Fantasy Breakdown: Cincinnati Reds for 2021

A preview of Cincinnati Reds' lineup, rotation, and bullpen for 2021

As we prepare for the season ahead, the Pitcher List staff will be creating profiles for every fantasy-relevant player for 2021. Players will be broken up by team and role through starting pitchers, bullpen, lineup, and prospects. You can access every article as it comes out in our Player Profiles 2021 hub here.

At A Glance

 

The 2020 Cincinnati Reds were a success, reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2013. However, their playoff performance perfectly encapsulated the unmeritorious nature of small sample size success and the perils of discerning any real meaning from it. On one hand, their 16-9 September run made them appear to be the title contender they positioned themselves to be after successfully trading prospects for a Cy Young season from Trevor Bauer and spending a combined $128M on Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos. On the other hand, this Reds team now holds the dubious distinction of being the only playoff team to never touch the plate in a postseason series after being swept by the Braves.

The unquestionable strength of this team is the Reds’ elite rotation which posted a league leading 3.60 FIP as well as a solid 3.50 ERA. The bullpen had some early-season struggles, but rounded into form as the season progressed. The club’s success was severely limited by an inconsistent and under-performing offense. Although the lineup suffered from a ton of poor batted ball luck, producing the league’s lowest BABIP by a good margin, they still turned in a bottom-10 offensive performance. The lineup had an all-or-nothing approach, yielding the league’s 7th most total home runs and the 2nd highest walk rate, but also striking out the 7th most often and hitting a league-worst .212 average. The Reds have since traded away their closer, Raisel Iglesias, and appear to be fielding offers on veterans Eugenio Suárez and Sonny Gray as well. Although they should remain competitive in a weak 2021 NL Central, the Reds perpetual vacillation between buying in and rebuilding leaves the immediate future of this franchise with more questions than answers.

 

Hitters

By Sami Alsado and Kyle Horton

 

Projected Lineup

 

Infielders

 

Joey Votto (First Base)

2020: 32 R, 11 HR, 22 RBI, 0 SB, .226/.354/.446 | 1B # 19

2021 ADP: 400.69 (1B# 41)

 

Joey Votto had a choppy, yet resurgent 2020 season. He started off very slowly, but after a swing change, really found his stroke at the plate. His plate discipline remained excellent, walking 16.6% of the time, and he nearly hit the same number of home runs as he did in 2019. Votto produced a 114 wRC+, a big improvement due to his renewed power and consistent on-base ability. If Votto can reproduce his power in 2021, he’ll be a great pick in on-base leagues. The 37-year-old should still hit atop of the Reds lineup. However, it is yet to be seen how productive the lineup can be. A strong lineup will give Votto plenty of runs, but without support behind him his value takes a hit.

 

Mike Moustakas (Second Base)

2020: 13 R, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 1 SB, .230/.331/468 | 2B # 27

2021 ADP: 123.52 (2B #12)

 

Mike “Moose” Moustakas had an ADP of 129 before last season. His current ADP of 128 should tell you all you need to know. Going into his age 32 season, Moose is a known commodity in the fantasy world. From 38 HRs in 2017 with the Royals to 35 HRs in 2019 with the Brewers, Moose has established above average power. He has also increased his walk rate each season since 2017 up to the 11% he reached in 2020. Unfortunately, Moose also increased his strikeout rate each of those years as well up to 22.1% last season. As Moose seems to be becoming more of a three outcome hitter fantasy owners should hope he can reach his previous mid 30’s HR highs and raise the average back to his career .250 standard. In a hitters ballpark like GABP, Moose is a safe bet to perform close to the position you draft him if you wait on the 2B position.

