Reds: Yet another pundit disrespects Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2), left, and Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jesse Winker (33), walk in from the outfield.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2), left, and Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jesse Winker (33), walk in from the outfield. /

Well, it happened again. Yet another national pundit added his name to laundry list of so-called experts who chose to disrespect the Cincinnati Reds All-Star hopefuls. In his latest piece for, Will Leitch ranked every All-Star finalist. To the surprise of no one, Leitch did not include Jesse Winker among the Top 3 outfielders in the National League.

To add even more insult, Leitch ranked Nick Castellanos below both Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mookie Betts. Mookie Betts? Are you kidding me? While Betts is a former MVP, there are seven outfielders who have a higher OPS than the Los Angeles Dodgers star.

Another expert disrespected Reds outfielders Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker.

First, it was Buster Olney of ESPN, then Jon Heyman of MLB Network, and now Will Leitch of Do the Reds games not transmit properly? Do Olney, Heyman, and Leitch need to have their eyes checked? Is it big-market bias? Whatever the case maybe, the fact that the Cincinnati Reds duo of Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos continue to be disrespected is mind-boggling.

It’s almost comical at this point. Both Olney and Heyman omitted Winker and Castellanos from the MVP discussion. Olney went as far to tell folks to listen to his podcast in order to get his opinion on the Reds corner outfielders. I haven’t, and I won’t. But Leitch, in his ranking of the All-Star finalist, gives both Winker and Castellanos a virtual slap across the face. Here’s a quote:

"“But c’mon. You really don’t want to see Betts come onto the field to start the All-Star Game? Really? He hasn’t been that bad. Also, do we need two Reds in the outfield? We do not.”"

Why is the national media so afraid to recognize Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos? Both have more home runs and RBIs than Mookie Betts. And the Reds stars have a higher batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage than the Dodgers’ outfielder.

Castellanos leads the NL in batting average (.342). In fact, he’s nearly 100 points better than Betts (.249) in that category. Winker has the highest on-base percentage among all NL outfielder and trails only Acuña Jr. for the league lead in slugging percentage.

About the only stat where you’ll see Castellanos or Winker trail Betts is doubles. Betts has 20 and Winker has 16. Oh yeah, Castellanos leads the league in doubles with 27. It’s madness that these two elite performers are not getting the credit that they deserve.

Also, the utter contempt from Leitch that we dare have two Cincinnati Reds outfielders starting in the All-Star Game blows my mind. If it were Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger, would he have the same opinion? He has no problem including two Boston Red Sox (Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers) starting in the American League’s infield.

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Get used to it, Reds Country. The national media has done this for years, and I don’t expect it to stop anytime soon. The best way to prove these folks wrong is to go vote for Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos to start the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.