Plenty of prospects

Courtesy of the Reds, here is a breakdown of the top-end prospects and former top prospects that the club will have in camp come February 2016.It’s pretty interesting. Among the homegrown guys, several of the high picks are developing nicely and are either big league ready, or close.

Of course, more changes are potentially coming.

1st-round Picks: 11 (including 2 supplemental)
2nd-round Picks: 6 (including 1 compensatory)
3rd-round Picks: 2

Players Rated by Baseball America: 8 (Blandino-6th, Garrett-3rd, Reed-2nd, Romano-9th, Stephenson-1st, Travieso-7th, Winker-5th, and Peraza-1st for Braves in 2015 and 4th for Dodgers in 2016)
Players Rated by MLB.com: 7 (Blandino-8th, Garrett-4th, Peraza-1st, Reed-10th, Stephenson-3rd, Travieso-7th, Winker-2nd)
Bailey, Homer – 1st-round draft pick (7th overall) in 2004
Blandino, Alex – 1st-round draft pick (29th overall) in 2014, rated Reds’ 6th-best prospect by Baseball America, rated Reds’ 8th best prospect by MLB.com
Bruce, Jay – 1st-round draft pick (12th overall) in 2005
Cingrani, Tony – 3rd-round draft pick (114th overall) in 2011
Cozart, Zack – 2nd-round draft pick (79th overall) in 2007
De Jesus Jr., Ivan – Compensatory 2nd-round draft pick (51st overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005
Ervin, Phillip – 1st-round draft pick (27th overall) in 2013
Finnegan, Brandon – 1st-round draft pick (17th overall) by the Kansas City Royals in 2014
Garrett, Amir – Rated Reds’ 3rd-best prospect by Baseball America, rated Reds’ 4th-best prospect by MLB.com
Hamilton, Billy – 2nd-round draft pick (57th overall) in 2009
Lorenzen, Michael – Supplemental 1st-round pick (38th overall) in 2013
Mesoraco, Devin – 1st-round draft pick (15th overall) in 2007
Peraza, Jose – Rated the Braves’ best prospect in 2015 and the Dodgers’ 4th-best prospect in 2016 by Baseball America, rated the Reds’ best prospect by MLB.com
Phillips, Brandon – 2nd-round draft pick (57th overall) by the Montreal Expos in 1999
Reed, Cody – 2nd-round draft pick (46th overall) by the Kansas City Royals in 2013, rated the Reds’ 2nd-best prospect by Baseball America, rated the Reds’ 10th-best prospect by MLB.com
Romano, Sal – Rated the Reds’ 9th-best prospect by Baseball America
Skipworth, Kyle – 1st-round draft pick (6th overall) by the Florida Marlins in 2008
Stephenson, Robert – 1st-round draft pick (27th overall) in 2011, rated Reds’ No. 1 prospect for third straight year by Baseball America, rated Reds’ 3rd-best prospect by MLB.com, entered 2014 season at the 19th-best prospect in MLB
Travieso, Nick – 1st-round draft pick (14th-overall) in 2012, rated Reds’ 7th-best prospect by Baseball America, rated Reds’ 7th-best prospect by MLB.com
Votto, Joey – 2nd-round draft pick (44th-overall) in 2002
Winker, Jesse – Supplemental 1st-round pick (49th-overall) in 2012, rated Reds’ 5th-best prospect by Baseball America, rated Reds’ 2nd-best prospect by MLB.com
Wood, Blake – 3rd-round pick (77th overall) by the Kansas City Royals in 2006

35 Comments

It doesn’t matter how many prospects the Reds have, that idiot Jocketty will screw it up anyway. I urge all season ticket holder not to renew until Jocketty is gone.

this will be a true test if they are committed to rebuilding or not. there is no reason not to let winker have a legit shot at the left field job.enough of the he is not ready crap and let him play. if he plays and bats .220-,230 it is still better than paying some washed ex-card or some other teams rejects a million bucks or more to put up the same numbers. he will be getting the valuable experience he needs and it do him better facing big league pitching than triple A pitching.

