Cincinnati Reds: Reviewing Scooter Gennett’s 2018 season

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 30: Scooter Gennett #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a double to left field to drive in the game-tying run in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on June 30, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 12-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 30: Scooter Gennett #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a double to left field to drive in the game-tying run in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on June 30, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 12-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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A look back at the 2018 season of Scooter Gennett showed the Cincinnati Reds second baseman had an encore performance to his stellar 2017 campaign.

The 2018 baseball campaign for Scooter Gennett with the Cincinnati Reds was proven successful. Scooter was a member of the 2018 National League All Star team, even providing a 9th inning  game-tying home run during the Midsummer Classic. Let’s take a look back at last year’s heroics both at the plate and in the field, that make Scooter a fan favorite.

Scooter Gennett is perhaps one of the best waiver acquisitions that the Cincinnati Reds have ever made; perhaps the best waiver acquisition in Major League Baseball history. How many teams more or less ‘dumb-luck’ their way into claiming an All Star off the waiver wire?

Following a 2017 campaign in which Gennett began as a utility player for the Reds, he hit .295 with 27 homers and 97 RBIs. Who could forget the four home run effort against the dirty birds from St. Louis? The glove at second was very steady as well; a .981 fielding percentage with only 7 errors. Critics wondered if 2017 was just an anomaly?

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Even as the doubters, especially on social media, continued to question if the Cincinnati Reds should trade Scooter in exchange for much needed starting pitching, he responded in 2018 with perhaps an even more well-rounded game than what he produced in 2017.

His productivity at the plate was outstanding as the home runs stayed on par with the 2017 numbers with 23 bombs, while generating a similar stat line as 2017 with 92 RBIs. These are certainly impressive numbers, but it was his batting average that saw the biggest improvement in his game.

Scooter Gennett was in the NL batting title race up until the very last weekend of the season, finishing second to Milwaukee’s Christian Yellich, with a .310 batting average. He collected 181 hits with an on-base percentage of .357. Those are Pete Rose type of stats. By the way, I am not saying he’s Pete Rose, rather just comparing his 2018 stats to a Pete Rose type of season.

Defensively, Gennett’s defense was very solid. Critics questioned his defense, but night after night he seemingly answered those questioning his ability to play a steady second base on a daily basis. Starting in 140 games at second base, Scooter posted a .983 fielding percentage and was only charged with 11 errors. He did all of this with a not-so-healthy shoulder.

Even as the 2018 trade deadline loomed and debates of whether to trade him were discussed, my personal vote was that the Cincinnati Reds would have to be wowed by a front-line starting pitcher in order to orchestrate a deal. A top-of-the-rotation would not come until the offseason with a trade at that earliest.

With he and the Reds reaching a 2019 salary agreement of just under $10M on Friday, it is a safe assumption that he will be a Cincinnati Red for the 2019 season. I am of the mindset to sit back and appreciate what Scooter Gennett has brought to the Cincinnati Reds in both 2017 and 2018 while eagerly looking forward to having him in Cincinnati until at least the trade deadline in 2019; I am hoping for longer.

Next. Reds Year in Review: Luis Castillo

Personally, I’ve truly enjoyed watching Scooter as a Cincinnati Red. My family (including my niece, who took a few moments to hand write a letter in which she thanked Gennett for being such a positive role model) and I attended the ‘Scooter Gennett meet-and-greet’ last June prior to a Reds home game. We only had just a couple of minutes with him, but he was down to Earth, humble, and very happy to be a member of the Cincinnati Reds.