The Cincinnati Reds farm system had some outstanding highlights in 2017. Tyler Mahle threw a perfect game for Double-A Pensacola. The Blue Wahoos would win the Southern League Championship. The 39-game hit streak by Jose Siri, though, may have been the biggest story. It lasted nearly six weeks and set a new Midwest League record, breaking one that had stood since 1977. It came to an end, somewhat in controversy, when in his final trip to the plate the opposing team threw behind him on one pitch and did what they could to give him little to hit after issues from the night before stemming from hit batters.

Over the span of the hit streak, which spanned 40 games (he pinch hit in one game early during the streak and drew a walk), he racked up 59 hits. Of those hits, 12 were doubles, three were triples and 13 went over the fence for home runs. There were also 31 singles hit during the hit-streak.

On Thursday night I created a little spray chart, breaking down each hit and the type of hit it was and where it went. Here’s how it turned out:

Jose Siri hit streak

Seeing it displayed like this really puts into perspective just how much of the entire field Jose Siri was using. Home runs to all fields. Doubles to all fields. Three triples to center. Singles to all fields. Infield singles. It was impressive to watch as it was happening, but it’s pretty impressive looking at it this way, too.

22 Responses

  1. The Duke

    That spray chart looks like one of those terrible Olympic logo designs.

  2. CP

    Good stuff Doug.

    This kid has got to start at High A next year right? Maybe get a look at AA later in the year if he handles the transition well?

    • MK

      I am sure he starts at high A but he has a lot of work to do before AA. I would say 95% of his hits in the streak came on fastballs and hanging breaking balls. If he gets to a league where pitchers can throw the slider that breaks into the left-handed batters box continually he might have a 39 game hitless streak. He has not shown the ability to hit it or lay off of it.

    • Doug Gray

      I think that is the plan – Daytona and if he performed, promote from there.

  3. MK

    You might see if the Dragons want to sell the spray chart as an art lithograph. Might be a new revenue stream for you.

  4. DaveCT

    It will be interesting to see how much Siri and Trammell separate next season at Daytona, given the differences in their approaches and strengths. Or not. If Trammell does have a higher current floor with his hit tool, his strength may pan out better in the FSL much as Senzel did this year. That said, wouldn’t it be great if Siri grew as much next season as he did this year.

  5. Shamrock

    Off topic:
    What’s the fascination on selling Scooter G?
    he’s my favorite player and I’m excited to see what he can do in what will be only his second year back in Cincinnati (hometown boy makes good)

    • RFM

      -Scooter is a platoon hitter, doing well against RHPs but terribly against LHPs
      -Scooter is fairly expensive, and headed back to arbitration
      -Scooter isn’t a particularly good defender
      -Scooter’s value is high as it’ll ever be, after being as low as it ever was when he was claimed off waivers. Sell high.
      -The Reds have Peraza (also SS), Dilson Herrera (if his shoulder is okay), and Alex Blandino deserving looks at 2b, where Senzel or Suarez may play when Senzel earns a promotion. They have more internal, interesting, young, and deserving candidates to play 2b than any other position on the field.

      Overall he’s a platoon bat who’s a little expensive, below average defensively, and who’s blocking other candidates. I don’t think anybody wants to get rid of him because he’s bad, but it’s as good an opportunity as they’ll ever get to trade him. The chances of him repeating his career year in 2018 are slim.

      • Doug Gray

        All of this, while also adding that they have Shed Long, too.

        Scooter is a fine Major Leaguer. But the Reds have other options, lots of them, that are cheap, and Scooter could probably bring a little bit of value in an area where they don’t have options.

      • CP

        How much can we realistically think we can get back out of Scooter?

  6. Shamrock

    In less than 500 AB, scooter hit .295 with 27hr and 97rbi.
    He’ll probably get a raise up to around 5-6M in arbitration and he’s only 27yrs old.

    Peraza can’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag and Herrera just plain sucks.
    Meanwhile we have no clue whether or not Shed Long sucks because he hasn’t even figured out AA pitching yet…
    If Scott Schebler had produced like scooter did in his age 27 season (they’re both 27 btw) he would be proclaimed as our Rightfielder of the present/future no questions asked. (blocking Winker)
    So why the heck, if scheb would be able to hold off winker are people not feeling that scooter can easily hold off non top guys like peraza and herrera??

    • RFM

      Scooter vs Schebler:
      -Platoon: Unlike Scooter, Schebler isn’t a platoon hitter, hitting similarly off LHPs and RHPs in his career. This year he strangely struggled against RHPs due to a ~.200 BABIP against them, but BABIP fluxuates. He’s an every day guy.

      -Defense: Schebler can play three positions, left and right with above average range, or CF with below average range. Scooter nominally now plays 2b, 3b, and OF… but he’s below average at all, and completely blocked at 2. Schebler has much better range than Winker, while they share concerns about their arms.

