2019 ZiPS Projections – Cincinnati Reds

After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for more than half a decade. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Cincinnati Reds.

Batters

The team’s offense is solid, with the minor leaguers and the addition of Yasiel Puig, but it’s possible to get a little too excited. Even with career seasons from Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez, and Jose Peraza (so far), the team only finished eight in the National League in runs scored and wRC+ last season.

What’s extremely interesting to me is figuring out which possible permutation of the starting lineup they actually go with in the end, because there are quite a few points of uncertainty, mainly in the outfield. There’s tantalizing upside with a healthy Jesse Winker and Nick Senzel available, the latter of whom has a great deal of positional flexibility.

But there are also some dangers. Matt Kemp may very likely be the least-valuable position player on the 25-man roster this spring, and certainly the worse option in the outfield. While Kemp’s offensive resurgence was helpful to the Dodgers at a time when few other players were either healthy or actually hitting, he was dreadful in the second-half of 2018 and his defense started regressing toward his typical terrible numbers with the glove. This depth chart assumes the Reds mainly use Kemp as a bat off the bench and a designated hitter in AL road games, but that’s not actually a guarantee that Cincinnati will be willing to bench a 2018 All-Star.

It’s a little strange, but the Reds non-tendered Billy Hamilton when they have open the exact spot at which he’d be most useful. Senzel’s been talked about as a center field option and Scott Schebler was surprisingly adequate there, but Hamilton would be a good backup for a team that’s hoping to be a serious wild card contender. If Kemp gets too much playing time in left, having a good defensive centerfielder would be doubly useful, lest the other team hit a lot of doubles into the gap of a Kemp/Schebler outfield.

Pitchers

The team’s rebuild has been hampered by two factors. The first was the timing of their various veteran trades, with the Reds having a knack for refusing to trade veterans at the height of their value and eventually getting less for them later on. This was most notable in the trades of Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, and Adam Duvall. It remains weird that the Reds got a lot more for Alfredo Simon and Dan Straily than those three put together.

The other factor that has bedeviled Cincinnati’s rebuild is the inability to develop pitching from the fairly impressive group of arms that they acquired in recent years. The Reds had hoped to have at least a few solid, mid-rotation arms from the list of Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, Keury Mella, Tyler Mahle, Amir Garrett, Sal Romano, and Robert Stephenson by this point. While the book’s not closed on this group, the team still don’t have a single healthy, dependable, mid-rotation-or-better starting pitcher.

With the offense looking like it could support a team with a winning record, it’s understandable that the Reds would feel a bit of impatience. There’s no guarantee Gennett will be in Cincinnati past this season and Votto’s age points to an inevitable decline in the not-too-distant future. If you can acquire three legitimate major league starters without giving up any of the organization’s crown jewels, why not? Senzel and Winker remain Reds as do Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene, and Jonathan India.

My only question is whether it is enough. Dallas Keuchel would look nice at the top of the rotation; maybe you decide not to hang on to all said crown jewels if you can bring in a Corey Kluber with them. Tucker Barnhart isn’t a bad player, and catcher isn’t a major issue with the team, so if you’re going to give up at least one of the team’s top prospects, I’d rather do it for another pitcher rather than J.T. Realmuto, as terrific as he is.

Bench and Prospects

As noted, the Reds have had more than their fair share of pitching prospects not work out, but the system still has bright spots. Nick Senzel has survived into the high minors, as has Jesse Winker, and ZiPS is confident in both players long-term, even if the Reds haven’t quite figured out exactly where they’re going to play Senzel. I wouldn’t be unduly upset about Taylor Trammell’s 2019 projection; he’s not ready for the majors yet. And ZiPS already likes Tony Santillan better than any of the fringier starting pitchers the Reds currently have immured in the purgatory between Triple-A and the major leagues that they created with their winter pitching additions.

One pedantic note for 2019: for the WAR graphic, I’m using FanGraphs’ depth chart playing time, not the playing time ZiPS spits out, so there will be occasional differences in WAR totals.

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here at site.

