Jimmy Herget entered the 2018 season as the top pure relief prospect in the organization. He had split the previous season between Double-A and Triple-A where he posted a 2.90 ERA in 62.0 innings with 21 walks and 72 strikeouts. 24 of his appearances and 29.2 innings came for Louisville that season.
The Cincinnati Reds chose to send Jimmy Herget back to Triple-A to begin his 2018 season. To say that the season got out to a good start for the right-handed reliever would be an understatement. Over his first four appearances he didn’t allow a run and walked just one batter in 4.2 combined innings. He didn’t pitch for a week before taking the mound again on April 22nd. That day he was charged with an unearned run in an inning of work. He followed that up with 2.0 shutout innings and two more strikeouts against Charlotte on the 25th. On the 29th he allowed his first earned run of the year over 1.1 innings against Toledo. In total he allowed just one earned run over seven appearances and 9.0 innings. He walked just two batters and he struck out 10 batters with a 1.11 WHIP.
May didn’t get out to the best start for Jimmy Herget. In the first half of the month he pitched in six games and allowed runs in three of them. His ERA over the 7.0 innings in those six games was 7.71 and hitters had an OPS of nearly 1.300 against him in that span. He settled down in the second half of the month. Herget made five appearances and in just one of them did he allow a baserunner – and a run. He threw 14.0 innings over his 11 games during May and posted a 4.50 ERA with six walks and 14 strikeouts.
Things slowed down a bit in June for Jimmy Herget. In the first two weeks of the season he made just four total appearances and allowed one run in 5.0 innings. The next two outings were struggles for the reliever as he allowed two runs in each appearance – spanning 3.0 innings. He closed out the month with back-to-back shutout appearances. In his eight games during the month he posted a 4.22 ERA in 10.2 innings with five walks and 14 strikeouts.
July didn’t begin well for Jimmy Herget as he walked two batters and allowed a run without getting an out in his first game of the month. He settled in after that, making five more appearances over the next two weeks and not giving up another run, and only allowing two hits – but he did walk three more batters in that span. That run continued in the second half of the month, too. He gave up a single run over six more games, but walked just one and had eight strikeouts down the stretch.
The final month of the minor league season started quite well for Jimmy Herget. Over his first four appearances he tossed 4.2 shutout innings with just one walk. Things went south, and quickly, though. Over his next four outings he allowed eight earned runs in just 4.0 innings on 11 hits and a walk. As quickly as things went from great to terrible, they went right back. In his final four outings of the year he tossed 6.0 shutout innings without a walk and he struck out five batters. Herget finished August with a 4.91 ERA in 14.2 innings with just two walks and he struck out 13 batters.
For all 2018 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Jimmy Herget Scouting Report
Fastball | While Jimmy Herget only throws “one” fastball, he throws about four of them. He can and does alter his arm angle with all of his offerings. That leaves his velocity with a wide range, going from 90 MPH to 95 MPH. The pitch has some armside run and a little sink to it.
Slider | It’s an above-average offering that sweeps across the zone and has some biting action to it. It works in the 79-82 MPH range.
The pure stuff for Jimmy Herget isn’t bad, but it doesn’t jump off of the table, either. His fastball velocity is average-ish for a reliever – maybe even a tad below-average these days. But with what he can do with the pitch it plays up beyond that grade because he can change the look of the pitch in multiple ways. The slider is his put away pitch now and should be in the future.
Knowing hot to pitch and mix things up is where Jimmy Herget excels. Not only does he throw multiple pitches from multiple arm angles, he will also change his timing to the plate. At times he will pause his delivery for 2-3 seconds, and other times he’ll just keep it at a normal pace. He gives hitters many different looks.
The overall package doesn’t project towards the back of the bullpen these days. With so many relievers simply being able to throw the baseball through a steel wall, it’s just tough to say that Jimmy Herget’s going to profile as a guy that would pitch in the 8th or 9th inning. But he’s ready to pitch in the Major Leagues today and should be a solid reliever, if not better, soon.
Interesting Stat on Jimmy Herget
In 2017 he had far more success against right-handed hitters than lefties – with nearly a 170 point difference in OPS against. In 2018 those numbers flipped a bit as he held lefties to a .681 OPS against him, while righties had a .780 OPS against him.