When 2017 began for Stuart Fairchild he was buttoning up a Wake Forest jersey and preparing for his junior season. A few months later the Cincinnati Reds would select him 38th overall after he beat up on ACC pitching with a 1.075 OPS on the year. The outfielder would sign quickly and joined the Billings Mustangs for the final week of June. His career began with a hit in each of his first five games, including a home run in his second professional game.

When the calendar flipped over to July he would rally catch fire. In the first seven games he would hit .370, going 10-27. A two game 0-7 slump followed, but then Stuart Fairchild turned things up again, going 16-32 over the next nine games. He went cold over the final week of the month, though, going just 1-19 over the final five games. In 23 games during July he would hit .318/.396/.400. The power did not show up, but he struck out just 12 times on the month as he made tons of contact.

The first half of August was the best stretch of the season for Stuart Fairchild. Through the 15th he hit .387/.537/.581 with eight walks, two doubles and two triples. The outfielder would go into a bit of a slump over the next week, hitting just .182. He turned around over the final two weeks of the year. He went 14-40 (.350) with a double, triple and a home run. From the start of August through the end of the season five weeks later he hit .323/.427/.452.

For all 2017 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Stuart Fairchild Spray Chart

Stuart Fairchild Scouting Report

Hitting | In his pro debut, Stuart Fairchild showed a good ability to use the entire field. He also showed a high rate of contact – both of which should help him carry a high average if he can continue to do so.

Power | After hitting 17 home runs for Wake Forest in 2017 he only hit three from Billings. His in-game power is currently well below-average. Scouts noted that he shows above-average raw power in batting practice, but he may need to alter his swing to tap into it during games.

Running | He’s an above-average to plus runner who can use his speed well on the bases as well as in the field.

Arm | His arm is average and should play fine in center field.

Defense | He’s an above-average to potentially plus defender depending on who you ask. Either way, he will provide plenty of value defensively in center.

Defensively is where Stuart Fairchild stood out as a professional in his debut. He performed better than expected coming out of the draft in this aspect. On the flip side, he underperformed a little on the offensive side of things. He showed a good average, and he got on base at a good rate, too. But power, which was a big part of his game in college, simply didn’t show up in Billings. The concerns echoed by some before the draft in regards to his power were still echoed at times after his debut. If he never develops the power he shows in batting practice he could still be a quality center fielder, but if that power starts showing up in games he could really rise up through the system quickly.

19 Responses

  1. Shamrock

    Both the Fairfield and Downs picks look quite promising.

    I was going through the list of possible Rule 5 pickups, and the one I really like is:
    Max Pentecost, C for the Blue Jays. A 2014 1st round pick (#11 Overall).
    MLB Pipeline has him currently at #8 in the Jays system.
    After doing a bit of research, Max looks like a heckuva offensive prospect. He’s drawn comps to former All Star catchers Jason Kendall and Craig Biggio for both his hitting and athletism.
    The biggest challenge for this former Johnny Bench Award winner appears to be staying healthy.
    He missed the entire ’15 season with a throwing arm injury that definitely set him back a bit (hence why the Jays are taking the chance on exposing him)

    Ceiling:
    Jason Kendall
    A top 10 mlb starting catcher

    Floor:
    Can’t beat the injury bug and never develops

    https://www.google.com/amp/jaysfromthecouch.com/2017/09/20/blue-jays-2017-year-review-max-pentecost/amp/

    Still very raw @ catcher, but could be an adequate bench bat for us this year with a good deal of potential for the future.

    • Kap

      Heard all the shoulder surgeries for Pentecost could make it hard if not impossible for him to stay at catcher. He may be a 1st base only player going forward

      • Arnold Ziffle

        If you remember correctly, when it was rumored that Jay Bruce was being traded to Toronto back in 2015 or beginning of 2016, Pentecost was part of the deal. That is until the Reds reviewed his medicals. They then balked at the trade. I doubt the Reds go back in that direction. Pentecost has a long way to go. Barnhart’s new 4 year deal will be over by the time Pentecost reaches MLB, if he reaches at all.
        Not as a Rule V pick. Not going the whole year with 3 C’s on the roster this year.