Batters – Counting Stats
Player B Age PO G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
Joey Votto L 35 1B 136 475 73 138 26 2 18 74 104 100 4 1
Eugenio Suarez B 27 3B 152 547 82 145 26 3 30 101 64 152 4 3
Yasiel Puig R 28 RF 133 435 62 115 21 2 24 72 47 102 13 6
Scooter Gennett L 29 2B 153 547 75 152 28 3 21 85 36 118 5 2
Tucker Barnhart B 28 C 130 415 40 105 22 2 9 47 48 87 1 2
Nick Senzel R 24 3B 86 333 46 89 21 3 11 44 33 93 11 5
Jose Peraza R 25 SS 156 596 72 166 24 6 11 56 27 78 26 8
Jesse Winker L 25 RF 112 377 52 105 21 0 12 49 54 73 2 2
Scott Schebler L 28 CF 134 461 64 113 22 4 22 69 42 127 6 3
Phil Ervin R 26 LF 117 402 53 95 19 3 14 55 42 115 16 7
Jordan Patterson L 27 1B 122 450 62 103 22 4 20 58 35 159 6 4
Christian Colon R 30 2B 93 293 32 73 13 1 3 24 28 46 7 4
Alex Blandino R 26 3B 110 339 42 76 18 1 8 34 38 106 5 5
Tim Federowicz R 31 C 79 262 32 62 15 0 8 32 22 75 1 0
Jose Siri R 23 CF 113 448 54 101 16 9 16 58 27 162 23 9
Curt Casali R 30 C 87 266 30 63 12 0 9 33 25 66 0 1
Kyle Farmer R 28 C 107 361 37 86 22 2 7 41 21 74 1 2
Josh VanMeter L 24 2B 130 462 53 109 26 5 11 53 46 120 9 5
Matt Kemp R 34 LF 132 475 60 125 26 1 23 84 34 123 1 1
Mason Williams L 27 CF 121 419 45 104 18 4 6 34 31 93 8 6
Tyler Stephenson R 22 C 104 388 45 85 18 1 9 41 37 117 1 0
Chadwick Tromp R 24 C 79 272 28 62 12 1 4 24 20 60 2 2
Taylor Trammell L 21 CF 121 461 58 103 16 5 11 46 51 158 21 12
Tony Cruz R 32 C 67 205 20 42 8 0 6 23 14 68 0 0
Michael Beltre B 23 RF 117 412 48 92 12 6 5 32 52 120 14 8
Juan Graterol R 30 C 68 208 19 51 8 0 1 16 5 21 0 0
Narciso Crook R 23 RF 104 316 32 64 13 4 7 32 25 104 7 5
TJ Friedl L 23 LF 130 501 60 117 19 6 6 41 47 122 19 9
Steve Selsky R 29 1B 86 291 35 65 14 1 11 36 23 102 1 2
Brian O’Grady L 27 LF 100 320 41 66 13 4 12 42 39 116 9 4
Aristides Aquino R 25 RF 121 445 51 95 18 5 17 60 28 154 5 4
Connor Joe R 26 1B 103 366 45 80 17 2 9 39 44 110 1 3
Alfredo Rodriguez R 25 SS 92 357 33 79 10 1 2 22 17 85 7 4
Ibandel Isabel R 24 1B 112 416 53 81 11 1 26 66 31 218 1 2
Nick Longhi R 23 1B 97 314 31 70 15 0 6 29 16 82 1 0
Hernan Iribarren L 35 1B 87 300 29 70 12 2 2 20 22 65 1 2
Blake Trahan R 25 SS 135 482 54 100 17 3 3 31 43 118 9 5
Mitch Nay R 25 3B 121 453 47 97 18 2 11 46 37 130 1 1
Taylor Sparks R 26 3B 116 403 43 67 14 3 16 48 28 210 4 2
Kyle Wren L 28 LF 109 383 41 84 12 4 4 30 36 100 14 6
Chris Okey R 24 C 86 303 27 55 10 1 6 25 20 112 2 0
Gavin LaValley R 24 1B 122 437 49 92 21 1 14 53 35 154 1 1

