As -ManBearBryan noted in the FO Weekend Harvest, Jesse Winker recently wrapped up a stretch of dingering in five consecutive games on Sunday, a streak that tied the Southern League record (held by former MLB 1B Derrek Lee). The best hitting prospect in the Cincinnati Reds system got plenty of dap for his week, too. MLB Pipeline named him to their team of the week and the Southern League itself named him the league's Player of the Week for his exploits.
Baseball America took notice, too, as J.J. Cooper talked about Winker on Friday when going over the latest edition of the Prospect Hot Sheet.
Not to be outdone, Minor League Ball's John Sickels also chimed in on Winker's resurgent last two months, noting that while it took Winker a bit to really thrive in AA, he's done so and still deserves to be "considered one of the elite hitting prospects in the game."
And, wouldn't ya know, today just so happens to be Jesse's 22nd birthday. Happy Birthday, Uncle Jesse!
In other Reds news, Redleg Nation's Steve Mancuso took an in depth look at the ever-evolving money grab that is the MLB TV contract world. Considering the Reds' current contract is up at the end of the 2016 season and many of the team's peers have negotiated gigantic deals in recent years, it's a topic that should be well known by anyone who wants to critique the team's current roster, payroll, and decision making. When billions...billions...of bucks are on the line, the concept of a rebuild that's completely unwatchable to expedite a championship caliber squad becomes less and less of a realistic option, and that's the dance that Walt Jocketty and Bob Castellini have been dancing for the last few years.
Joey Votto is up to 5th in all of MLB in OPS, just .011 behind surefire AL MVP Mike Trout. Meanwhile, Jay Bruce is only 31st in the game in K%. Blindly holding on to narratives is awfully, awfully fun though.
This is nightmare fuel. Maybe pick a vacation destination other than Gaston, if you can.
Mark Sheldon caught up with recent Reds' debutante John Lamb, and he got solid insight from the former Kansas City Royals LHP on the whirlwind he's experienced over the last three weeks. It seems pretty obvious that Lamb has matured as a professional since his devastating arm injury in 2011, and it's clear he sees an opportunity with the Reds given the overhaul they've seen in their starting rotation. There's no doubt he's going to figure prominently on the staff in some capacity over the coming years regardless of whether the starting gig works out, though. Oh, the perks of being a lefty...
Finally, C. Trent Rosecrans took a look at how the Reds will manage innings for their all-rookie set of starters as the season drags on into September. He spoke with Bryan Price for The Enquirer, and while the Reds don't seem to have a hard and fast plan in place for how they'll juggle the young arms down the stretch, it does appear that they've got a couple ideas in mind. Dylan Axelrod can soak up a few starts, Brandon Finnegan will be getting stretched out and potentially be given a chance on the big league starting stage, and not-really-prospects like Josh Smith and Donn Roach are both on the 40-man roster still largely so that they can absorb any other innings that need to be pitched. As Price mentioned, these kinds of things usually have a way of sorting themselves out. Unless you're the Washington Nationals or Stephen Strasburg, that is.