The Cincinnati Reds have traded Adam Duvall to the Atlanta Braves for right handed pitchers Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler, and outfielder Preston Tucker.

Let’s take a look at all three of the players coming Cincinnati’s way. Lucas Sims. He’s a 24-year-old pitcher who has made 20 appearances in the Major Leagues. 10 of those games have been in the rotation and 10 have been in the bullpen. His ERA is 5.96 in that span, covering 68.0 innings with 31 walks and 54 strikeouts. He’s been in Triple-A most of the year where he’s posted a 2.84 ERA in 73.0 innings in 15 starts. He’s walked 34 batters with 83 strikeouts this year for Gwinnett.

Lucas Sims is a former Top 100 prospect who has had some ups-and-downs. At times he’s battled control, both in the Majors and in the Minors. He’s no longer prospect list eligible. Think of him in a similar fashion to Robert Stephenson. At times he’s been dominant and flashed the stuff that made him a first round pick. But he’s also a guy who has had some extended periods of struggles at times, too. Right now, he’s on the upswing (except of course, with the exception of his last start)- much like Stephenson.

Matt Wisler is a 25-year-old who also has some Major League experience. In 2015-2017 he made 20+ appearances for the Braves in the Majors. This season he’s only made seven appearances. He’s carrying a 5.27 ERA in 342.2 big league innings with 107 walks and 230 strikeouts.

This year has been spent mostly in Triple-A Gwinnett. He’s got a 4.37 ERA in 70.0 innings for the Stripers with 14 walks and 65 strikeouts. He’s basically a 2-pitch guy with a fastball and a slider. The thing that jumped out immediately to me when looking at his big league stats was that he’s a huge fly ball pitcher for his career. Like Sims, Wisler is also a former Top 100 prospect (last ranked prior to the 2015 season – then he lost eligibility due to innings pitched in the Majors).

Preston Tucker is having his best season in the Major Leagues right now. Most of his season has been spent in the big leagues, though he did see two weeks in Triple-A within the last month. He’s been used mostly as a bench player, with no starts in the Major Leagues dating back until June 3rd. Tucker is similar to Duvall at the plate in the sense that he’s not going hit for a high average, and there’s some real pop in his bat. Historically, Duvall hasn’t walked much in his career, though that’s changed a bit in 2018. Tucker, however, hasn’t walked much in the Majors. He’s spent time mostly in left field in the Majors, but has limited action in right field, too. In the minors he also saw a small amount of action at first base back in the 2014 season.

Quick Thoughts

There’s some real upside with Lucas Sims, and the Reds have stated that they view him as the centerpiece of the deal with a future in the rotation according to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. He’s been inconsistent and hasn’t put it together in the Majors yet, but he’s got real stuff and has performed in the minors. The control will be key for him moving forward. Matt Wisler comes with big league experience and a good track record in the Minors, and looks like he could be an intriguing guy that could transition to the bullpen. Preston Tucker could be a solid bench guy, much like he’s been in Atlanta.

For Adam Duvall, who’s struggled to do much hitting for the last 13 months, this seems like a good return. There’s some risk involved, but not a ton. Duvall should have been on the outside looking in in 2019 as far as starting players go int he Reds outfield. To be able to get some real upside for him, and other potentially useful players is a good move from where I’m sitting, 18 miles from the offices at Great American Ballpark.

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