Cincinnati Reds: Don’t sleep on Scott Heineman making the roster

MESA, ARIZONA - MARCH 01: Scott Heineman #26 of the Cincinnati Reds in action during a preseason game. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
MESA, ARIZONA - MARCH 01: Scott Heineman #26 of the Cincinnati Reds in action during a preseason game. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Every year there’s a player or two during spring training who makes a charge and gives the Cincinnati Reds coaching staff something to think about. So far this spring, it’s been outfielder Scott Heineman, who can also fill in at first base.

Heineman, a former draft pick of the Rangers, was designated for assignment after Texas signed former Cincinnati hurler Jimmy Herget last December. The Reds traded for Heineman and, in exchange, shipped José Acosta to the Lone Star State.

Reds outfielder Scott Heineman has big-time power.

Over the course of his four minor league seasons, Scott Heineman has accounted for 48 home runs and a .475 slugging percentage. Heineman hasn’t seen much time in the bigs, logging only 127 at-bats with a .189/.259/.331 slash line.

While playing for Texas’ Triple-A affiliate, the Nashville Sounds, in 2019, Heineman hit .340/.412/.553 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 42 games. For his Triple-A career, Heineman has a slash line of .307/.371/.463 with 19 homers and 82 RBIs over 583 at-bats.

Heineman is also a versatile fielder. The right-handed hitting Heineman can play all three outfield positions as well as first base. Having an additional player outside of Mike Moustakas who’s able to play first base would be of great benefit to the Cincinnati Reds as former MVP Joey Votto enters his age-37 season.

Scott Heineman has been white-hot during the Reds first few games.

The Cincinnati Reds have played four games this spring, and Scott Heineman has seen action in all four games, going 4-for-7 with a double, a home run, and three RBIs. Heineman played left field last night versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, subbed in for Votto at first base on Tuesday night and for Cheslor Cuthbert on Monday versus the Oakland A’s.

Heineman actually started in center field for the Reds first game of Cactus League play against the Cleveland Indians. The versatility he’s shown early this spring bodes well for the 28-year-old’s chances of making the Reds roster.

Everyone knows that today’s game is based around analytics. Having a player like Heineman who can play the outfield, take reps at first base, hit for power, and has the speed to swipe a bag is a luxury for any major league team.

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Scott Heineman has a couple minor-league options remaining, so given the Cincinnati Reds’ overcrowded outfield, it’s doubtful the former Oregon Duck makes the squad out of Goodyear. However, if Heineman’s talents transition to Triple-A, he could find his way onto the Reds roster later this summer.