Batters – Rate Stats
Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Joey Votto .291 .421 .467 136 .177 .336 7.5 3 4.3 Keith Hernandez
Eugenio Suarez .265 .348 .488 119 .223 .315 6.2 0 3.8 Ken McMullen
Yasiel Puig .264 .338 .487 116 .223 .294 6.1 5 2.7 Richard Hidalgo
Scooter Gennett .278 .325 .455 104 .177 .321 5.6 -4 2.2 Todd Walker
Tucker Barnhart .253 .331 .381 89 .128 .301 4.5 7 2.1 Jim Sundberg
Nick Senzel .267 .335 .447 106 .180 .341 5.6 3 1.9 Travis Fryman
Jose Peraza .279 .315 .394 87 .116 .306 4.8 -2 1.8 Julio Franco
Jesse Winker .279 .371 .430 112 .151 .318 5.9 -1 1.6 Bernie Carbo
Scott Schebler .245 .322 .453 103 .208 .292 5.2 -6 1.5 Mike Hart
Phil Ervin .236 .319 .403 90 .167 .297 4.6 6 1.2 Benny Agbayani
Jordan Patterson .229 .304 .429 92 .200 .306 4.5 5 1.0 Nigel Wilson
Christian Colon .249 .322 .331 74 .082 .287 3.8 6 0.9 Ted Sizemore
Alex Blandino .224 .315 .354 78 .130 .302 3.7 3 0.6 Mark Naehring
Tim Federowicz .237 .297 .385 80 .149 .302 4.1 -1 0.6 Robert Machado
Jose Siri .225 .272 .408 77 .183 .315 4.0 0 0.5 Roberto Kelly
Curt Casali .237 .307 .383 82 .147 .283 4.1 -4 0.3 Andy Dominique
Kyle Farmer .238 .288 .368 73 .130 .282 3.7 -1 0.3 Andy Stewart
Josh VanMeter .236 .305 .385 82 .149 .296 4.1 -6 0.2 Scott Sizemore
Matt Kemp .263 .309 .467 102 .204 .310 5.3 -11 0.1 Walt Dropo
Mason Williams .248 .300 .353 73 .105 .306 3.7 0 0.1 Pat Sheridan
Tyler Stephenson .219 .294 .340 68 .121 .290 3.5 -3 0.1 Geovany Soto
Chadwick Tromp .228 .286 .324 62 .096 .279 3.2 1 0.1 Mike Nickeas
Taylor Trammell .223 .303 .351 73 .128 .315 3.6 -3 0.0 Herm Winningham
Tony Cruz .205 .257 .332 55 .127 .275 2.9 0 -0.3 Chad Moeller
Michael Beltre .223 .311 .318 68 .095 .303 3.4 3 -0.3 Randy Milligan
Juan Graterol .245 .271 .298 51 .053 .269 2.9 0 -0.3 Hector Ortiz
Narciso Crook .203 .269 .335 60 .133 .278 3.0 6 -0.3 Larry Blackwell
TJ Friedl .234 .311 .331 71 .098 .298 3.6 1 -0.4 Jon Saffer
Steve Selsky .223 .288 .392 78 .168 .303 3.8 -2 -0.4 Paul Hollins
Brian O’Grady .206 .295 .384 79 .178 .281 3.9 -4 -0.5 Nate Murphy
Aristides Aquino .213 .266 .391 71 .178 .285 3.5 1 -0.5 Brian Gordon
Connor Joe .219 .307 .350 74 .131 .287 3.6 -2 -0.6 Jason Delaney
Alfredo Rodriguez .221 .262 .272 42 .050 .285 2.4 4 -0.7 Jim Scranton
Ibandel Isabel .195 .257 .413 74 .219 .320 3.5 -1 -0.7 Ian Gac
Nick Longhi .223 .271 .328 58 .105 .283 3.1 3 -0.7 Herb Erhardt
Hernan Iribarren .233 .285 .307 57 .073 .292 3.0 4 -0.8 Larry Biittner
Blake Trahan .207 .277 .274 48 .066 .269 2.6 3 -0.8 Jamie Athas
Mitch Nay .214 .278 .336 62 .121 .276 3.2 -3 -0.8 Richard Slavik
Taylor Sparks .166 .232 .335 48 .169 .288 2.5 4 -0.8 Carlos Duncan
Kyle Wren .219 .288 .303 57 .084 .287 3.1 2 -0.9 Jason Maas
Chris Okey .182 .241 .281 38 .099 .265 2.3 -1 -1.0 Jose Molina
Gavin LaValley .211 .271 .359 66 .149 .290 3.3 -4 -1.5 Leo Daigle

