A Minor Review of 2016: Cincinnati Reds

Welcome to the annual series that provides both a review of your favorite teams’ 2016 season, as well as a early look toward 2017. It also serves as a helpful guide for keeper and dynasty leagues.

The Graduate: Jose Peraza (UTL): The Reds didn’t have a lot of luck with rookies in 2016 but Peraza showed well in 72 games while spending time in the middle infield and the outfield. Despite his decent performance, he doesn’t have a clear shot at a starting gig in 2017 unless the Reds can find a taker for veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips – or one of their inexperienced outfielders struggles in the spring. Peraza, 22, hit more than .320 as a rookie and also stole more than 20 bases. Unfortunately, he was also caught stealing 10 times and walked less than 3% of the time. With some polish, the young athlete has impact potential in both the field and on the base paths although he needs to be more patient and get on base more consistently without putting all the pressure on his contact rate.

The Riser: Tyler Mahle (RHP): A former seventh round pick, the 22-year-old Mahle has a chance to develop into a solid mid-rotation starter. The right-hander doesn’t have a standout pitch but his fastball works in the low-to-mid 90s and he has three other offerings that project to be at least average. Mahle has a strong body and combined to pitch more than 150 innings in 2016 while splitting the year between high-A and double-A. His fastball command slipped at the double-A level so he’ll return to the level in ’17. If all goes well, he could reach the Majors in the second half of the coming year with an eye on settling into a big league rotation role in ’18.

The Tumbler: Eric Jagielo (3B): A former first round draft pick of the Yankees, Jagielo’s development has stalled. He hit just .205 at double-A in ’16 and struck out 128 times in 365 at-bats. Toss in inconsistent defensive reports at third base — and the addition of second overall ’16 draft pick Nick Senzel (a third baseman) — and you have a murky-at-best reading of Jagielo’s future in Cincinnati. Now, he does have the raw, left-handed power to potentially survive a move to first base but the contact rate is going to have to start to rise drastically in 2017 or the 24-year-old prospect will soon disappear into the depths of obscurity.

The ’16 Draft Pick: Nick Senzel (3B): As mentioned above, Senzel was one of the top prospects in the 2016 draft and showed an advanced approach while transitioning from college ball to the pros during his debut. He has a solid all-around game and could hit for both average and decent power (20 homers or so in a full season). He should also produce a solid on-base percentage thanks to a solid eye and patient approach. There are also few questions about his ability to stick at the hot corner. Senzel, 21, should open the 2017 season in either high-A or double-A and a shot at reaching The Show in his first full season is not out of the question.

The Lottery Ticket: Taylor Trammell (OF): I don’t usually do this but I’m going back to the 2016 draft to find my Reds lottery ticket. Trammell is by no means a true sleeper. He was drafted 35th overall in ’16 but he’s still quite raw despite his successful pro debut. The 19-year-old outfielder strikes out a lot for a player whose game should be based on putting the ball in play and running like the wind (57 times in 228 at-bats). He’s extremely athletic and his quickness allowed him to nab 24 bases in his first 61 games – despite his rough edges. Trammell is also learning the nuances of playing center field in pro ball but has the raw ability to develop into a plus fielder.

For reference sake, here is the 2015 Review.





Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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