Since I’ve moved into my new place, one of the harsh realities is living a life without cable or internet. I’m a tad behind getting up to speed with those things, so all I’ve been doing is playing video games and watching a ton of movies. So far, I’ve probably watched Moneyball at least three times since I don’t have any live baseball. I have been watching highlights a lot when I get a break at school. When I watch Reds second baseman and outfielder Scooter Gennett play, all I can think about is the Moneyball formula: finding value in under-appreciated assets and using those to rebuild your team on the cheap until you can contend and expand your payroll. Not only does Scooter Gennett fit the bill, but I believe he will be an integral part of the next Reds playoff team.
Scooter Gennett, a fan favorite with the Milwaukee Brewers, found himself on the waiver wire this spring when he was cut from the roster. He had been a decent player for the Brewers, but never a star. He never really hit for average or for power and was so-so on defense. Then came Spring Training. The Brewers were in need of depth at first base and took the contract of Jesus Agular from the Indians and decided to give him a shot. The odd man out was Gennett. And then he lands in the lap of the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds, also a rebuilding team, were looking for a guy like Scooter that could play infield and a little in the outfield and could also bring some experience to the lineup and clubhouse. Even though Gennett is only 27, he came into this year with 4 years of experience. No one thought Scooter would put together the kind of season that he has. No one thought he would have a four homer game, and if they did, no one thought he would have the power numbers or average he does. No one thought he would hit left-handed pitching in a way he never has in his career.
As of August 30th, Gennett is hitting .288 with 22 home runs and 78 RBIs in 361 ABs covering 114 games. He has outperformed all expectations and if he keeps this up, he can be a very good piece on any contending team. The Reds would be smart to keep him. Could they trade him while his value is at an all time high? Sure. Should they? Absolutely not! He is only 27 moving into the prime of his career. He has two more years of club control through arbitration, which means they can keep him on the cheep. As the team begins to content, they can increase his salary. In my opinion, it is likely that they could sign him to a below market value deal and keep him on the cheap. What if he cannot repeat his performance and plays like the Scooter Gennett of old? No problem. You could waive him at the end of the season and not worry about the repercussions of a high salary for an underperforming player.
Scooter Gennett fits the mold of the new Reds. They hit the jackpot when they picked him up for literally nothing. If the Reds want to contend, they need this guy in the fold for 2018. If Scooter can perform at the same level that he has this season, he can be apart of the new core of this team for years to come. Regardless of where he goes from here, you have to appreciate what he has been able to accomplish this season. This was not a likely story. This is not a guy anyone would have said at the beginning of the season could finish the season with 25 bombs and 90 RBIs. A tip of the hat to you, sir.