Reds outfielder Jake Fraley outplayed Jesse Winker in 2022

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley. / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

Don't take this to mean that the Cincinnati Reds won their spring trade with the Seattle Mariners; that's yet to be determined. But Jake Fraley certainly put up better numbers in 2022 than the guy he replaced in the outfield.

This past March, Cincinnati traded Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to Seattle. In return, the Reds received Fraley, two pitching prospects from the Mariners, and former first-round draft pick Justin Dunn.

At the time of the trade, the Cincinnati faithful were angry and disillusioned. How could Reds GM Nick Krall trade away two fan favorites and former All-Stars for a bunch of players no one has ever heard of. Maybe Krall actually knew what he was doing after all.

Reds outfielder Jake Fraley outplayed Jesse Winker in 2022.

Coming off an All-Star season in 2021, the consensus was that Jesse Winker was just starting to come in to his own. The Buffalo native ended the season on the IL, but all signs pointed to the left fielder taking off in 2022. That didn't happen.

Winker got off to a horrible start in 2022 and ended the season with a .219 batting average. Winker's reliably high on-base percentage (.344) helped the 29-year-old salvage what could have been a disastrous season. But only 14 home runs and a slugging percentage of .344 saw Winker set a career-low in OPS (.688).

Furthermore, recent reports suggest that Winker's attitude may not have been very well-received by the Seattle Mariners' front office, coaching staff, nor his teammates. Winker and the M's may be headed for a split during the offseason.

As for Jake "The Rake" Fraley, his first season in Cincinnati couldn't have gone much better. Sure, it would have been nice to see him on the field a bit more (Fraley was on the IL from May 1st through July 29th), but when he was active, the 27-year-old put up very nice numbers.

Fraley appeared in just 68 games and slashed .259/.344/.468 with 12 home runs, 28 RBIs, and four stolen bases. Fraley's defense was below-average with -6 defensive runs saved according to Fielding Bible, but Winker may well have been the worst defensive outfielder in the league. His -17 DRS were the worst among all Mariners in 2022 and he became little more than a DH.

Again, it's unfair to claim that the Reds "won" the trade with the Mariners, as Eugenio Suarez had a bounce-back year and the two young pitching prospects that Cincinnati received have yet to make it to the big leagues. But one thing can be said, Jake Fraley outplayed Jesse Winker in 2022. It's doubtful that anyone saw that coming.

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