      -Salary: Schebler isn’t even arbitration eligible until 2020, while as you said Scooter will make $5-6m in 2018. He’ll be a free agent when Schebler is finally getting salary arbitration. High school draftee Scooter reached the majors earlier than college draftee Schebler… now despite being the same age Schebler is controlled longer and for less money. That matters, although if you think about it that is kinda silly that reaching the majors at a younger age can be less appealing, but that’s just how the system works.

      Expectations: Scooter has a 5 year MLB track record that shows this season as a total outlier, where his value and production exploded. After a career year, in which he showed his absolute ceiling, performance generally returns more to the norm than keeps going up. Personally I think Schebler just had an average year similar to last, with a much higher ceiling. His shoulder injury around July really dragged down his season numbers.

      -Winker and Schebler can play together in the outfield corners (I’d put Winker in LF, Schebler in RF). If you don’t care about defense they can play next to each other with Schebler in CF. I think the argument of Schebler OR Winker is misleading, it’s not a 1:1 competition like the 2b situation.

      “Herrera just plain sucks”. I disagree. He’s young and has hit well when his shoulder allows. Now he’s had surgery. If he makes a full recovery he can be a good MLB hitter, with a long track record in AAA. Whether or not he sucks comes down to his shoulder, not his talent. He’s out of options so he’ll have to be with the team, if healthy. The fact Dilson Herrera (and Peraza, Blandino) bats right handed and Scooter Gennett is incapacitated by LHPs suggests a platoon may develop. I don’t think Scooter needs to worry about being benched in favor of Dilson Herrera (the majority of MLB pitchers ARE right handed), but he’ll definitely need to worry about losing at bats to a righty, so both Scooter and the righty are put in a position to succeed. If the younger righty platoon guy does well, then what happens? THEN a trade of Scooter would probably become appealing… and Scooter’s trade value can only go down from here.

      Nick Senzel will head to AAA, perhaps to play 2b. I think we all expect him to hit really well, and start knocking on the door. Is it better to worry about what to do with Scooter then? Again, Scooter’s trade value can only go down from here. Benching Scooter won’t help his trade value. Keeping Senzel in Louisville well past the super two deadline until teams try to start making trades in July seems silly. I think there’s logic in clearing the path for Senzel at the opportune time (now) and letting other young guys (Peraza, Herrera, Blandino) fill in until Senzel is ready.

      Again, the 2018 season – win or lose – I think ultimately comes down to how the pitching performs. Bailey, Disco, Finnegan, Castillo, Stephenson, Romano, Garrett, Reed, Mahle… Lorenzen, Peralta, Brice, Ariel Hernandez, Herget… that’s the team’s biggest area for improvement. I think the pitching will decide if the team sinks or swims, not the bat at 2b. If Scooter repeats at 2b and the pitching is bad the team will lose. If Peraza sucks at 2b and the pitching is great the team will win. If I’m the Reds I’m selling Scooter NOW.

      Personally I consider Shed Long too far down the road (and temporarily seemingly blocked behind Suarez/Senzel) to be a big factor in 2b considerations this offseason.

  7. Shamrock

    …..and Doug, what kinda relief pitcher are we going to get for a 27yr old 2B who would’ve hit around .300 and slammed 35hr with 120rbi over a 600ab season??
    Honestly, we shouldn’t settle for anything less than a young Aroldis Chapman.

    • RFM

      Not Doug, but for a platoon bat making ~$6m with a long track record (that provides a different story than his career year) and two years of control remaining… I think a young controllable setupman would be a good return.

      Several elite closers have been traded in recent years for huge hauls. Alas, their trade value is far greater than a platoon bat. If you think Scooter Gennett is worth a young Aroldis Chapman, well, I just don’t know what to tell you.

    • DaveCT

      One more issue with Scooter is, on a team built upon defense, his stands out like the proverbial sore thumb. His throws are a concern in particular. Ultimately, though, he’s a good asset to have so I think the ‘trade Scooter’ movement comes from the sell high school of thought.

    • Doug Gray

      No one on the planet thinks Scooter is going to remotely come close to repeating what he did in 2017. So expecting that, and trying to get the value of that, well, it’s just going to leave you holding onto him at far lesser value. Scooter Gennett is a solid guy. You may be able to sell him as an every day starter at second base with two years left on his deal. You aren’t going to be able to sell him as some All-Star caliber second baseman. Not unless he repeats what he did. And if he does, he still probably keeps the same value because instead of two years on his contract left, you only have one.

      Scooter Gennett and Jose Peraza do not play the same position. So I don’t know why you keep bringing him up. And Herrera actually should be considered a “top guy”. We aren’t entirely sure how that shoulder is right now coming off of the surgery – but prior to this year, everyone thought he’d hit, and well, he did.

      It’s not about just Shed Long. It’s Shed Long. And Alex Blandino. And Dilson Herrera. And for at least right now, Micah Johnson. The Reds have options. And Gennett has 2 years on his deal left. And he’s coming off of what is likely going to be easily the best year he’s ever had. Sell high while you can.

