Jesse Winker is a bright young rookie for the Cincinnati Reds. Winker started the season as the leadoff hitter, and since has shown his value to a streaking Reds team. He made his debut in 2017, but only played in a minimal amount of games. Now that he has had a chance to make an impact, he’s here to stay.
Jesse Winker: Making the Case for NL Rookie of the Year
Former manager Bryan Price shocked the world on Opening Day in Cincinnati by putting Winker at the top of the lineup. It was a great start to a season for a rookie, getting hot and staying hot against the Nationals, Cubs and Pirates. Then Price made the mistake of running out a four man outfield rotation, despite Winker out-hitting Duvall and Schebler. Eventually, Price was canned after a 3-18 start, and Winker was stuck in a terrible slump. He saw his average dip from a nice .302 all the way to .248. Interim manager Jim Riggleman saw this and decided that Jesse should be the “odd man out”, being as Schebler was lighting it up, and Duvall too. Something in that decision flipped a switch, because since then Winker has been going nuts.
Since June 1st, Jesse Winker is hitting .369/.497/.437. He is getting on base almost half the time. This kind of play has earned him significant playing time, and he has not disappointed. Jesse has an elite plate approach similar to teammate Joey Votto, and we know how well that’s working for Votto. Since the calendar turned to July, Winker has hit .563 so you know he’s seeing the ball great.
The only rookie that has been arguably been better than Jesse Winker has been 19 year old Juan Soto. in 34 less games, Soto has a .302/.416/.555 line. He also has 3 more homers than Winker does. That aside, Soto hasn’t experienced a slump yet, which points to Winker, who has endured that slump. Once pitchers figure him out a little, it is believed he’ll experience a little regression. Winker also is turning heads because of his walk to strikeout ratio. So far this year, Winker has 66 walks, and only 35 strikeouts. His elite plate presence has Reds fans believing he’ll take Votto’s place as the next elite hitter on the squad.
Jesse Winker could also be known as clutch. He has come through in some huge moments for this Reds squad. On June 7th, he launched his first career walk-off homerun against the Colorado Rockies. Two days later, Winker launched a 430 ft homerun that merely missed the Toyota sign hanging between the powerstacks in right-center. Since that day, Winker has had 5 game tying or go-ahead hits in the 7th inning or later.
Jesse Winker is one of the best young hitters baseball has to offer. He also has a good glove to with it. He is a carbon copy of Joey Votto and that proves to be a pretty good outlook for the young rookie. Winker will definitely impact this team more than Juan Soto will impact the Nationals, solely because of the Reds upcoming, contending nature. They have a bright future ahead, and they’re having fun while improving their game. Jesse Winker will be your National League Rookie of the Year. Mark it down.
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