 

José Garcia (Shortstop)

2020: 4 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, .194/206/.194 | SS # 56

2021 ADP: 547.97 (SS #49)

 

The shortstop position has been the weakness of the Reds lineup since Zach Cozart departed in 2017. This offseason, the Reds have appeared aggressive in their pursuit to find a replacement for a talented albeit over-matched José Garcia. Prior to the 2020 season, Garcia had not hit above single A Dayton where he demonstrated an intriguing power/speed (8 HR’s/15 SB’s) profile which had him creeping up top 100 prospects list. Couple that with a spring training breakout where he hit 4 HRs in 26 ABs and the hype train seemed ready to leave the station. With Freddy Galvis struggling in late August the Reds gave their young top prospect an espresso shot of coffee at the big league level. Unfortunately from there, he floundered. In 68 ABs Garcia struck out in 26 of them (38.1%) and provided zero XBH mainly in part due to his inability to recognize and strike breaking balls. Obviously given the small sample and drastically increased competition level Garcia faced in an already bizarre season it would be foolhardy to count the 22 year old out as a future producer. Given his 6’2 frame, 60 grade potential power and 60 grade speed profile this is a profile to dream on in dynasty. Regardless, no SS on the Reds current roster is worthy of fantasy consideration outside of the deepest leagues.

 

Eugenio Suárez (Third Base)

2020: 29 R, 15 HR, 29 RBI, 2 SB, .202/.312/.470 | 3B # 9

2021 ADP: 84.17 (3B# 9)

 

Prior to the 2020 season Eugenio Suárez suffered a freak accident when he injured his shoulder in a swimming pool which required surgery and limited his activity leading up to opening day. Possibly as a result of this, Suárez took a big step backwards in 2020, hitting just .202. A year after slugging 49 home runs, Suárez saw his xwOBA drop nearly 40 points. His whiff rate increased slightly and we continued to see him sell out for home runs by pulling the ball more often. Although his barrel rate remained an impressive 14.4% and his hard hit rate slightly increased from 2019, I’m concerned that Suárez will hinder his offensive output by consistently trying to pull the ball. Nonetheless, he should be a solid option for home runs and RBI. Expect him to hit in the top of the Reds lineup, right behind Shogo Akiyama and Joey Votto. Assuming the two get on base frequently, Suárez should have plenty of RBI opportunities.

 

Tucker Barnhart (Catcher)

2020: 10 R, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 0 SB, .204/.291/.388 | C # 32

2021 ADP: 492.83 (C# 39)

 

There isn’t much to say about Barnhart’s offense, since he’s really a defense-first catcher. His 2020 was about the same as every MLB season he has had, which means he was a below average hitter without any strengths. With Tyler Stephenson knocking on the door of the Reds’ starting catcher job, I’d avoid Barnhart in most drafts.

 

Outfielders

 

 Nick Castellanos (OF)

2020: 37 R, 14 HR, 34 RBI, 0 SB, .225/.298/.486 | OF #9

2021 ADP: 83.52 (OF #23)

 

Castellanos is an aggressive, free swinging, gold chain wearing power bat who has proven to be an asset to fantasy teams since 2017. Castellanos, like Moose, was signed to a big money contract prior to the 2019 season and is being drafted as the steady big bat he has proven to be. With an ADP of 94 in 2018 and an ADP of 93 in 2019 the fantasy community seems to have made up their mind on Castellanos’ value. Also like Moose, Castellanos increased his walk rate from 6.2 to 7.9% and increased his strikeout rate from 21.5 to 28.5%. He is a streaky hitter who at times has stretches where he is one of the elite power bats in the league (August 2019: OPS 1.098 and 1.363 OPS in his first 11 game to start 2020). Castellanos’ batted ball data pretty well lines up with his historical averages and the low average can pretty well be explained away with a .257 BABIP compared to his .329 career BABIP. Castellanos is a solid bet to return value at the position he is being drafted and has one of the highest floors of assets being drafted in his range.

 

 

Jesse Winker (OF)

2020: 27 R, 12 HR, 23 RBI, 1 SB, .255/.388/.544 | OF # 15

2021 ADP: 198.62 (OF# 55)

 

Jesse Winker had the breakout season we’ve all been expecting for the past two seasons. He displayed awesome plate discipline, walking 15.3% of the time, smashed 12 home runs for a career-high slugging, and produced his best wRC+ (146) to-date. Winker has always had a solid hit-tool with great on-base ability, but tapping into his power makes him a great fantasy asset. He should hit right in the middle of the 2021 Reds lineup and prove to be a solid source of AVG, OBP, and RBI. If Winker can reproduce the season that saw a career-high barrel rate, he should be quite the offensive weapon.

