Major League Baseball finally announced the order of the 2021 Major League Baseball draft. With the 2020 season uncertain to be completed, the commissioners office and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to leave the order of the 2021 draft up to the commissioner. The reasoning was that if a season wasn’t completed that ordering draft picks on something like 20 games wouldn’t represent the idea behind the draft. The season was completed, though, and the commissioners office has gone ahead and made it official and the order has been based around the regular season records for each team. That leaves the Cincinnati Reds drafting 17th overall in the 1st round in July of 2021. You can read a little more about how the entire draft will play out over at if you want more information.

Tejay Antone and Rookie of the Year

The rookie of the year award for 2020 is going to be a strange one. With just 60 games, things are a bit weird. Ke’Bryan Hayes didn’t get 100 at-bats this year for the Pirates, but he may very well win the award after hitting .376/.442/.682 with Pittsburgh. Maybe Devin Williams and his 0.33 ERA in 22 games and 27.0 innings with 53 strikeouts gets the nod.

Cincinnati only had two rookies get real playing time in 2020 – Tejay Antone and Shogo Akiyama. One of those guys was outstanding all season long, while the other picked things up down the stretch. Antone could get some votes after posting a 2.80 ERA in 35.1 innings in a role that saw him switch back-and-forth between relieving and starting. It’s unlikely he will win the award, though, given the competition. But over at Baseball America they did ask me to pick the rookie of the year for the Reds, and Antone was an easy, easy choice.

More on free agent shortstop Ha-Seong Kim

Last week we looked at whether or not Korean shortstop Ha-Seong Kim could be an option for the Cincinnati Reds after it was announced that his team would post him this offseason. Dan Szymborski ran ZiPS projections for the young shortstop and things look pretty good from that standpoint. Over the next five seasons he’s projected to be a 3.5-3.9 WAR player with a well rounded offensive skillset.

Remembering Joe Morgan

Wick Terrell at Red Reporter wrote about Joe Morgan and how it was Morgan that led to his Cincinnati Reds fandom despite the fact that he never recalled seeing the Hall of Famer play.

Mike Petriello of wrote about how Joe Morgan was even better than you remembered on Monday.

But before all that, he was simply a ballplayer, one of the greatest of all time. If you saw him play, that might seem redundant. Well, of course he was. Didn’t you see what he could do? But for those of us who never got the chance to watch him — his last game, for the 1984 A’s, came nearly four decades ago, meaning most anyone under 50 has no real recollection of him on the field — it’s important to remember he wasn’t just a baseball legend. He was legitimately one of the greatest players who ever lived.

MLB Network put together a video on the greatness of Joe Morgan after his passing. It’s made from past interviews and game footage. You can watch it below.

7 Responses

  1. MK

    I saw Joe Morgan and even before he was with the Reds as an Astro. He had the reputation of a troublemaker In Houston along with his buddy Jim Wynn. This was the result of a somewhat racist Manager in Harry Walker. My only negative on Joe was the Reds would go out and do their pregame stretching and do their warm up sprints from foul line to centerfield. Joe would time his so he was the only one on the field in centerfield when the National Anthem was played as Reds never took the field until after it was played. It just seemed to me Joe wanted the attention just on him.

    • JB

      …Or maybe that was the place Joe found his peace and where he could focus and collect his thoughts before the game without all the chatter interrupting.

  2. Eric Davis Morgan Larkin Bench

    I think he was the best overall 2ndbaseman ever !

  3. VaRedsFan

    I love Antone, but I don’t see how you could vote for him over Williams.

  4. Reaganspad

    I never saw him live but Pete used to do the Pete Ward baseball clinic in Portland when I was a kid. Met Pete and that was enough. Morgan was easy to love as a player. He said his favorite was to walk, steal second, move to third on a FC? and score on a sac fly. 1 run with no official times at bat. Would love some of the Morgan, Rose baseball iq on our team today. It is what made such a great announcer. I think Pete could have done that as well if he had the IQ in other areas.

    Too soon for these guys but so love the memories

  5. David

    I saw Joe Morgan play a lot of 2nd base for the Reds.

    I saw him play 2nd for the Astros in Houston. Because the playing surface at the Astrodome was kind of rough, some people thought Joe was kind of a hack as a 2nd baseman. There had even been talk of moving him to the outfield.

    I think he was something of a talker, a guy who liked to talk a lot, in and out of the clubhouse. Sometimes this kind of guy gets dubbed a “clubhouse lawyer”.

    Sparky and Joe would sometimes walk out to centerfield together before a game (during warmups) and “talk”. Sparky could talk-talk with the best of them. If Joe had a gripe or someone on the team was griping about him, Sparky would talk it out.
    Usually, Joe came in with Sparky and was laughing.

    I would hesitate to brand Harry Walker a “racist”. Joe used to credit him A LOT with teaching him a lot about hitting when he was playing. The left arm “flap” was something Harry taught him to keep his left elbow extended.
    Some managers just have trouble handling some players. Sparky might not have been a brilliant baseball mind as it is presently understood, but he talked to his top players (Bench, Perez, Rose, Morgan) and expected them to lead in the clubhouse. He understood how important it was to have a good clubhouse.

    Joe Morgan was a great player and a really great guy, no qualifications needed. These guys weren’t saints, they were baseball players. Although he did not have a strong arm, he had incredible range and quickness at second base.