MLB Playoffs: Three most unlikely Reds players to be postseason heroes

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 25: The Cincinnati Reds congratulate teammate Mike Moustakas #9 on a two-run home run. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 25: The Cincinnati Reds congratulate teammate Mike Moustakas #9 on a two-run home run. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias (26) celebrates after the Reds defeated the St. Louis Cardinals
Sep 13, 2020; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias (26) celebrates after the Reds defeated the St. Louis Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Raisel Iglesias, Reds reliever

I firmly believe that Reds closer Raisel Iglesias might hold the key to this year’s Cincinnati team advancing in the MLB Playoffs. While most of the attention among the Reds pitching staff focuses on the starting rotation, and rightfully so, the Cincinnati bullpen must show up in crunch time. Iglesias will be counted on to get those final three outs if the Reds have the lead late.

Don’t be scared Reds fans. While I know there’s oftentimes a pit in the stomach of the Cincinnati faithful when David Bell calls upon Iglesias, the results have been there this season. Iggy has eight saves, has allowed just one home run and owns a 176 ERA+, the second-highest of his career. Iglesias has 31 strikeouts in 23 innings of work.

Iglesias has kept his barrel-percentage down this season. While in 2018 and 2019, that percentage hovered above 7%, this season, according to FanGraphs, Iglesias’ barrel-percentage is sitting at 5.6%. Teams are not making hard contact off Iglesias either. His hard-hit percentage is at 27.8%, the lowest it’s been since 2017.

There’s more. Iglesias’ strikeout-rate of 34.1% is the best of his career. Granted, it’s a small sample-size, but it’s very good nonetheless. Even more important against the Braves is Iglesias’ walk-rate (5.5%), which is also a career-best.

Next. Previewing the Reds series vs the Braves

Make no mistake, the success and failure of the Reds march through the MLB Playoffs may rest on the right arm of Raisel Iglesias. While some fans may cringe at that thought, the numbers reveal a different feeling; optimism.