Jesse Winker is only a rookie, but he’s making waves for the Cincinnati Reds. He is a hitter with an elite plate approach, and some power to boot. He’s also a smart fielder, even though he may not be the fastest outfielder in the world.
Jesse Winker Needs to Be a Permanent Starter
Hitters Are Going to Hit
Jesse Winker was gaining traction in the Reds outfield until his slump hit. He was hitting .285 with a .419 OBP, then the slump hit. His average has dropped to .263 with an OBP of .368. His last 11 games, he’s hitting .337 and has a couple RBI to pitch in as well. The benching has added a much-needed fire to an already great competitor. He even launched a walk-off homer in the 13th inning of a 7-5 win over the Rockies. Jesse was also 3-3 after coming off the bench in the game. He pulled through with another clutch RBI in the 9th against St. Louis on Friday and hit a moonshot to right on Saturday.
It’s very easy to see that the rookie is heating back up and becoming more comfortable at the plate. Riggleman wanted to bench him, but that just isn’t an option right now. His bat needs to be in the lineup, as he can drive in runs and get on base. His special set of skills make him a serious candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Show Me the Leather!
Winker is also a pretty good fielder to compliment his hitting skills. On Thursday he earned himself a web-gem when he robbed DJ LeMahieu of a hit. He tracks the baseball well, and will most likely be a staple in the corner outfield for a long time to come.
So far this year, he has three outfield assists, which is good for top-five in baseball. To go along with that, he has only committed one error in the field. This is all the more reason to keep him in the lineup. With Winker in right, Scott Schebler in center and Adam Duvall in left, the Reds have a completed outfield.
A Look to the Future
Jesse Winker will be with this team for a long time to come. He is the franchise Right Fielder on a team that will soon be in playoff contention. If Jesse keeps hitting the way he knows how he will eventually take the keys from Joey Votto as this team’s perennial offensive leader. At only 24 years old, he joins a young core that includes Romano, Castillo, Suarez, Schebler, Peraza, Mahle and Amir Garrett. This team will become very special and very fun to watch, based on how most of them are close to cracking the code.
Next time you’re in Cincinnati, or the Reds come to town, head to the ballpark to check out Jesse Winker. He is the future of this franchise and is a good all-around ballplayer. He’s here to stay and he’s here to leave his mark. keep your eyes peeled, the next possible NL Rookie of the Year is coming to a park near you.