Get used to seeing more of Billy Hamilton swiping bases in the 2nd half. If he keeps up his pace after about the 110 game mark, he will end the year stealing nearly 70 bags and scoring 80+ Runs. He has hit for his best BA ever as a professional in the last 3 months, and is a big reason why the Reds are on the fringe of contention as we speak. There is no doubt the 2nd RD Draft Pick in 2009 is the odds on favorite to win the NL Rookie Of The Year in 2014. Something our website predicted this spring.
How All Of The Reds Hitters Were Acquired:
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):
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In Cincy, you are either Drafted, or signed as a Free Agent usually. Other than Brandon Phillips, and his injury replacement Kristopher Negron, all other members of the offense were either drafted or signed as a Free Agents.
This shows a remarkable history of selecting amateur players with the likes of: Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco, Billy Hamilton, Chris Heisey and Zack Cozart.
Add that in with some Free Agent signings like Ryan Ludwick, Brayan Pena, Ramon Santiago, and you are left with an instant team, add water and stir.
The club signing Jack Hannahan maybe wasn’t such a great idea, but then again, the bench hasn’t been that great this year either, with the exception of a nice job as the backup backstopper in Pena.
The bench has not performed well, and has been needed profusely with injuries to Votto and Phillips.
Still, you have to commend the organization on its draft history. I mean the Blue Jays hardly have developed any Infielders in the last 10 years other than Adam Lind.
Sorry to dig on the Canadian squad, but they still only have Lind as a draft pick currently playing in their lineup.
This is not an article on Toronto, but before I depart with them on my mind, they receive full credit for fleecing the Pirates, and the Reds here, for snatching Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, for a few years of Scott Rolen at the end of his career.
EE also couldn’t be a DH in the NL, and his defense anywhere was not that average back then anyway.
Brandon Phillips is a Gold Glove Caliber player, and until last year, his career numbers had steadily rising on offense. The Second Baseman had left thumb surgery on July.10, 2014, and will be out probably until September. Phillips slashed .272/308/.398 with 7 HRs and 40 RBI on the year. His .706 OPS is 40 PTS below his lifetime mark of .746. The 33 Year Old is signed to the end of the 2017 season. With his career in Cincy thus far, it still marks as a steal for the team, that they traded Jeff Stevens to the Indians, for his BP’s services. Not bad for a 3 time ALL – Star, 4 time Gold Glover Award Winner – and 2 time Silver Slugger recipient.
Back to the Reds. The fortunes tipped in their favor when they landed Brandon Phillips for Pitcher Jeff Stevens. That looks pretty one sided right now fella’s.
The team has been one of the most consistent clubs in the last 4 years, featuring 3 playoff berths based on 90+ win seasons in each of the campaigns.
The franchise didn’t have the money to float to Shin-Soo Choo (signed with TEX, 7 YRs/$130 MIL), and with Phillips and Votto being on the DL, it is tough to compete with the rest of the NL.
The worst part is all of the money that is guaranteed to those 2, makes it impossible to dole out any more cash for trades either.
Billy Hamilton should be the NL Rookie of The Year, and the club is receiving breakout years from Mesoraco and Frazier as well.
If this team can become healthy on offense, they might have a chance for another Wild Card slot this season, though it may be tough.
Jay Bruce needs to step his game up with the other 2 boppers being absent from the team right now.
When we go through the Reds team on Pitching, you will see they have been carrying the squad in 2014.
A lot of decisions have to be made on guys going forward in future years. At least with having most of the offense homegrown, it has afforded enough flexibility to keep most of the team together for next year.
Having players come through your system keeps salaries down.
Even with Phillips and Votto earning big cash, having Frazier, Hamilton and Mesoraco to bring down the average helps big time.
For those that have never seen one of our Roster Trees, we go over how all of the players were acquired.
It works like 6 degrees of separation. By searching back to the origin of all the way back until a player is signed, drafted or purchased.
It totally gives you an idea on how the franchise has fared.
The Hitters In 2014 (Date Of Birth) (Pos) Roster Tree
Joey Votto (9/10/83) 1B: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2nd round of the 2002 amateur draft.
Brandon Phillips (6/21/81) 2B: April 7, 2006: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later. The Cincinnati Reds sent Jeff Stevens (June 13, 2006) to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade.
Jeff Stevens (9/5/83) P: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 6th round of the 2005 amateur draft.
Jay Bruce (4/3/87) 1B/OF: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1st round (12th pick) of the 2005 amateur draft.
Devin Mesoraco (6/19/88) C: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1st round (15th pick) of the 2007 amateur draft.
Frazier was an ALL – Star this year, is in the top 5 HRs leaderboard, and represented the NL in the 2014 HR Derby Final.
Todd Frazier (2/12/86) 1B/3B: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1st round (34th pick) of the 2007 amateur draft.
Billy Hamilton (9/9/90) CF: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2nd round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Ryan Ludwick (7/13/78) OF: December 10, 2012: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds. 3 YRs/$17 MIL or 4 YRs/$21.5 MIL based on 2015 Team Option.
Skip Schumaker (2/3/80) 2B/OF; November 26, 2013: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds. 1 YR $3 MIL or 2 YRs/$5 MIL based on 2015 Team Option.
Ramon Santiago (8/31/79) INF: January 29, 2014: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds. 1 YR/$1.1 MIL.
Zack Cozart (8/12/85) SS: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2nd round of the 2007 amateur draft.
Brayan Pena (1/7/82) C: November 12, 2013: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds. 2 YRs/$2.28 MIL.
Chris Heisey (12/14/84) OF: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 17th round of the 2006 amateur draft.
Donald Lutz (2/6/89) LF/1B/PH: Signed by the Cincinnati Reds as an amateur free agent in 2007.
Kristopher Negron (2/1/86) 2B/1B/PH: August 14, 2009: Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Cincinnati Reds for Alex Gonzalez and cash.
Alex Gonzalez (2/15/77) SS: November 20, 2006: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds. 3 YRs/$13.5 MIL.
Tucker Barnhart (1/7/91) C: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 10th round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Jack Hannahan (3/4/80) 3B/1B: December 13, 2012: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds. 2 YRs/$4 MIL or 3 YRs.$6 MIL if Cincy picks up 2015 Team Option.
Jay Bruce won back to back Silver Slugger Awards in 2012 and 2013, and also consecutive top 10 finishes. At just 27 Years old, he is one of the premiere power hitters in all of the Nationals League. The team locked him up to a 6 year deal with an Option prior the 2011 season. Bruce is owed about $50 MIL over the next four years, and is a bargain for the 30+ HR and 100 RBIs he may put up every year going forward. Unfortunately he has hit many struggles in 2014, with just 11 HRs and 45 RBI and a .693 AB in 379 AB. Bruce can catch fire at any point and carry a club for a few weeks. With a lifetime mark of an .800 OPS, look for him to club the ball around the last few months.
www.baseballreference.com – the source behind all roster transactions.
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