ryan Hendrix RHP Rece Hinds INF
Joel Kuhnel RHP Jonathan India INF
Nick Lodolo LHP Alfredo Rodriguez INF
Alex Powers RHP Aristides Aquino OF
Sal Romano RHP Stuart Fairchild OF
Tony Santillan RHP TJ Friedl OF
Mark Payton OF
Boog Powell OF
Nick Williams OF

33 Responses

  1. seadog

    Doug brings up a great point Strike out rate for Williams. His Achilles heel. At the same time. That was while on the bench, coming into games in 2019. We could say that about many of our Reds. I still would much rather have him in the mix than Colon. Colon made contact—nothing to show for it.

    It seems this team is going to live/die with hard contact/Hrs. There is no small ball/stole bases/move the runner up/ bunt. etc. Williams fits the mold

    • CallowayPost

      Walks and power swings that are either outs, HR’s, or bloop hits.

      I understand our ballpark is built for it, but at the same time, if players are taking walks, I would think they would be able to slow the game down and hit for hard contact…especially with runners in scoring position.

      A pop up a mile into the air isn’t going to get anyone home.

  2. Woodrow Thedaug

    Nick Williams > Christian Colon.

    Incremental math, but positive just the same.

  3. SteveLV

    Four years ago he was the #64 prospect in baseball. Still young, have a few years of team control. Can’t hurt to give that kind of talent a try.

  4. seadog

    Agreed you have to give him a try at no cost. Especially, if we keep DH next year. Even before that—Slot him in now
    1. Costellanos may not be here next year
    2. Senzel can’t stay on the field, I may be wrong, but his attitude has to change.
    3. Akyama—as we have seen, good defense, not sure his “offensive” fits this league/team.
    4. Winker/Williams-take your pick. They are almost the same player
    5. Aquino??? Aquino not sure what to believe.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Jesse Winker and Nick Williams are almost the same player with the exception that Jesse Winker is a significantly better hitter. They are both poor defenders tho.

      • seadog

        I agree they are both sub-par defenders. Although Williams has the edge.

        Winker has been on a roll. Hate for him the season is halted.

        If you take both players stats up til 2020. Williams is the better run producer by far. That said. Jesse is getting his chance. Give Williams the same chance. He is a much better run producer. Winker will always be the better hitter.

      • Doug Gray

        seadog – I have no clue why this comment was sent to moderation…. hopefully we’re not back to random comments getting sent there. Things seemed to be working well for the last few days on that front.

      • seadog

        No worries. All is good. We have at least two days to talk something other than an actual game thread. Keep pushing.

      • seadog

        Doug, I know you would like to shut me down.

        Man fried is trying to shut down Trevor Bauer as well.

        Don’t do either.

        So much to this season the average fan has no clue?!

      • Doug Gray

        Shut you down? I’m confused what you mean.

        But I did figure out why your post was sent to moderation – you misspelled your email address.

  5. TR

    Cubs lost today but the Cardinals took two from the White Sox. If they play Monday, the Reds need to take a double.

  6. Charles Lackey

    Bet on The Cardinals to win it all as usual or any team except the REDS. They simply do not have the talent to win. Lousy hitting, terrible bullpen and no winning spirit it seems.

    • seadog

      Reds are still in it. Better odds than the dirty birds.

      Have Faith

  7. Charlie Waffles

    By my count that is 27 players at Prasco. Add in the 28 on the MLB roster and that makes 55 players with an allowable limit of 60.
    Why don’t the Reds have 5 more players at Prasco so that it would be easier to get in some intersquad games?
    With the trade deadline looming and teams only able to trade from the 60 man group, will we see the Reds add a few more players soon for some more trade flexibility?

    • Charlie Waffles

      I forgot about the guys on the 10 day IL. I will assume they count towards the 60, but any on the 45 day IL do not. We know Moose, Strop and Bob Steve are on the 10 day. Any others?

  8. Frankie Tomatoes

    Of course the Cardinals come back to play and win both games. The Cardinals devil magic never runs out.

