While the Reds have had a very disappointing week of baseball, there was certainly some good news to celebrate to cheer up fans in Reds Country. On Tuesday of last week, Cincinnati managed to strike a deal with Hunter Greene and signed him to a six-year contract extension for 53 million dollars. This is a guaranteed contract for the next 6 years and includes a club option and buyout down the road. This is thrilling news, as Hunter is 23 years old and is already proving to be one of the best young pitchers in baseball. I predict the Reds organization will soon be working on getting an extension offer for Graham Ashcraft and Nick Lodolo as well. I hope they stay committed to the young core of this pitching rotation and bring up young prospects soon, as the young talent is the future of the Reds ball club.
Ice Cold Reds
If there is a term colder than “ice cold,” then I should’ve used it instead, as this team went from thrilling to start the season to absolutely as cold as it gets. I am hoping this is just a major slump, but I am beginning to wonder what to expect from this team. They are now 7-15 and have lost 6 games straight as I am writing this article. I still thoroughly believe in the future of this Reds team, but many people including myself, are focused on what is happening right now. Pitching of recent has been stellar, but the bats have simply not been able to score runs. The Reds haven’t managed to hit a homerun in over 10 days and are struggling to get runners in scoring position. To put things into perspective, Cincinnati has managed to hit 15 homeruns for the entire season. Pete Alonso of the Mets has already hit 10 homeruns himself. Many of us knew that this team was going to lack power, but the beginning of the season provided us hope that this team would manage playing small ball, as they were thrilling to begin the year. I am hopeful that the upcoming homestand will go in the favor of Cincinnati as I truly don’t believe this baseball town can handle another 100-loss season.
By now, nearly everyone has heard of the loaded system the Reds have. They currently have the 5th best ranked farm system and have talent galore in the minors. We’ve all read about and heard the names of the high potential athletes, but let’s check in on how they are performing:
· Elly De La Cruz – No. 8 prospect in all of baseball. The 21 year old shortstop at 6 ft. 5 in. just recently returned from the IL. He has only played 3 games for the Louisville Bats as I am writing this.
· Noelvi Marte – Currently in AA batting .186 and 1 HR.
· Edwin Arroyo – Currently with the Dayton Dragons batting .258 and 1 HR.
· Cam Collier – Currently batting .192 with the Daytona Tortugas.
· Matt McLain – Batting .284 in Louisville with 5 homeruns. I hope to see the SS/2B join the Reds in the near future, as he is definitely MLB ready. He has 8 hits in his last 4 games, has speed, and has power.
· Christian Encarnacion-Strand – The 23 year old 3rd baseman just returned to the team and is continuing the hot start that he had in Spring Training. I believe he is more than ready to join this team this year and I expect him to be on the roster by the end of the season.
· Andrew Abbott – LHP pitching in Chattanooga and just called up to AAA. He holds a 1.15 ERA and has been highly impressive.
NFL Draft Week
NFL Draft week is finally here and I am more than excited for the Draft to begin. This year, the draft is going to take place in Kansas City and will begin on Thursday, April 27th and continue all the way until Saturday evening. Last week, I provided my Mock Draft, but I truly haven’t seen anyone agree on who we are targeting for our first-round pick. The Bengals have many needs this off-season and I really believe Cincinnati sits in a place where they will take the best player available, despite their position for the most part. No matter who we take, I trust that Cincinnati will have a good draft, as we have recently had success each year. Below are the current odds for the Bengals 1st round pick at pick number 28:
· Michael Mayer (TE) – +300
· Darnell Washington (TE) – +400
· Dalton Kincaid (TE) – +525
· Brian Branch (S) – +650
· Jaxon Smith-Njogba (WR) – +700
· The Field (NA) – +350