The Cincinnati Reds have acquired right-handed pitcher Art Warren from the Texas Rangers this afternoon. He was acquired for an undisclosed amount of cash and is on the 40-man roster.
The 28-year-old has limited experience in the big leagues. During the 2019 season he appeared in six games for the Seattle Mariners, throwing 5.1 shutout innings while allowing just two hits, walking two batters, and racking up five strikeouts. That’s the extent of his big league career, though.
The Ohio Native, and University of Cincinnati alumn was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft has pitched as high as Double-A in the minors – pitching at the level for all of the 2018 season, and all of the 2019 season that wasn’t spent in the Major Leagues. Warren has had plenty of success in Double-A. In 2018 he posted a 1.72 ERA in 14 games, though he did walk 14 batters with 22 strikeouts in 15.2 innings during that season that saw him miss all of May, and then pitch his final game of the year in early July. He returned to Double-A Arkansas in 2019 and posted a 1.71 ERA, but this time with much better health and control. Warren walked 13 batters in his 31.2 innings and picked up 41 strikeouts. He also allowed just one home run on the season.
From a stuff perspective, Art Warren certainly has some interesting things working for him. He’s topped out at 99 MPH, and sits in the mid-90’s with his fastball. Velocity isn’t a problem for him. He also mixes in a slider that works in the mid-80’s and will get as high as 89 MPH. In his very limited sample size of innings thrown in the Major Leagues, Warren has thrown his slider more than he’s thrown his fastball at a 55% to 45% clip.
Below is some video of his fastball and his slider from the 2019 season. Two videos are included with the slider because there are two different looks on the pitch.
Keeping the ball in the park
Pitching in Great American Ballpark tends to come with a caveat of “fly balls land in the river”. Sure, that’s a bit extreme, but the ballpark is certainly among the friendliest around when it comes to home runs. In his professional career, Art Warren has allowed just eight home runs in 235.0 innings pitched. He’s been very, very good at keeping the ball in the park.
With just 5.1 innings in the Major Leagues, looking at a ground ball rate isn’t at all useful. In the minor leagues, though, there is a sample size of 229.2 innings and while it’s spread out over five seasons, it is a little more useful. In 2019 at the Double-A level his ground ball rate was 60.3% – a rate that would be among the top five in the Major Leagues if it were at that level. But there has been plenty of up and down over the years in his ground ball rate. It was as low as 42.9% in 64.2 innings back in 2017. It’s tough to really say with any confidence where the rate should be expected to wind up. With that said, even when his ground ball rate dropped, his home run rate remained very low.
Really nice. I said the Reds should sign him when he was DFA’d and we got him! Has closer stuff and has been really good the last 2 years in that role in the minors (1.7 ERA). I’m surprised the Rangers didn’t hang on to him somehow.
Ditto — when I saw he was DFA’d and then looked up background info on him, I was hoping the Reds would take a chance on him. Glad to see this news today.
Gotta love worm killers.
Anyone have the link to Steve Mancuso’s website?
This signing could be a big deal for the bullpen he looks to really have some stuff to work with for Boddy and coaches
Was thinking the same thing once I watched the videos above. Guy has good numbers wonder why he hasn’t been given a bigger chance?
Sounds like all it cost us was some cash, and I can’t imagine it was a lot. Sad to say but up to this point this might be the best move the Reds have made all winter to this point.
Ya that does seem weird that the lowly Mariners wouldn’t bring him up in 2020 considering how well he pitched in 2019 for them albeit only 5 innings. Part of it could be an age bias too.
Great stats but have to be concerned about health. Half of his career innings pitched came in one season, 5 years ago. Certainly worth taking a flyer on though!
Nice fill-in piece but I’d like to see them get to a significant acquisition, like a quality shortstop. Trade for Correa or Story – more affordable probably than Lindor and likely a contributor for longer than the current FAs. If Garcia is ready for prime time next year, trade whomever.
Lindor went to the Mets. Thank goodness that temptation has been removed.
Organization filler unless Boddy can add 1-2 mph on his fastball. if so he is a good bullpen arm.
He throws in the upper 90s touching 99. Velocity don’t seem to be a problem
He throws mid 90’s. He struggles throwing strikes (43% in his first stint in the majors) His GB rate in 2019 was 53% but throw in 2018 and it is far less than 50%. His swinging strike rate is in about the 40%ile. He was not good enough to pitch in the majors last year. He has 2 pitches. He sounds a lot like Ryan Hendrix to me.
But add 2-3 MPH on his FB and you may have something.
…I wonder if they might be going for just more movement on his pitch. That said, these pitches look pretty solid to me from the videos.
hmm…this seems like an odd comment. The pitcher struggles to throw strikes but if he can add 1-2 mph (from an already reported 98-99) on his fastball, then he may be a good find. Lets add more speed to a pitcher that already can’t throw strikes…..that ought to solve it.
He tops out at 98 he throws about 95. Sure it would be better to attain Greg Maddux control. But control is not something Boddy is known for improving. If he adds 2 MPH to his fastball he could very well induce more swings. He would surely induce more swinging K’s.
From 2015 – 2017 batters swung at Bauer’s pitches outside the stike zone about 26% of the time. From 2018 – 2020 it increased to about 31.4%. Was this improvement because the pitches he was throwing outside the strike zone were closer to the plate instead of waste pitches or was it the increased velocity from driveline force hitters to commit earlier? My guess is it is a combination of the two.
If he adds velocity hard contact will be reduced, swinging strikes will go up and % of pitches swung at will go up resulting in more K’s and less balls. The combination of these three things make him potentially a servicable pitcher.
I did look to see where Fangraphs had him rated as a prospect last year and they didn’t. That means he would be below such Reds prospects as Jacob Heatherly, Brandon Bailey, Eduardo Salazar, Miguel Medrano and Noah Davis.
Are we sure the Reds bought this guy and didn’t sell him? Seems very unlike the Reds to actually acquire promising minor leaguers.
Nick Krall been watchin Moneyball.
Totally funny you said that. I was thinking the same thing after I watched the videos. He has to come up with something to get players.
One other impressive stat….he doesn’t give up HR’s! Only 10 in almost 350 innings in his career when you include college.
Smart move – high ceiling for low cost. More of this please.
Obviously low risk, price was $100,000. Looking at his stats he seems to have some talent. If not at the start of the season, should be a good arm to park at Louisville if and when they play.
I do have aanother question for Doug or anyone with regard to the minor leagues. With the minor leagues later start will the major league club have a taxi squad like the NHL is going to have? What happens when someone on the 26 man roster gets hurt before the minor league season is underway? Do they have anyone who has been working out who could be called up?
do you know if he has an option left? I’m guessing he has one….but not sure