Let’s take a look at how Jesse Winker and his improving power could prove to be a significant development for the Cincinnati Reds.
In the first nine games of the 2019 season, the Cincinnati Reds offense looked dreadful. The Reds lost 8 of those games including an 8-game losing streak after their Opening Day victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Many hitters in the lineup struggled, and they have continue, however, Jesse Winker‘s recent power surge has electrified the crowd and the bats.
Jesse Winker started the first 9 games of the season going 1-for-24 with no home runs. But if you are around this ball club and know who Winker is, no one thought these struggles would continue. After the Reds’ 1-8 start, Winker and the club started to pick it up. In his 25 games since, Winker is hitting .299 with a 1.044 OPS.
However, what may be the best and most important developments for Winker and this Cincinnati Reds team, are the surging power numbers Winker has produced. After the slow start, Winker has already surpassed his career-high in home runs in a season with 9, including his go ahead homer in the top of the ninth this past week off Edwin Diaz.
If you have followed the Reds in the past few years you know that Winker has been one of the most respected hitting prospects the Reds have had in recent memory. Winker has always projected as a guy that would hit and get on base wherever he went.
However, power was never been his strong suit. Many people had touted this man as a potential leadoff candidate who could potentially turn into a lesser version of the on-base machine that is Joey Votto, just without the home runs.
Other than the 21 games he played during the 2014 season in Double-A , Jesse Winker has never had an OBP under .379 at any level of the minor leagues. Winker has always shown elite on base skills and the Cincinnati Reds front office was more than happy with that being his only above average skill.
But this new found Jesse Winker, one that is on pace for over 40 home runs this year, will be welcomed with open arms. With declining power numbers from Joey Votto, a powerful, left-handed, big bat threat in the Reds lineup could have been a major hole. Winker has filled that void, and he has done it very well.
New manager David Bell has shown that he has not found a consistent lineup that he prefers day in and day out. The third spot in the lineup has been occupied by a few different players all season, but Winker has recently showed that he might be the man to occupy that spot for the long haul.
A fantastic hitter, who has consistently shown that he can get on base and now has potential for a 25 home run season sounds like a dream No. 3 hitter for any manager’s lineup. If Winker can continue this power surge, the Cincinnati Reds lineup will thrive very shortly.
Although Joey Votto may never get back to his MVP from, when he does get back to his normal self the Reds lineup will boast his elite bat, two above average power threats in Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker, and a potential star in Nick Senzel. Once Yasiel Puig breaks out of his 2019 slump, this lineup will round out to be one of the most feared in all of baseball.