  2. MK

    I would imagine they would like to go back to two catchers on 25-man roster in 2018 with Turner in AAA ready to replace whoever might get injured.

      • MK

        No, didn’t want to mention him directly and seem negative but figured Turner and Barnhart would spend the time as the two. With a four man bench it just doesn’t make much sense to have two as catchers. Didn’t think it worked well when they tried it before the Mez injury.

      • Doug Gray

        The Reds won’t go with three catchers on the 25-man roster this year. I’d be downright shocked if they tried that again. Turner will be in Triple-A as insurance as the third guy in case of an injury.

  3. Kap

    I feel like Fairchild could be a decent player in the majors. I like that he made a lot of contact in Billings, which was a concern of his during the draft process. I just hope he doesn’t develop “Peraza-itis” and just try to make contact and never walk in the upper minors and majors.

    • Stock

      Perazaitis is a disease that develops in rookie ball. The symptoms of this disease are a BB% in rookie ball of < 6% and an ISO of < .100.

      The doctors in the majors see these symptoms and take full advantage. Why walk a guy when the best case scenario is a single. These doctors are unafraid to throw strikes to players with Perazaitis.

      The fact that Fairchild showed power before the draft has me believing that Perazaitis is not a disease Fairchild will ever contract. That said the ISO is a concern.

  4. Arnold Ziffle

    If Hunter Greene stumbles, Fairchild will be the best of this draft class. He is going to be a good CF.
    And add into the fact that CTrent picked out Farichild as his best defensive player in the minors for the Reds, and that is quite a package Fairchild brings to the table.

    • Stock

      With Greene, Downs, Fairchild, Case, Heatherly, Sceroler, Naughton and even Kolozsvary this could prove to be the best draft in Reds history.

      • dbfromnva

        Drafts often look good early after great numbers are run out at Billings. I can’t imagine that this draft will surpass the 2016 draft where 2 studs have already excelled in full season leagues.

      • Stock

        it will take a great class to beat the Carbo, Bench and McRae draft of 1965 but I think this class has a chance. I know it is early. I think you need at least 3 players to match the production of the 1965 class whose WAR was 124.1. For comparison sake Larkin (67) and Votto (53.4) only combine for 120.4 WAR at this point.

  5. Shamrock

    I feel a little bad for hijacking your extensive Stu Fairfield writeup.
    He’s got some potential, although right now he looks like the 2nd coming of Drew Stubbs. (his offense needs to improve by leaps and bounds)

    Stu Turner, on the other hand, looks like a young Jeff Reed. Which is fine. I mean, he appears serviceable.
    Meanwhile though, Pentecost could still profile as the next Jason Kendall. The bat plays, so if we do grab him, I don’t think it will be like last year when we carried Peraza’s offensive twin (Turner) on the bench.
    Of all the players available in the Rule 5, I don’t see another offensive player with as much upside as Max has…….especially at a premium position. Heck, the kid’s even got speed (maybe if he doesn’t cut it @ Catcher he could be moved to 2B/Center….reading his 2014 scouting reports, it honestly doesn’t sound like too far of a stretch)
    Just saying……..

    • Shamrock

      A couple pitchers from Minnesota look Okay-ish (Jake Reed and Kohl Stewart). Out of the two, I would prefer Kohl simply for youth and some potential upside. (although seeing Cody wearing C. REED in the bullpen does sound kinda cool)
      But, I’m pretty sure that we already have enough pitchers competing for spots.
      The SS Rule 5 looks like heck
      CF…..maybe Burks from the cubbies could beat out Ervin for a spot (??)
      I mean, we left a spot open on the 40 man for a reason, right? (and don’t say jake cave light)

      • Shamrock

        BTW…..I haven’t checked out their measurables…suppose both Turner and Fairchild both make the Reds roster in 2021……..which one is going to earn the moniker “Stuart Little”??

      • Stock

        I just don’t see the Reds taking someone in Rule 5. If the plan is to trade Hamilton they should take Tocci. He is a true CF. Much like Hamilton without the speed.

        If they are going to take a pitcher, they should take Nick Burdi.

        The biggest mistake they made was not protecting Wyatt Strahan. I think he will be one of the first picks in the draft.