 

Shogo Akiyama (OF)

2020: 16 R, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 7 SB, .245/.357/.297  OF #25

2021 ADP: 402.24 (OF #97)

 

On the surface, Shogo had a forgettable season in which he served as further proof that the skill gap from the NPB to the MLB is mountainous. Through August, Shogo hit .196 and was relegated to an occasional platoon role making Reds fans question the merits of handing the leadoff spot to a light hitting unproven asset. In September, the light turned on for Shogo in a big way. In  63 ABs Shogo produced 11 runs and 5 SBs batting .317 with an astounding .456 OBP. This advance plate approach, slap hitting, base stealing prowess is the reason the Reds signed him out of Japan and if the trend is to continue, Shogo could be in line for a significant bump in playing time and production. Naturally, with a crowded OF and no current DH it remains to be seen what kind of opportunity Shogo will receive. If you see Shogo penciled into the top of the lineup early in the season he is definitely a name to watch, if not blindly scoop up especially as a niche R, BA or OBP asset.

 

Nick Senzel (OF)

2020: 8 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SB, .186/.247/.357 | OF # 45

2021 ADP: 280.07 (OF# 75)

 

Senzel missed most of the 2020 season after testing positive for COVID-19. He logged only 78 PA, where he hit to just a 56 wRC+. He didn’t have much of a chance to get comfortable at the plate or show any signs of progress at the MLB level. However, expectations are still relatively high for the former 2nd overall pick. Senzel is still only 25-years-old, possesses great speed and gap to gap power that had some likening him to Dustin Pedroia on draft day. If Senzel can stay healthy and continue to lower his K rate he has the potential to approach the high teens in HR’s with double-digit steals and a solid average. Where he hits in the Reds lineup is still unknown, but expect it to be somewhere in the middle to lower third with potential to move to the top of the lineup. For another season, Senzel will be a volatile late round fantasy pick with arguably more uncertainty than upside.

 

Watch List Considerations

The big name to consider is Tyler Stephenson (C). The 24-year-old prospect received 20 PA in 2020, hitting .294/.400/.647 with two homers. Stephenson gets lots of praise for his 65-grade raw power and offensive ceiling. The only thing standing in his way from full playing time is Tucker Barnhart and the Reds decision-makers. Stephenson will be competing for playing time in 2021 and if he gets a large bulk of it, should be a solid catching option for power and OBP.

 

Starting Pitchers

By Sami Alsado

 

The Reds’ rotation was the stalwart of their 2020 playoff team. Over the last couple years, the Reds have had a clear organizational goal of aggressively pursuing high spin rate pitchers.  In 2020, the dream was realized when they led the league in both fastball and curveball spin rates. Led by Cy Young winning Trevor Bauer, this rotation went a long way in demonstrating the effectiveness of a forward thinking organizational approach to building a rotation almost exclusively through trades.

Entering 2017 the Reds top 3 rotation members were “ace” Scott Feldman, Rookie Davis and Brandon Finnegan. From there, the Reds were able to parlay a waiver pickup in Dan Straily into a true young ace, Luis Castillo. They then rescued Sonny Gray from the depths of the expectant boobirds of Yankee Stadium and traded prospect Taylor Trammell for 1.5 seasons of Bauer. From the rubble to the ritz. 

This grand vision of an elite rotation finally took shape in 2020 as the Reds finished 1st in FIP and 3rd in ERA carrying a subpar offense to a playoff berth. Unfortunately with the loss of Bauer, this rotation likely won’t be able to repeat its contention for best rotation in baseball. Regardless, with a couple high end starters, upside young arms and debatably the preeminent maverick behind pitching biomechanical evolution, Kyle Boddy, there is plenty of fantasy intrigue for this rotation.