  9. Indy Red Man

    I’m guessing this means they’re not that high on Mark Payton? Too many lefty hitting outfielders

    • Doug Gray

      I think it’s just a matter of they saw a guy they thought was worth taking a look at and the cost was the right price….

    • seadog

      They must be high on Payton. They went out and acquired him twice. Jankowski is the odd man out. Williams will be on the team (traveling) within the next week.

      • IndyRedsFan


        I think you are way overly optimistic on Williams. This is simply a matter of the Reds taking advantage of an opportunity to pick up a guy with some talent basically for free.

        They now have 6 to 8 weeks this year, and possibly spring training next year to evaluate him and see if they can “fix” the holes in his game.

        My predictions…

        1) he won’t see the 28 man this year.
        2) at best, he’s a bat off the bench next year.

        Meet me here next April and we’ll check our predictions. 🙂

      • VaRedsFan

        Agree with Indy. Williams is redundant….5th outfielder type. He will need and injury by someone to be called up.

  10. seadog

    Your picking your produce when you feel it is ripe

    Compare WAR etc up til this year. Thru 2019. Given the chance Winker is producing. Given the chance, I feel Williams will as well. As I said earlier. Winker is the better pure hitter. Williams is the better defender. Williams will produce more runs than Winker in the long run. My thoughts.

    • Doug Gray

      When you say “produce more runs”, what do you mean by that? How are you accounting for the runs produced?

    • seadog

      He has more “long term” power than Winker. I could be 100% wrong. Winker has had the best week of any Red in ages. Long term Williams will produce more runs. In other words—4 years from now let’s look at WAR/RBI/Etc. Winker is on a hot streak. No doubt. I hope it gets better. Don’t see it in the long run. When careers are done I feel Williams has the better stats. We shall see

    • Doug Gray

      He may have more power than Winker, but he’s also got way less “getting to first base” ability, too.

      Here’s why I asked about “producing runs”, though. RBI is not telling of run production ability. It’s telling of opportunities provided to someone along with their performance. One player could significantly be a better hitter, but have 50 fewer chances, and thus have fewer RBI. Doesn’t make him a lesser run producer, it makes him a guy with fewer RBI.

      And while WAR attempts to actually focus on things within the players control, it’s not run production. It’s run production (hitting ability and baserunning) along with run prevention (defense).

      So using WAR or RBI actually won’t tell us much of anything with regards to who is the better run producer.

      In their careers, Jesse Winker has 16 more plate appearances than Nick Williams. The “offensive” value for the two players is -8.8 and 26.6.

      Jesse Winker is the 26.6 offensive value guy. It would take an absolute tank job for him offensively to get to where Nick Williams is, or an absolute Justin Turner kind of turnaround for Williams to get where Winker has been in his career.

    • seadog

      This is where we disagree On a good note. The stats (old school) are the stats. HR/RBI/AVG. You can’t look compare the two on your #s without looking at who batted before them/after them etc. Those numbers above do not lie. It is what it is. Why baseball has become so hard to watch. You can make up any new stat to make a player look good/bad. The human element comes into play. Long run—his #’s will be better than Winker. My thoughts. May be 100% wrong.

      If we went by Stats/Syber info the Reds would be winning now hands down. Does not happen that way. Why I do not like “comp” simulation games.

  11. Gonzo Reds

    I’m going to speculate that this move implies that the player that tested positive is an Outfielder and that the contact tracing would be skewed to our other OF.

    • Colorado Red

      I think that is over analyzing the situation.
      I think they saw a guy with potential, that was free, so they picked him up.
      I doubt he sees the 28 man this year.

      • Roger Garrett

        Exactly its just taking a look see at what another team let go.He has potential but we don’t do much in giving guys a very long look.AA set the world on fire then was just as bad the last month or so and now the dude doesn’t isn’t on the big league squad even with the expanded roster.Williams won’t get much if any of a chance this year.

      • Roger Garrett

        Exactly its just taking a look see at what another team let go.He has potential but we don’t do much in giving guys a very long look.AA set the world on fire then was just as bad the last month or so and now the dude isn’t on the big league squad even with the expanded roster.Williams won’t get much if any of a chance this year.