  8. Shamrock

    Tough crowd
    I honestly don’t know how this guy hasn’t won over the hearts of the entire Cincinnati fan base (scrappy little underdog who’s probably made the most triumphant home town return since Eric Davis came home to blast 26hr in way back in ’96)
    RFM and Doug, you both make solid arguments IF we were all fine assuming that we’re looking at a player who is in decline.
    That’s not what I see with Scooter though……but it feels like I’m off on my own island here.
    Cozart: https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/cozarza01.shtml…..age 27 had a 12hr .256 average year……the last two years he’s “put it all together”…..and he’s in his early thirties.
    I see no reason why Scooter can’t post similar numbers at least thru the end of his current contract (especially if you’re gonna give him the starting 2B job from the get go, in which case he should accumulate a bit more than the 490ab he had this season)

    Now, was it the “GABP Effect”….getting the heck out of Milwaukee (and coming home to Cincy)……was getting waived a Wake Up Call……..or was it just a heavy dose of Gold Star Chili?????
    I don’t know……but the kid definitely Woke Up this summer and, in my opinion, deserves a chance to prove all you guys calling him “a fluke career year” “nothing more than a platoon player” Wrong.

    • RFM

      Deep down Scooty might’ve “won my heart” but that doesn’t make me want to make irrational decisions for him. Beloved players come and go, that’s part of the business, part of the game, part of aging. There’s a big picture and logic, competing with the gut feeling and love of the hometown guy. I want my team to make decisions on the former, not the later. The decision to hold onto Scooter is similar to that with fan favorite Todd Frazier. We quickly got over Todd Frazier’s departure (his .220 average in the AL has helped), and will quickly get past Scooter’s.

      Cozart and Scooter have each had career years, unsupported by years of data. Every month Scooter gets to prove whether or not his 2017 season was ‘for real’, as Doug pointed out, is one month less of team control. Even if he duplicates his 2017 season in 2018, as unlikely as that is, he’ll have done it with a year less of service time, and it’ll be accompanied by yet another arbitration raise.

      Scooter can prove us right or wrong about 2017 being a fluke/career year while playing for another team. If he’s traded this winter we’ll always know, even if he wins the 2018 Silver Slugger, that he was traded at the peak of his value. Send a year supply of canned Skyline (way better than Gold Star) Chili if that helps.

      Again, I think you’re ignoring the major detail that Scooter is totally unable to hit LHPs.

      A big difference between Cozart and Scooter is that Cozart has always been an elite defender. He generates value with his glove, whether he hits or not. Scooter is a below average defender – probably the worst defender of the Reds’ numberous 2b candidates – so he needs to outhit his defensive deficiencies.

      I said it last year and I’ll say it again – the Reds should sign free agent RHP Joe Smith. He’s from Batavia. Drafted out of Wright State. He can become the new hometown hero. Last year it took him until February to find a $3m contract, but (unfortunately?) he’s now coming off a tremendous season with 71 K’s and 10 BBs in 54 innings. He’s about to turn 34. Maybe he’s open to returning home.

  9. Shamrock

    And, once again, if Schebler had put up the same numbers you guys would be calling it a “breakout season”…….Scooter does and it’s just a “career year”……come on guys, they’re both the same frickin age.

    • Doug Gray

      And if Schebler had a bunch of guys knocking on the door behind him and only two years left, most of us would be saying “trade him now”, too. Instead, Schebler makes league minimum and has 5 years remaining before free agency. Apples and horse shoes comparison.

    • RFM

      What Doug said.

      Also Schebler can hit both LHPs and RHPs, and his versatility far better fits the Reds needs.

      Most notably I see the fluke and strange numbers in Schebler’s 2017 season (.219 BABIP vs RHPs, .207 BABIP at home, .248 BABIP overall on the season, huge slump starting right after everyone thought he dislocated his shoulder and would be out long term, and ending when he came back from a brief trip to the DL, after having played through it) as things holding his numbers down, rather than propping them up.

      In Schebler I see a guy who can play three outfield positions, put up a ~.340 OBP, and can hit 40 homeruns. He’s not going to be a superstar but I think he can be a very valuable corner outfielder for several years, especially considering his years of affordable team control. I know I’m higher on him than others, with others seeing him as a 4th outfielder. I think he’s basically Jay Bruce but with lower expectations placed upon him. Another hitting comparison I like is Todd Frazier, who was also a late bloomer who debuted at a similar late age.

      In Scooter I see a platoon hitter who only plays 2b, where he has negative defensive value, who makes ~$6m, and is approaching free agency. By the trade deadline in 2019 he’ll have to be traded, extended, or he’ll leave as a free agent for nothing. Now he’s more in the way of others than he is a cornerstone.

      They are similar ages but they are very different players at very different points in their careers. Their circumstances are very different, and one clearly fits in far better with the current state of the Reds. I believe Scooter has now had his best year, while Schebler’s best years are ahead.