 

Luis Castillo (Locked In Starter)

2020: 4-6, 70.0 IP, 89 K, 3.34 ERA, 1.23 WHIP | SP # 27

2021 ADP: 29.80 (P# 11)

Repertoire: 30% Changeup, 27% 4 Seam Fastball, 25% Sinker, 18% Slider

 

Luis Castillo is entering the prime of his career at 28 years old and is seeing steady improvement across some important indicators. Castillo again relied heavily on what some may classify as the best changeup in baseball which produced a 40% whiff rate and a miniscule .170 xBA in 2020. Furthermore, Castillo is a prime candidate for positive regression considering the chasm between his 3.34 ERA and 2.65 FIP. The continued question for Castillo is when will he find the secondary pitches to work off of that filthy changeup? Although his fastball netted a solid 37.2% whiff rate in 2020 it was hit hard with a .525 SLG. In an effort to combat the clubbing of his fastball Castillo increased his sinker usage by 5% from 2019, which resulted in a pitch producing less whiffs and less rips relative to his 4 seam. Although his secondary pitch mix is an evolving mixture of uninspiring, Castillo’s changeup is elite enough that he can still succeed without it.

Most importantly, Castillo increased his K/9 – 10.67 in 2019 to 11.44 and decreased his BB/9 – 3.73 in 2019 to 3.09. Couple this with poor batted ball luck evidenced by his .329 BABIP, compared to his career .275, as well as an increase in ~1 MPH on each of his pitches and you have the makings of a high floor SP with significant upside to improve upon past performance. Currently being drafted as SP11, Castillo is an ideal target for those seeking elite K’s who don’t want to shell out the draft capital required for the tier 1 or 2 arms. I would be more than happy to have Castillo as my SP1 and ecstatic if you can find him at the SP2 price range where he finished last season.

 

Sonny Gray (Locked In Starter)

2020: 5-3, 56 IP, 72 K, 3.70 ERA, 1.21 WHIP | SP # 37

2021 ADP: 63.10 (P# 22)

Repertoire: 27% Curveball, 26% Sinker, 26% 4-Seam Fastball, 16% Slider, 4% Changeup

 

Sonny Gray over-performed his peripherals in 2018 and under-performed them in 2019. Although you may look at his 3.05 FIP dwarfing his 3.7 ERA and assume he is closer to the 2018 version of Sonny Gray, this number is greatly buoyed by an unsustainable .64 HR/9, which is all the more obvious when you consider his power friendly home ballpark.

As with Luis Castillo, Sonny showed a clearly evolved pitch mix which saw a 6% increase in his sinker usage, and a 2 % increase in curveball usage both at the expense of his 4 seam fastball and slider (down 3% and 5%, respectively). Sonny both increased his K/9 from 10.52 to 11.57 and increased his BB/9 from 3.49 to 4.18, both 2020 figures were career highs and well above his career 8.48 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. Although there are a lot of questions for Gray entering his age 31 season, he remains a decent bet to return to middle rotation SP value in fantasy albeit as more of a K asset without the ratio upside his 2019 stats or 2020 peripherals suggest.

 

Tyler Mahle (Likely Starter)

2020: 2-2, 47.2 IP, 60 K, 3.97 ERA, 1.17 WHIP | SP # 63

2021 ADP: 176.50 (P# 68)

Repertoire: 55% 4-Seam Fastball, 32% Slider, 12% Split Finger, 1% Curveball

 

Tyler Mahle had the makings of a classic young SP breakout in 2020 and has the upside to build upon his gains in 2021. Mahle increased his K/9 from 8.95 to 11.33, finished in the 90th percentile in xBA and the 85th percentile in whiff. It is somewhat miraculous Mahle was able to do this with a relatively simple 3 pitch mix after effectively ditching his curveball, which dropped in usage from 23.2% to under 1%. In lieu of the curveball, Mahle introduced a slider (classified by some as a cutter) which was significantly more effective producing an xBA of .179 compared to an xBA of .258 for his 2019 curveball. 