This reminds me of the sales approach of “throw as much s**t at the prospective customer as you can and see what sticks”. I guess I’m supposed to get excited by this laundry list and go out and buy seasson tickets.
It’s not the number of prospects you have but how you develop and utilize them. This organization is woefully lacking in the management of the minor league system.
I hope we give the young talent major league time this year and build a competetive team for the future. I’ll be rooting regardless and hoping for the best.

Season tickets will be bought by the majority of fans with or without the thought of winning the World Series; only a few fans will with hold their season seats as many fans go to the ballpark for many, many, many other reasons. I held season seats at Dodger Stadium for marketing reasons and again for my own personal reasons, both at different times and for different reasons depending on again, a host of reasons. Yes, I was a Reds fan at both times, but baseball wasn’t and isn’t a win or nothing proposition. Going to the ballpark is an event within itself. My clients and family enjoy a night out in the summer air and to watch a game, Reds or Dodgers, it was and is still a wonderful event. I will continue to harp, bark and bitch against a number of moves by the Reds, but also will root, clap and cheer for baseball as a whole. I guess some of us love the game for what it is, while maintaining hope for our favorite team, but to boycott the sport, in my mind, is ludicrous. Reds will make their changes, with or without any attempt to guide them by not going to a game or two; fans as a whole will dismiss such a notion. A note to none season seat holders: once you obtain primo season seats, you certainly aren’t about to give them up, believe me.

Way to go Leakey – 5 yr gig w/St Lou.

Glad he’s in Red…wrong shade.

Is Now the Time to Trade Jay Bruce?
Posted on 12/22/2015 by NICK CARRINGTON
The Reds have gone full rebuild this winter, looking to deal a number of big names for younger, cheaper talent. Thank God. They tried to unload Aroldis Chapman until an alleged domestic violence issue came to light. They successfully dealt Todd Frazier and agreed to trade Brandon Phillips to the Nationals if #DatDudeBP would have only waived his no trade clause. The Reds may have a few minor pieces left to deal, but the last big name they would likely trade is Jay Bruce.

But after seeing what the Reds got in return for Frazier, I’m wondering whether trading Bruce right now is a good idea. Jose Peraza may indeed turn out to be a good player, but he has some serious question marks, more question marks than you would expect from the main piece in the Frazier trade. How many more shortcomings will the main return piece for Bruce have?

Bruce is coming off of two poor seasons. In 2014, he was clearly injured. We have video of his awkward, upper body only swing. In 2015, Bruce had one of the strangest seasons I can remember. He had terrible results for the first six weeks of the season. Then, for over two and a half months, Bruce was a top five hitter in the league, slashing .307/.376/.568 from May 16th until August 2nd. From that point until the end of the season, Bruce inexplicably fell into one of the worst slumps of his career (.173/.214/.345), causing me great internal anguish (Why would he do this to me?).

After those two seasons, what would another team be willing to give up to acquire Bruce? If the Reds were the team trading for a guy like Bruce, coming off of seasons where he produced -0.9 WAR (2014) and 0.1 WAR (2015), we would crucify the front office for giving away solid prospects, let alone elite ones.

And there’s the problem: Bruce may not be worth trading at this point. It’s not like the Reds have young outfielders with tremendous potential knocking down the door to take Bruce’s place in right field. He likely won’t bring back much in terms of prospects. Should the Reds trade him simply to get his money off the books? They certainly aren’t going to use that extra money to buy a high profile free agent this offseason. With Cueto, Leake, Frazier, and potentially Phillips gone, how much more money do they really need to save?

If the Reds get a good offer for Bruce with a legitimate prospect or two, I have no problem with trading him. In fact, that’s what they should probably do. If they don’t get that offer though, if the return doesn’t yield talent that will likely help the Reds win in the future, they shouldn’t just give him away.

That’s not to say that Bruce is a long-term piece either. The Reds should consider giving their much maligned right fielder the opportunity to build his value back up this season. Last July, the Mets were willing to part with Zack Wheeler, a big time pitching prospect, for Bruce. Even though Wheeler was coming off of Tommy John surgery, he was a hefty price to pay for the Reds right fielder. But Bruce was toward the end of his strong three month stretch. He looked like a difference maker at the time. The deal didn’t happen, and Bruce fell apart.

