Brian O’Grady finally hit his first big league home run during last night’s game. Does O’Grady have a spot on the Cincinnati Reds 2020 roster?
The Cincinnati Reds have called up a handful of players from their Triple-A affiliate this season. Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino and Josh VanMeter have all seen some semblance of success at the big league level this year. After hitting his first major league home run last night, can Brian O’Grady be included in that list?
It’s always fun to watch a young player hit his first big league homer, but O’Grady didn’t just hit one, he absolutely crushed it. O’Grady’s pinch-hit home run in the top of the seventh inning flew 426 feet and landed in the second deck at T-Mobile Park.
The two-run shot gave the Reds a 3-2 lead, but Amir Garrett surrendered a two-run blast of his own in the eighth and the Mariners escaped with a 4-3 win. However, while David Bell and the Reds would like to win every game, at this point in the season, it’s about seeing how some of the younger players stack up and who might be able to help next season.
O’Grady, a Rutgers alum just like former Reds star Todd Frazier, is getting his first taste of the big leagues this season. It’s well deserved, after O’Grady absolutely tore up the Triple-A circuit this season. O’Grady was tied with Aquino for the team lead in home runs with 28 long balls while playing for Triple-A Louisville this season.
O’Grady slashed .280/.359/.550 with 30 doubles and 77 RBIs, which led the Louisville Bats in both categories. O’Grady is also sneaky fast, as the big fella also swiped 20 bases, only being thrown out four times.
As the Cincinnati Reds begin the evaluate their roster heading into the offseason, it’s a fair question to ask; will O’Grady be in the long-term plans? Based on the numbers he’s put up throughout his minor league career, he certainly should be.
This season at Triple-A Louisville is nothing new for O’Grady. Granted, his power numbers are up, but the batting average, on-base percentage and other metrics are consistent with what O’Grady’s put together throughout his entire professional career. Since taking the field in 2014 for the Billings Mustangs, O’Grady has slashed .252/.354/.453 in the minors.
Positionally, O’Grady could really help the Cincinnati Reds, who lack a consistent backup for Joey Votto at first base. With the six-time All-Star now 36-years old, the Reds may want to entertain the idea of giving Votto more time off. While Votto might scoff at the idea, an extra day off per week might keep him from landing on the injured list a couple times per year with nagging injuries.
When not filling in for Votto at first base, O’Grady can be a left-handed bat off the bench or can give a day off to Nick Senzel in center field. O’Grady played 33 games in center field for Triple-A Louisville this season and committed just one error. Think of Brian O’Grady as a younger, cheaper version of Derek Dietrich.
O’Grady was just called up this season, so he will not become a free agent for several years. Given his versatility to play all over the outfield and the pop in his bat, Brian O’Grady could be a nice addition to the Cincinnati Reds roster in 2020.