There is some concern with Mahle’s significantly increased fly ball rate in 2020 jumping from 31% to 50%, which naturally will not play well in Great American Ballpark. However, Mahle was somehow able to actually lower his HR/9 from 1.73 to 1.13 in 2020. As of now, the increased fly ball rate is something to lookout for but could be a small sample size anomaly. Overall, Mahle had a career year last season with an evolved pitch mix, significantly increased whiffs and is entering 2021 with a greater role in the rotation than he has ever had. All this adds up to a high upside flier to take at the end of your drafts. The arrow is pointing up for the 26 year old Mahle, so strike while the kettle is lukewarm because all the peripherals suggest it will heat up as we approach the season.

 

Michael Lorenzen (Fringe Starter)

2020: 3-1, 0 SV, 2 HLD, 33.2 IP, 35 K, 4.28 ERA, 1.40 WHIP | SP/RP # 106

2021 ADP: 458.24 (P# 184)

Repertoire: 33% [4-Seam Fastball], 18% [Changeup], 17% [Cutter], 17% [Slider], 7% [Sinker], 7% [Curveball]

 

With a true 5 pitch mix, enticing peripherals and a potential new role in the rotation this season Michael Lorenzen is on the short list of low cost, high upside starting pitchers. Although he hasn’t started at the major league level consistently since a 2015 season that produced an unremarkable 5.40 FIP, Lorenzen has stated his intention is to begin the season as a starting pitcher. His 2020 season was a tale of two halves as he struggled early in a setup role likely due to some bad HR/9 luck but from August onward produced a 2.77 FIP. 

In 2020, Lorenzen increased the usage of his fastball from 21.3% to 33.1% at the expense of his cutter which he used 9% less. This change saw fantastic results as his fastball produced an xBA of .083 and xSLG of .115. Remarkably of the 201 times Lorenzen threw the fastball he did not yield one extra base hit. Couple this with a changeup which has flummoxed batters with a whiff rate of 45% (surpassing Luis Castillo’s changeup whiff rate), and there is plenty of room to speculate on Lorenzen’s upside. Looking further into his profile Lorenzen limited hard contact performing in the 97th percentile in exit velocity, finished in the 90th percentile in whiff% and lowered his xwOBA for the third season in a row. 

There is still some concern with his inconsistent control, evidenced by his 2020 4.54 BB/9, which may ultimately limit his chances to stick in the rotation or pitch deep into games. Despite the control concerns, his rare 5 pitch mix, high spin rates and K potential make Lorenzen a fine upside flier to take toward the end of your drafts.

 

Jeff Hoffman (Fringe Starter)

2020: 2-1, 1 SV, 0 HLD, 21.4 IP, 20 K, 9.28 ERA, 1.92 WHIP | RP # 260

2021 ADP: 594.21 (P# 307)

Repertoire: 55% 4-Seam Fastball, 27% Changeup, 18% Curveball

 

The Reds traded for Jeff Hoffman this offseason which followed their trend of bargain hunting on high spin rate pitchers – Hoffman finished 2020 in the 82nd percentile in fastball spin rate and 55th percentile in curveball spin rate. With a career 6.40 ERA and 18.8% strikeout rate, Hoffman is more of a reclamation project for the Reds as opposed to someone they will be leaning on out of the gates. However, there is always hope that any pitcher leaving Coors has their best years ahead of them. Further, it is well established that curveball pitchers typically struggle in the high elevation Coors altitude relative to slider heavy pitchers. Altogether, Hoffman is more of a deep league watch list candidate until we can see results on the field which won’t destroy your ratios.