If Bruce can show some of the talent that made him a very good player from 2010-2013, the Reds may be able to extract some real value for him at the trade deadline or before in 2016. He still has a club option for 2017, which would give any receiving club an extra year of control if they wanted. Another Wheeler type prospect would go a long way to rebuilding the club and making the Reds contenders again.

Heading into his age 29 season, Bruce could easily have several years of good baseball left in him. Based on what we know of aging curves, he should be in the prime of his career, though some players peek early.

Bruce could struggle again, further weakening his value. But if the Reds aren’t getting much in return for him now, it doesn’t really matter. The risk is worth the potential reward. Rebuilding is most importantly about acquiring young, controllable talent and not merely getting rid of players who have been around a while.

If the Reds want to minimize the amount of time they spend losing, they need to be smart about when they trade players of value. They likely should have traded both Frazier and Bruce last July. After receiving a package full of question marks for Frazier, right now may not be the time to unload Jay Bruce.

Neb, you’ll never give up on Bruce. And that’s OK. For me I say trade him now for whatever you can get. His inconsistency makes him much less valuable than his stats would indicate. We’re starting a rebuild, lets do it with new blood. Same goes for Phillips, but if he refuses to be traded, then have the 14 million dollar man ride the bench. That would give him plenty of time to reconsider his priorities.

Unfortunately, you are shooting the messenger.

Neb. Wasn’t a shot at you at all. You have been consistent in expressing your views on his talent and potential. I respect that in you. It’s just my opinion differs from yours.

You can not unload everybody and expect to have any kind of a decent season. There has to be a mix of young and old and the ability to string hits together. Not the upper deck strike out artists we’ve have recently.

Of course we can…without any chance or thought of competing ub 2016. The Reds have already said as much. The reality is that any rebuild is painful, but the longer it takes the longer it postpones getting better. Therefore, let’s get it over with, play 2016 in a learning mode and teach the SP and BP how to play…go on from there. I say, the sooner the better..but make all the changes ASAP…not next year. With all that said, I think we still need a veteran SP in order to guide the kids a bit…but it doesn’t need to be a big-buck player. On the other hand, it appears that we will still have Votto and Phillips, at minimum, to play on after the start of the 2016 season. And….so it goes.

TOW…here is what I said on December 16th…you obviously missed it…
“By spring training I trust that the Reds will have relocated Phillips, Bruce and possibly Chapman (depending on MLB). A rebuilding and committed team has no need to keep any of these guys and it would free up a great deal of money. As with the 2010 team, the 2016 team is another rebuild; something that small market teams must do. However, with that said, our TV contract is about to be renegotiated (end of 2016) and more monies will be available. Luckily for the fans, Castellini is committed to fielding a winning ball club and is not afraid to spend money. Let’s hope that an abrasive and complete rebuild is done quickly so that we can get on and field a competitive team
(2017). We’ll have to in order to keep up in the Division. So far, the trades and acquisitions thus far look promising, but again, we aren’t done by a long shot.”

You are right. I missed it. I agree totally about the rebuild and getting it done sooner rather than later.

There was a time that I opposed moving Bruce in hopes of him returning to his raw talent and great numbers that he put up prior to two seasons ago, but I finally threw in the towel once I was convinced that there is no leadership (managing/coaching) capable of helping him out of this erratic batting/swinging. And, if I am correct, he will rekindle his superb batting talent…only with another team. Equally sad is the fact that his contract is fairly friendly for a 30+ HR/100 RBI potential. Also, if I am correct, others on the team will suffer as well…most notably, our young CF. Maybe Peraza’s ‘contact’ will rub off on him/taught to him.