Pitchers – Counting Stats
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO
Luis Castillo R 26 10 8 3.91 29 29 161.0 148 70 23 48 159
Alex Wood L 28 9 7 3.86 29 25 140.0 138 60 16 43 127
Sonny Gray R 29 10 8 4.14 26 26 145.7 135 67 18 55 138
Tanner Roark R 32 10 10 4.60 27 26 154.7 155 79 24 52 131
Raisel Iglesias R 29 4 2 3.22 62 0 67.0 56 24 8 24 77
Anthony DeSclafani R 29 8 9 4.62 23 23 128.7 136 66 25 33 113
Tyler Mahle R 24 9 10 4.71 28 28 143.3 150 75 23 57 127
Jared Hughes R 33 3 2 3.55 65 0 63.3 61 25 5 22 45
Cody Reed L 26 8 8 4.90 31 22 130.3 135 71 22 58 125
Michael Lorenzen R 27 4 3 3.95 52 2 79.7 78 35 8 31 62
David Hernandez R 34 4 2 3.57 58 0 58.0 54 23 7 17 59
Tony Santillan R 22 8 9 4.95 25 25 132.7 143 73 20 58 103
Matthew Bowman R 28 3 2 3.81 52 0 54.3 51 23 6 21 53
Anthony Bass R 31 3 3 4.59 35 6 66.7 70 34 9 26 57
Amir Garrett L 27 2 2 4.15 68 0 65.0 59 30 10 28 72
Matt Wisler R 26 7 8 4.99 36 20 133.3 144 74 25 36 110
Ian Krol L 28 2 2 4.25 51 0 59.3 56 28 7 29 59
Sal Romano R 25 8 10 5.06 34 25 138.7 153 78 23 49 104
Jimmy Herget R 25 3 3 4.21 53 0 62.0 59 29 8 27 65
Vladimir Gutierrez R 23 8 10 5.29 25 25 131.0 147 77 26 40 105
Buddy Boshers L 31 2 2 4.24 49 0 51.0 49 24 7 22 50
Kevin Shackelford R 30 2 1 4.08 39 0 46.3 43 21 4 25 50
Alex Powers R 27 3 2 4.35 39 0 49.7 47 24 7 22 52
Jackson Stephens R 25 6 7 5.03 37 16 112.7 123 63 19 45 90
Odrisamer Despaigne R 32 5 5 5.03 32 13 93.0 100 52 12 38 70
Felix Jorge R 25 7 9 5.43 25 25 139.3 163 84 27 38 87
Robert Stephenson R 26 8 10 5.22 26 23 119.0 114 69 22 77 136
Jose R. Lopez R 25 7 9 5.25 26 25 128.7 140 75 24 52 108
Wandy Peralta L 27 3 3 4.64 71 0 64.0 65 33 6 36 49
Lucas Sims R 25 4 5 5.26 26 19 104.3 101 61 22 56 120
Joel Bender L 27 2 2 4.80 31 1 45.0 47 24 7 19 37
Brandon Finnegan L 26 7 9 5.35 31 18 107.7 111 64 18 62 90
Justin Nicolino L 27 6 8 5.43 27 24 132.7 159 80 24 42 79
Keury Mella R 25 6 8 5.56 25 22 113.3 128 70 21 54 87
Alejandro Chacin R 26 2 2 5.30 40 0 52.7 53 31 10 30 55
Rob Wooten R 33 2 3 5.97 20 4 37.7 44 25 10 9 31
Jesus Reyes R 26 5 8 5.65 35 11 87.7 98 55 14 52 59
Rookie Davis R 26 4 7 6.00 20 18 87.0 104 58 21 31 67
Daniel Wright R 28 6 10 6.08 26 24 127.3 154 86 29 45 81
Wyatt Strahan R 26 6 11 6.28 24 22 109.0 130 76 21 56 65
Victor Payano L 26 3 5 6.96 26 10 64.7 67 50 16 56 70
Johendi Jiminian R 26 2 5 6.90 26 11 61.3 74 47 14 40 40
Seth Varner L 27 5 8 6.47 25 18 105.7 131 76 30 30 75