 

Wade Miley (Fringe Starter)

2020: 0-3, 14.1 IP, 12 K, 5.65 ERA, 1.67 WHIP | SP # 228

2021 ADP: 592.83 (P# 299)

Repertoire: 50% Cutter, 24% Changeup, 11% 4-Seam Fastball, 11% Curveball, 4% Sinker, 1% Slider

 

Wade Miley is a journeyman junkballer who is far removed from his outlier 2018 season where he produced a 2.57 ERA in 80 innings for the Brewers. He is an innings eater at best and potential camp cut at worst. In 2020, he utilized more of his cutter in lieu of his fastball and remains reliant upon his changeup to induce ground balls. Overall, this is a profile to avoid in all but the deepest of leagues. With that said, if Miley can secure a spot in the rotation you may be able to stream Miley against the Pirates and other bottom of the barrel lineups across the league, but there is no visible angle on rosterable upside Miley.

 

Watch List Considerations

 

Although we have profiled Tejay Antone in our reliever section and feel he is best suited for a high leverage role out of the bullpen, given his 4 starts as an SP last season there is a chance that he could work his way into the rotation mix. Similarly, Lucas Sims could compete for a rotation role as well. Of the two, we would prioritize Antone given he started games last season but both have elite spin rates, high K potential, and uncertain roles entering the season ranging from back end of the rotation to de facto closer.

 

Relief Pitchers

By Kyle Horton

 

Bullpen Roles

 

Amir Garrett (Closer)

2020: 1 SV, 6 HLD, 18.1 IP, 26 K, 2.45 ERA, 0.93 WHIP | RP # 84

2021 ADP: 460.14 (P# 190)

 

After trading Iglesias for Noé Ramirez, Amir Garrett is in line to take over as the Reds’ closer. In 2020, Garrett took another step forward by striking out a career-high 37.7% of batters, while posting a 54 ERA- and 95 FIP-. He held hitters to a .188 xBA and .270 xwOBA. He has a power slider that posted a 57.1% whiff rate and a 32.3% put away rate. This is easily his best pitch and he knows how to miss barrels with it. Although he has not been announced as the closer and there is the potential for the Reds to play the matchups in the 9th – Garrett has the stuff and proven success to get plenty of innings and some decent save opportunities.

 

Lucas Sims (Setup)

2020: 0 SV, 5 HLD, 25.2 IP, 34 K, 2.45 ERA, 0.94 WHIP | RP # 43

2021 ADP: 437.31 (P# 174)

 

If Garrett doesn’t find success in the closer role, Lucas Sims should be the next guy in line. However, with a few question marks left in the Reds rotation (and even more if Gray/Castillo trade happens), there’s a small chance we may see Sims as a starter. He’s currently the 124th ranked starting pitcher. But at this time, plan on seeing him come out of the bullpen in high leverage situations. In 2020, Sims posted a 54 ERA- and an 81 FIP-. He struck out 32.7% of hitters and limited hitters to a .224 xwOBA, putting him in the top-2% of the league. His opponent xBA of .134 and xSLG of .211 were both in the top-1% of the league. Sims possesses a great fastball and even better curveball and slider. His spin rates are elite and his whiff rates mirror that movement. Sims should be one of the first arms out of the bullpen, see plenty of hold chances, and maybe even a few saves.

 

Tejay Antone (Relief)

2020: 0 SV, 1 HLD, 35.1 IP, 45 K, 2.80 ERA, 1.02 WHIP | RP # 78

2021 ADP: 355.34 (P# 141)

 

Tejay Antone had one of the more bewildering breakouts of 2020. Entering the season, Antone was an unremarkable 26 year old minor leaguer whose fastball sat in the low 90’s and produced a 4.65 ERA in AAA in 2019. Early rumblings out of camp suggested he saw a dramatic spike in his velocity on his fastball (some classify as a sinker) which was now hitting the upper 90’s. Although he started the season without a set role as more of a long relief/swing man, Antone continued to perform and became one of the Reds most reliable arms in 2020, shifting regardless of whether he was starting, working long relief or stepping in as a high leverage bullpen fireballer. He demonstrated the elite spin rate on his fastball (98th percentile) and curveball (95th percentile) that the Reds brass has coveted, produced an xBA in the 97th percentile and a whiff rate in the 87th percentile. 