Glad to hear you two agree on rebuilding. Last night on the Hot Stove League, Marty and Thom got off on a side rant about baseball finances being unfair to small market teams, and fans called asking what’s the point of rooting for a team that has no hope because of the money structure. That kind of kvetching is pointless. Nothing about the way baseball runs itself is going to change, so the only question is, how are the Reds going to do what the Royals did? That’s worth discussing, even arguing about. The Reds’ need to rebuild is a forgone conclusion. Fans whine “Why trade the good players?” Because you can’t trade the bad players – because the Reds can still finish in last place even without Todd Frazier. They’ll keep Joey because his contract makes him untradeable – though the market’s close to catching up. Bruce, my favorite Red, who I still believe has an MVP season in him, has value and is entering his contract year so goodbye to Jay Bruce. And to Brandon Phillips. And to Chapman when that shoe drops. Even if all Santa brings us is prospects who turn out to be lumps of coal, I still have hopes for next year (hopes are free), and I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Well said Max. Yes, it’s a forgone conclusion that the Reds need to continue their rebuilding; the 6-year run of a core team that played very well for 4 years, only to spit the bit in mass for the last 2, must be re-invented once again. The good news is that we are doing it…the bad news is that prior to Castellini there wasn’t too much of this going on…only meandering and watching players come and go with very little to show for. MERRY CHRISTMAS back at you…and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s to a team in 2017 with at least 81 wins!

Cardinals Sign Mike Leake
By Steve Adams | December 22, 2015

After spending much of the offseason searching for a rotation upgrade, the Cardinals on Tuesday added a much-needed arm to the equation, announcing the signing of right-hander Mike Leake to a five-year deal. Leake, a client of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, will reportedly take home a guarantee of $80MM. His contract also includes a mutual option that can escalate the deal to $93-94MM and a full no-trade clause.

Central clubs, NL West will face deep competition
By Phil Rogers / MLB.com | @philgrogers | December 22nd, 2015
Do the Cubs really think they can beat the Cardinals at their own business?

Swiping John Lackey and Jason Heyward on the free-agent market were bold moves, but the Cards aren’t conceding a thing. They will call the Lackey bet with Mike Leake and raise the Cubs a healthy Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez.
Cardinals, Leake agree to 5-year deal
It remains to be seen if there was a true shift of power in the division when the Cubs knocked off the Pirates in the National League Wild Card Game and the Cardinals in the NL Division Series, but one thing is for sure: This is baseball’s most competitive division.
NL Central
You knew the Cardinals were going to make a move like signing Leake. They always do. That’s why no division will be tougher to win in 2016 than this one.
This was true in 2015, when the Cubs won 97 games and finished third, and it should be true for the foreseeable future as the Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs are all built to last.
Adding Leake (at a reported five years, $80 million) puts St. Louis in position to again have the deepest staff in the Major Leagues. It’s a move that probably wouldn’t have been made had Lance Lynn not undergone Tommy John surgery in November, but it makes perfect sense.

Leake will pitch at 28 years old in 2016 and has made at least 30 starts in four consecutive seasons. He brings durability to a rotation that has major talents (including Jaime Garcia and Michael Wacha) with recent health concerns and didn’t cost St. Louis a Draft pick, positioning the Cardinals for a major haul next June (they’ll have three of the first 40 picks after losing Heyward and Lackey).
The Cubs, of course, have placed themselves on an upward trajectory that is difficult to deny. They’ve become a destination franchise for players, and that’s not sitting well in St. Louis, which has held that distinction for a couple decades now.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny made that point after Heyward said he picked the Cubs in part because they feature young talent while the Cardinals’ core is aging.
“I don’t think we have anything to apologize for in having a group like a [Matt] Holliday, a [Yadier] Molina, a Wainwright,” Matheny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Those are the kinds of guys everybody wants on a club. … I can’t say I’m in any kind of agreement with that [Chicago] core being better than any kind of core that we have. That veteran group also helps drive what the younger group turns into.”
Don’t forget about the Pirates. They might be the most motivated team in the NL Central after being unable to advance beyond the Division Series in three consecutive seasons. They’ve run into the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta, the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner and Wainwright in elimination games, and haven’t yet cracked the code.
Having traded Neil Walker to the Mets, the Pirates look a little thinner than in previous seasons. But in Max Moroff, Alen Hanson and Gift Ngoepe they have infielders coming fast. Their core players — Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, Josh Harrison and Gerrit Cole — are a cross between the young Cubs and the veteran Cardinals.
Every series between these three teams in 2016 has the potential to turn into a classic. The last team standing is likely to be the one that enters the postseason favored to win it all.

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | @m_sheldon | December 22nd
CINCINNATI — Cody Reed was moving steadily upward in the Royals organization until his baseball world received an unexpected jolt. When the Reds traded Johnny Cueto to Kansas City on July 26 for three left-handed pitching prospects, one of them was Reed.