Pitchers – Rate Stats
Player TBF K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP ERA+ ERA- FIP WAR No. 1 Comp
Luis Castillo 675 8.89 2.68 1.29 .285 108 92 4.06 2.6 Dennis Martinez
Alex Wood 597 8.16 2.76 1.03 .301 110 91 3.87 2.3 Steve Trout
Sonny Gray 621 8.53 3.40 1.11 .288 106 95 4.08 2.2 Omar Olivares
Tanner Roark 668 7.62 3.03 1.40 .289 92 109 4.64 1.3 Bob Walk
Raisel Iglesias 280 10.34 3.22 1.07 .286 131 76 3.61 1.3 Gene Nelson
Anthony DeSclafani 550 7.90 2.31 1.75 .296 92 109 4.78 1.1 Tom Brennan
Tyler Mahle 634 7.97 3.58 1.44 .302 90 111 4.80 1.1 Mike LaCoss
Jared Hughes 273 6.39 3.13 0.71 .286 119 84 4.03 1.0 Kent Tekulve
Cody Reed 582 8.63 4.01 1.52 .305 89 112 4.92 0.9 Jake Chapman
Michael Lorenzen 347 7.00 3.50 0.90 .290 107 93 4.25 0.9 Frank Linzy
David Hernandez 244 9.16 2.64 1.09 .297 119 84 3.72 0.9 Dick Drago
Tony Santillan 597 6.99 3.93 1.36 .301 85 117 5.05 0.7 Ed Wojna
Matthew Bowman 233 8.78 3.48 0.99 .298 111 90 3.90 0.6 Mark Lee
Anthony Bass 294 7.70 3.51 1.22 .307 95 105 4.50 0.5 Jim Todd
Amir Garrett 281 9.97 3.88 1.38 .292 102 98 4.37 0.5 Bob MacDonald
Matt Wisler 575 7.43 2.43 1.69 .298 85 118 4.86 0.5 Tony Arnold
Ian Krol 263 8.95 4.40 1.06 .299 103 97 4.36 0.5 Tippy Martinez
Sal Romano 613 6.75 3.18 1.49 .302 84 120 5.00 0.5 Johnny Podgajny
Jimmy Herget 271 9.44 3.92 1.16 .304 101 99 4.18 0.4 Andy Shipman
Vladimir Gutierrez 578 7.21 2.75 1.79 .303 83 121 5.23 0.4 Bill King
Buddy Boshers 222 8.82 3.88 1.24 .298 103 97 4.39 0.4 Juan Agosto
Kevin Shackelford 207 9.71 4.86 0.78 .312 104 96 3.93 0.4 Sean Green
Alex Powers 218 9.42 3.99 1.27 .299 100 100 4.40 0.3 Miguel Saladin
Jackson Stephens 504 7.19 3.59 1.52 .302 84 119 5.10 0.3 Dan Smith
Odrisamer Despaigne 415 6.77 3.68 1.16 .303 84 119 4.71 0.3 Bob Scanlan
Felix Jorge 616 5.62 2.45 1.74 .298 81 124 5.41 0.2 A.J. Sager
Robert Stephenson 546 10.29 5.82 1.66 .302 81 123 5.36 0.2 Tom Newell
Jose R. Lopez 577 7.55 3.64 1.68 .301 81 124 5.30 0.2 Ron Mathis
Wandy Peralta 291 6.89 5.06 0.84 .299 91 110 4.67 0.1 Jim Roland
Lucas Sims 468 10.35 4.83 1.90 .298 80 124 5.34 0.1 Pete Fisher
Joel Bender 200 7.40 3.80 1.40 .296 88 113 4.93 0.1 Ed Farmer
Brandon Finnegan 492 7.52 5.18 1.50 .292 79 126 5.49 0.0 Frank Kreutzer
Justin Nicolino 594 5.36 2.85 1.63 .305 78 128 5.40 0.0 Wade Blasingame
Keury Mella 519 6.91 4.29 1.67 .305 76 131 5.61 -0.2 Jake Dittler
Alejandro Chacin 240 9.40 5.13 1.71 .303 80 125 5.41 -0.3 Ryan Baker
Rob Wooten 165 7.41 2.15 2.39 .301 71 141 5.83 -0.3 Jose Bautista
Jesus Reyes 412 6.06 5.34 1.44 .299 75 133 5.86 -0.4 Tim Byron
Rookie Davis 394 6.93 3.21 2.17 .307 73 137 5.99 -0.4 Jason Jones
Daniel Wright 579 5.73 3.18 2.05 .300 70 144 6.09 -1.0 Kyle Middleton
Wyatt Strahan 511 5.37 4.62 1.73 .301 67 148 6.20 -1.1 Ben Fritz
Victor Payano 317 9.74 7.79 2.23 .298 63 159 6.99 -1.1 Paulino Reynoso
Johendi Jiminian 297 5.87 5.87 2.05 .302 61 163 6.97 -1.1 Rob Purvis
Seth Varner 476 6.39 2.56 2.56 .301 65 153 6.44 -1.3 Ryan Cox

Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2019. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams, unless I have made a mistake. This is very possible, as a lot of minor-league signings go generally unreported in the offseason.

ZiPS’ projections are based on the American League having a 4.29 ERA and the National League having a 4.15 ERA.

Players who are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information, and a computer isn’t the tool that should project the injury status of, for example, a pitcher who has had Tommy John surgery.

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected zWAR — which is to say, WAR values as calculated by me, Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in full release of ZiPS. Finally, I will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on a depth chart to produce projected team WAR.

We hoped you liked reading 2019 ZiPS Projections – Cincinnati Reds by Dan Szymborski!

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Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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Cave Dameron
Member
Cave Dameron

Votto really underperformed based on his wOBA and the expected wOBA of his balls, suggesting he just had some pretty bad luck last season. Nice to see the projections showing positive regression towards his history and talent level.

matthayden4
Member
matthayden4

“the expected wOBA of his balls”

The juvenile, immature part of my mind chuckled.

channelclemente
Member

So did Votto’s.

CL1NT
Member
CL1NT

Yeah I think his HR total should surpass the projection. Other than that it looks like a nice bounce-back for Votto.