Paired with his high velocity fastball, Antone’s secondary stuff got whiffs at a rate that evidences the K and potential closer upside that have the community tantalized with Antone. Antone’s slider had a 46.7% whiff rate, his changeup a 37.5% whiff rate. Overall, Antone made 13 appearances in 2020, including four starts, holding hitters to a .169 xBA and .286 xSLG. With an uncertain Reds closer role after trading Iglesias, a high 90’s fastball, and filthy swing and miss secondary offerings Antone looks to have the potential to be a dominant force coming out of the bullpen. At worst, Antone should be a great bet for a high K rate and holds, at best he could find his way into a significant rotation role or run with the closer’s job. Regardless of what role he lands in, Antone is one of the higher upside end of roster pitching options you can find across the fantasy landscape.

 

Sean Doolittle (Relief)

2020: 0 SV, 3 HLD, 7.2 IP, 6 K, 5.87 ERA, 1.70 WHIP | RP #N/A

2021 ADP: 710.54 (P# 309)

 

Perhaps the nicest guy in baseball, Sean Doolittle recently signed a one-year deal with the Reds. Doolittle, did little in 2020, pitching just 7.2 innings with the Nationals before opting out. He comes to Cincinnati looking to regain his form from 2018, where he posted a 1.89 FIP and 36.8% strikeout rate. However, the strikeouts have dipped and the hard contact has risen over the past two seasons (albeit a 2020 season that doesn’t really say anything). Doolittle brings a new curveball with him and joins a fantastic pitching staff. It’s hard to gauge what to expect from Doolittle in 2021, but if he finds himself back near that 2018 form, expect a good opportunity for strikeouts and holds.

 

Ryan Hendrix (Relief)

2020: Did not pitch | RP # N/A

2021 ADP: Undrafted (P# N/A)

 

Ryan Hendrix is the #21 prospect for the Reds. He didn’t pitch in 2020, but expect him to debut in 2021. He has a nasty slider and has shown great strikeout ability throughout the minors. Hendrix should get a lot of innings early on. His primary role will be determined by his performance.

 

Noé Ramirez (Relief)

2020: 0 SV, 0 HLD, 21.0 IP, 14 K, 3.00 ERA, 1.14 WHIP | RP # 145

2021 ADP: Undrafted (P# N/A)

 

The newly acquired Reds pitcher has pitched six seasons, posting a sub-4.00 FIP only once and never striking out more than 29% of hitters in a season. The Reds must see something in him that I don’t, because he doesn’t look like much of a factor. He’ll eat some innings, but don’t expect a lot of holds or strikeouts.

 

 

Sal Romano (Relief)

2020: 0 SV, 0 HLD, 1.1 IP, 0 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP | RP # 205

2021 ADP: Undrafted (P# N/A)

 

Sal Romano didn’t see much playing time in 2020, throwing only 1.1 innings. He hasn’t thrown a significant number of innings at the MLB-level since 2018, when he held a 5.31 ERA and 16.3% strikeout rate. Romano has always been a hard thrower, but struggles to miss barrels and get whiffs consistently. It’s not likely he will be in a position to get any saves or holds.

 

José De León (Relief)

2020: 0 SV, 0 HLD, 6.00 IP, 10 K, 18.00 ERA, 2.83 WHIP | RP # 400

2021 ADP: Undrafted (P# N/A)

 

José De León, a former top prospect, is in a similar boat as Romano. De León doesn’t have much MLB experience, throwing a sporadic and wild 29.2 innings across four seasons with three teams. He has decent strikeout stuff but has struggled with limiting walks in recent years. Although his statistics do not warrant drafting in any format, if the Reds do trade some of their more veteran starters and De Leon can find a semblance of control, there is a chance that De Leon could have a higher leverage role than his recent performance would suggest.

 

ADP data taken from NFC ADPs. Pitcher rankings are currently combined. SP and RP positional rankings will be updated when made available.

2019 Positional Rankings from Razzball’s 12-team Player Rater (ESPN).

Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

Kyle Horton

Kyle is a former Division 1 baseball player and Cincinnati Reds fan. Please follow him on Twitter @Hortonimo, he already told his mom that you did.

Account / Login
>