Pitching with Double-A Northwest Arkansas before the deal, Reed packed up to join his new organization. He met up with his new team, Double-A Pensacola, while it was on a road trip in Chattanooga, not knowing what to think about his new situation.
“I thought it was going to be a lot worse, to be honest. It was like, ‘I have to learn a whole new system and get to know everyone,'” said Reed, who was acquired along with Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb. “The first day I was a little quiet. The first guys I met were Joel Bender and Josh Smith, and we hit it off right there shagging BP. It was just like, ‘We’re friends.’ It made it easier for me to talk to everyone, especially after I got my first start out of the way. Then it was back to normal. I just wanted to finish out strong and continue the decent year I was having.”
Over 26 combined games in 2015, including 23 starts, Reed was 13-9 with a 2.41 ERA. In 145 2/3 innings, he gave up 127 hits and 42 walks while striking out 144 with a 1.16 WHIP.
After joining Pensacola, Reed posted a 2.17 ERA in eight starts, and his 60 strikeouts were the most in Minor League Baseball in that stretch. He allowed two unearned runs and struck out 17 over 14 innings in his final two regular-season starts.
Reds manager Bryan Price met the 22-year-old Reed for the first time at Redsfest earlier this month. Price knows of Reed’s work from seeing video and via reports.
“He’s a stud,” Price said. “He was pitching all the way down through the playoffs for our club in Double-A, and our people just raved about him. I know the feedback we got from Kansas City. They just hated to give him up. It sounds to me that he’s a mature kid for his age and he’s a mature kid from a pitching standpoint from his limited experience in professional baseball, and a guy in our organization we definitely think could be an impact pitcher for us as a starter.
“We’ve seen Finnegan, we’ve seen Lamb, and I’m very excited about both of them. There’s one more piece to that trade that could help us, and I anticipate him helping us at some point next season. I’m thrilled about three lefties. That’s pretty sweet.”
Reed is spending this offseason working out at his old high school in Southaven, Miss., outside of Memphis.
“My first offseason [after 2013], I slacked a little bit. I can’t lie. I didn’t take it as serious,” said Reed, who struggled with a 5.46 ERA at Class A Lexington in 2014. “The last offseason, I was taking advantage of the time I’ve got to get bigger, stronger and faster. It’s really helped me. I took my bullpen sessions way more seriously. It obviously showed in Spring Training with the Royals. It showed when I had success throughout the year.”
Ranked the No. 10 prospect in the Reds organization by MLBPipeline.com, Reed hopes to compete for one of the three open big league rotation spots. He will be among the non-roster invitees at Major League camp.
“I’ll do everything I can and hopefully get rewarded at the end,” Reed said.

Would love to see Arroyo as mentor and then coach of all this young talent that we have.

Earlier this week we learned that the Orioles are among the clubs that have checked in on free agent pitcher Mat Latos. Latos, 28, is likely seeking a one-year deal to re-establish his value.

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | @m_sheldon | December 22nd, 2015
CINCINNATI — Cody Reed was moving steadily upward in the Royals organization until his baseball world received an unexpected jolt. When the Reds traded Johnny Cueto to Kansas City on July 26 for three left-handed pitching prospects, one of them was Reed.

Pitching with Double-A Northwest Arkansas before the deal, Reed packed up to join his new organization. He met up with his new team, Double-A Pensacola, while it was on a road trip in Chattanooga, not knowing what to think about his new situation.
“I thought it was going to be a lot worse, to be honest. It was like, ‘I have to learn a whole new system and get to know everyone,'” said Reed, who was acquired along with Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb. “The first day I was a little quiet. The first guys I met were Joel Bender and Josh Smith, and we hit it off right there shagging BP. It was just like, ‘We’re friends.’ It made it easier for me to talk to everyone, especially after I got my first start out of the way. Then it was back to normal. I just wanted to finish out strong and continue the decent year I was having.”
Over 26 combined games in 2015, including 23 starts, Reed was 13-9 with a 2.41 ERA. In 145 2/3 innings, he gave up 127 hits and 42 walks while striking out 144 with a 1.16 WHIP.
After joining Pensacola, Reed posted a 2.17 ERA in eight starts, and his 60 strikeouts were the most in Minor League Baseball in that stretch. He allowed two unearned runs and struck out 17 over 14 innings in his final two regular-season starts.
Reds manager Bryan Price met the 22-year-old Reed for the first time at Redsfest earlier this month. Price knows of Reed’s work from seeing video and via reports.
“He’s a stud,” Price said. “He was pitching all the way down through the playoffs for our club in Double-A, and our people just raved about him. I know the feedback we got from Kansas City. They just hated to give him up. It sounds to me that he’s a mature kid for his age and he’s a mature kid from a pitching standpoint from his limited experience in professional baseball, and a guy in our organization we definitely think could be an impact pitcher for us as a starter.
“We’ve seen Finnegan, we’ve seen Lamb, and I’m very excited about both of them. There’s one more piece to that trade that could help us, and I anticipate him helping us at some point next season. I’m thrilled about three lefties. That’s pretty sweet.”
Reed is spending this offseason working out at his old high school in Southaven, Miss., outside of Memphis.
“My first offseason [after 2013], I slacked a little bit. I can’t lie. I didn’t take it as serious,” said Reed, who struggled with a 5.46 ERA at Class A Lexington in 2014. “The last offseason, I was taking advantage of the time I’ve got to get bigger, stronger and faster. It’s really helped me. I took my bullpen sessions way more seriously. It obviously showed in Spring Training with the Royals. It showed when I had success throughout the year.”
Ranked the No. 10 prospect in the Reds organization by MLBPipeline.com, Reed hopes to compete for one of the three open big league rotation spots. He will be among the non-roster invitees at Major League camp.
“I’ll do everything I can and hopefully get rewarded at the end,” Reed said.

Mark…Just a quick note to tell you how much I appreciate your efforts while not only writing for MLB but keeping this board open so we Red’s fans can have a place to talk about our team. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and I hope you have a Happy New Year. Neb.

AMEN. I too apprecite it. And Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you . Have a blessed day and life .

Condolences to family, friends and associates of Jim O’Toole #31. Remember being glued to the radio one night in what turned out to be a one hitter.

Remember listening to late season game at LA Dodgers and O’Toole shut them out. In fact Reds won double header on way to NL crown in 1961. One of my all time favorites.

For any Reds fans that think that a rebuild isn’t necessary:
* The 64-98 record, finishing last, 36 games behind the Cardinals…
* The Reds lost more games than any season since 1982…
* It was the Reds second-worst winning percentage since 1937…
* The Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs won 100, 98 and 97 G respectively;
they continue to rebuild their teams…

The REDS need so much as I have commented before. They need outfield help as all fans know. Haven’t had a good regular left fielder in years, Hamilton in CF just hits barely over his weight, Bruce in Right Field has a big time problem with his batting average, has HR power but swings at pitches in the dirt and about 10 feet outside too often. The Reds could sign an excellent free agent outfielder, maybe not an Upton but an excellent one, and yes they have the money. The problem seems to be with the General Managers, Walt Jocketty & Dick Williams. They seem to be content by doing nothing as other team in their division continue to improve, while the Reds stay in the bottom of the standings and will be there for years to come IF some BIG changes are not done. Why fans go to park pay good money to get in, buy snacks & beverages while the men in control of helping do ZERO beats me. And this present OWNER/CEO promised a Reds contender, but did not say what year. It is terrible how this once proud franchise has fallen to the bottom, simply terrible!

@ Charles Wayne Lackey, they are not going to spend while we are in rebuilding, other than on replacement level types, probably.

They don’t even want to spend on the guys they do have now. They may be stuck with Phillips, Chapman and Bruce to start the season, Brandon possibly for the last two years of his contract, Chapman because of the investigation, and Bruce (possibly) in hopes we can rebuild his value, which can’t be very high after the last few seasons. Kinda regretting the Wheeler non-trade by now I imagine.

Homage to the Second Baseman We Still Have
Posted on 12/28/2015 by WESLEY JENKINS
Everyone knows That Guy. He’s the one who eats pizza with soy sauce and calls its a superfood. He’s the one who does the robot transitioning into the worm whenever he’s forced to dance. The one who played four sports in high school and still talks about it. That Guy is always the subject of water cooler talk whenever water cooler talk occurs (Does water cooler talk still occur? Can someone in the work force confirm?). That Guy makes your life more interesting simply because his is so unpredictable.

A week before Christmas, it seemed the Reds had lost their version of That Guy–or should I say Dat Dude. The deal had been confirmed, the teams were in agreement, the tweets had been sent, but…nothing. Now with the Nationals’ signing of Daniel Murphy, the Brandon Phillips trade train will sit comfortably in the station for the foreseeable future. The entire sequence of events that culminated in Dat Dude remaining a Red after breaking the story of his own trade and then refusing to waive his no-trade clause is the pinnacle That Guy moment in a career full of them.

For the past ten years, Brandon Phillips has been the Reds’ defensive savant (four Gold Gloves), at times an above average bat (one Silver Slugger), but mostly the resident clubhouse goofball. From helping revolutionize how athletes use Twitter (@DatDudeBP) to shunning all Cincinnati media, Phillips has made waves over the years, cementing his place in Reds’ folklore along the way. He’s long been That Guy for the Reds in a way only he could be. In light of recent events, I’ve tried to compile the most memorable times when Brandon was That Guy (no, the botched trade is not included because…well I don’t have a reason, it just isn’t). What follows is a list neither exhaustive nor entirely baseball focused but is most definitely #ALLREADY.

That Guy with a penchant for flipping the ball between his legs

To start anywhere other than one of BP’s many absurd defense plays would be lunacy. Dat Dude is datdude because of his fielding. It’s the reason he’s won four Gold Gloves (should be five), the reason the hashtag #ImGlovinIt exists, and the reason John Kruk has retained his job with Baseball Tonight (just go with me, it makes sense). BP is to impossible glovework as Steph Curry is to long-distance three’s. To narrow all of the highlights down to just one defining web gem just cannot be done. Or can it?

Of all the plays Brandon Phillips has made over the years, only one has been uniquely made by him. Bare-handed jump throws? Difficult, but frequent. Behind the back double play starter? Happens about once a week. No-look catch over the shoulder? Cool, but Willie Mays did it first. And don’t even ask about ricochets off the pitcher because Asdrubal Cabrera reigns king in that realm. No, the only play that is singular to Brandon Phillips is the charging, between the legs, no-look flip to first.*

All you need to know about the play is a) Jason Bourgeious is really, really insanely fast, and b) Joey Votto’s reaction is that of a kid who has just been told he can keep all of his Halloween candy. The magic of the play lies not in the play itself but in its circumstance. Between the legs is cool and all (basketball players do it all the time), but then you realize it’s a do or die play and BP opts for the single most difficult technical flip to execute it. Also, BP outdid himself two years later when he again flipped the ball between his legs, but this time started a 4-6-3 double play.

*Yeah, Mark Buehrle might have lucked himself into this same play a year earlier, but does a bumbling, flailing blind luck successful attempt really top the coordinated skill of BP’s play? I think not.

That Guy who went to a fan’s game…because of a Tweet

Currently at 910,000 Twitter followers, Phillips is no longer atop any most followed lists, but a few years back, he was one of the few influential athletes on the site. Phillips used Twitter to connect with fans through mostly playful banter and hosted frequent contests, giving winning fans game tickets or autographed memorabilia.

Yet, back in 2011, Phillips once again became That Guy when he attended then fourteen-year-old Connor Echols’ baseball game after the young man reached out through Twitter. Going above and beyond his contracted duty to the young fan, Phillips showed up at the game and watched Echols go 3 for 5, signing autographs for all the players afterward. Four and half years later, Phillips might have lost some of that goodwill with Reds’ fans but Connor Echols is playing baseball at Dayton so we’ll call it even?

That Guy who just really does not like the Cardinals

We all remember it: the Great Brawl of 2010. The brawl that ended Jason LaRue’s career and branded Johnny Cueto negatively for the rest of his. The brawl that saw Chris Carpenter and Scott Rolen morph into mirror images of the same scruffy, irate white guy. The brawl the Jonny Gomes ripped his jersey in (which in hindsight was probably less a byproduct of the brawl and more just because Jonny Gomes wanted to rip his jersey).

Outside of the brawl’s outcomes, most of us remember it for its instigators: BP and the Cardinals’ own, Yadier Molina. Even five years later, BP’s name-calling of the Cardinals resonates with Reds’ fans. Despite the lack of fan-friendly language, Phillips’ choice words accurately described the feelings that many fans have for the St. Louis team and endeared the second baseman as that guy who cares as much as the fans do.

That Guy who refused to talk to the media

What most people forget about being That Guy is the distinction can be achieved through disgust as easily as through admiration. Being That Guy does not necessarily shield you from criticism, and sometimes it invites criticism instead. Unfortunately, Dat Dude has become all too familiar with unwanted notoriety over the years.

First, there was the incident with the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s C. Trent Rosecrans. After a pair of seemingly innocuous tweets about BP’s OBP, Phillips lit into the reporter during a post-game interview with Dusty Baker. Using some particularly choice words, Phillips became That Guy who can’t hold his tongue amidst negative claims.

Then, prior to the 2014 season, That Guy reared his head again when Phillips swore off talking to the Cincinnati media. Once again, Phillips took exception with some writing that claimed he was declining as a useful Major League baseball player. Regardless of whether the claim of deteriorating skills was factual (BP’s 2014 and the general process of aging support it) or not (his 2015 makes a convincing counter), not talking to the media because he didn’t like what they said was the grown up equivalent of BP putting fingers in his ears and shouting. And while sometimes we all wish the media would just stop talking already, BP’s way of handling criticism probably wasn’t the best.

That Guy who…well, you know things happen

Sometimes, even That Guy can defy the already low threshold of expectations and maybe that’s why Brandon goes by Dat Dude. Over the years, BP’s antics have gotten so weird that even this column dedicated to his weird antics needs a catch-all bucket.

Remember that one time the BP tagged Jonathan Villar between his legs (I sense a theme), and Villar slid face first into BP’s posterior?

Or that time that Brandon dressed up as Devo with Shane Victorino, Justin Upton, Evan Longoria, and Giancarlo Stanton?

What about when Phillips got himself out by high-fiving Yuniesky Betancourt? They say you can’t predict baseball, but I can’t help but wonder if they ever expected someone as unpredictable as Brandon Phillips when the phrase was coined.

That Guy who had a 30/30 year after being traded for Jeff Stevens

At the end of the day, the most That Guy thing Brandon Phillips has ever done was entirely out of his control. Picked up by Cincinnati from the Cleveland Indians for the infamous player to be named later, Phillips launched his career with the Reds and became the 31st player to join the 30/30 club just one year later. That the PTBNL ended up being Jeff Stevens, a pitcher who just sniffed the bigs with the Cubs, made the trade one of the most lopsided in the history of baseball.

In the ten years that followed, Phillips has become as large a part of the Cincinnati landscape as Skyline Chili. Okay, maybe just Gold Star Chili, regardless; he loves the city and the city (mostly) loves him. Calling Reds owner Bob Castellini a liar (twice) didn’t exactly help endear BP to Cincinnati, but Phillips will always be a fan-favorite for his charisma.

Maybe this post is premature. It was initially written as a response to Phillips’ trade, and since Phillips is still a Red and looks to stay so for the immediate future, the timing might be a bit forced. But with the franchise finally (trying to) commit to moving on from the old guard, it only seems right to honor that core. Whether on the field or off, Phillips is a Red through and through, giving his all (yes, his all) to the organization and forever staying Dat Dude for an entire generation of Reds’ fans.

Great summation. Dat Dude really blossomed in Cincy.

Great player. However, his declining the trade will hurt the Reds in the rebuild. I hope the Reds have the gonads to bench him.

what a failure by the front office.. Chapman for 4 guys who we will not even know the triva answer too in the future??.. no Aaron Judge?? really??? Congrats bob and Walt. your 2 best trade chips and you set this organization back 10 years!!!! Last place for the next 8-10 years.. Thanks for telling me as a Reds fan, your NOT going to give a crap about fixing this mess.. Did the Cardinals secretly give you both cash bonuses to destroy the Reds??

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