Coming off of perhaps a career saving 2018 campaign that saw Brian O’Grady break out, the Cincinnati Reds decided he would head back to Triple-A after hitting .306/.365/.563 there the year before in 42 games.
The season began well for Brian O’Grady. In the first 10 games of the season he hit .333/.455/.667 with nine walks, two doubles, and three home runs. But he would then hit the injured list for the next 10 days. When he returned it was like he didn’t miss a beat. Over the final six games of April he hit .348/.400/.609. That gave him a .339/.435/.643 line in 16 games with five doubles and four homers.
That start carried right on over into May. Through the first game of a double header on May 15th he had reached base in all 12 games he played during the month, hitting .357/.462/.619 along the way. He went into a little slump, going 0-11 for the next three games. But he rebounded in a huge way over the final 12 games of the month. He hit .364 with four doubles, a triple, and eight home runs. On May 19th he homered three times, and he hit two more on both May 22nd and May 27th. O’Grady finished the month with a .324/.378/.704 line in 27 games that included 20 extra-base hits. He also stole seven bases on the month to give him nine total.
June didn’t quite carry forward the incredible hot streak that Brian O’Grady ended the month of May on. In the first week he hit .280 with a double and a home run. But he would go into a slump the rest of the month. Over the final 20 games he would hit just .197 with just four extra-base hits – posting a .601 OPS in that stretch. He’d walk 14 times on the month, a season best, allowing him to post a .310 on-base percentage – but he still hit just .218 and slugged just .337 during the month.
The flip of the calendar must have been like the flick of a light switch because in the first two weeks of July Brian O’Grady went on a tear for the Louisville Bats. In 11 games he would crush eight home runs, hit four more doubles and hit .362. In that span he had two different 2-home run games. That torrid streak was followed up by an 8-game slump where he hit just .097, going 3-31 with a home run. The final week of the month was a good one, though, as he would go 8-27 (.296) with five doubles and five walks. For the month he would hit .267/.325/.610 with 18 extra-base hits.
August began with a big game in Columbus for Brian O’Grady, going 2-4 with a double, home run, and he was hit by a pitch. He would play in three more games before being called up to the big leagues by Cincinnati. He was used as a defensive replacement and pinch hitter over the next week – including picking up his first big league hit on August 10th against the Cubs. The Reds would option him back to Louisville in the middle of the month where he went 1-9 with four walks before returning to Cincinnati for a week. He was optioned back to Louisville again on the 24th and played the final nine games of the season with the Bats. He hit .353/.436/.529 with a home run – tying him with Aristides Aquino for the Louisville team high with 28 on the season.
Once the Bats season ended Brian O’Grady was recalled to join Cincinnati. He’d see a little more playing time than he had previously due to several injuries opening up some opportunities. He started games in center field, left field, and even a game at first base down the stretch. He picked up his first big league home run in Seattle on September 10th, and hit his second on the final day of the year in Pittsburgh.
For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Brian O’Grady Spray Chart
Brian O’Grady Scouting Report
Position: 1B/OF | B/T: L/L
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 215 lb | Drafted: 8th Round, 2014
Born: May 17, 1992
Hitting | It’s a below-average hit-tool, but his speed helps him get a few extra hits along the way.
Power | He’s got above-average power.
Speed | He’s an above-average runner.
Defense | There’s plenty of flexibility on the defensive side. He can handle center field, though he’s probably a little stretched there if he’s playing there every day. The corners work well and he’s fine at first base as well.
Arm | His arm is solid and plays anywhere in the outfield.
It’s been a big turn around for Brian O’Grady over the last two seasons. In 2017 he hit .185/.313/.347 as a 25-year-old. But he’s gone out and crushed the baseball in the two years since then and all of the work paid off as he reached the Majors in 2019. He’s certainly one of the oldest players to ever make the prospect list, but there’s value with what O’Grady brings to the table.
He probably isn’t going to be an every day player at one spot on the field. But he’s got the ability to play four spots – including the weird combination of first base AND center field. The defensive spectrum of positions he can play, along with the speed and power he brings could keep him around for a while on a big league roster. There’s some swing-and-miss to his offensive profile. He’s not likely to hit for a high average because of that, but the power is real. And while he won’t be confused with Billy Hamilton or Byron Buxton with his speed – he’s fast and can run the bases well. It’s not a normal utility profile, but that’s not a bad thing in this case.
Longest Home Run of the Year
446 Feet on June 25th.
Interesting Stat on Brian O’Grady
He hit .319/.364/.616 on the year against left-handed pitchers.
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At 39 I was thinking I’m to old to be a prospect but now I’m starting to reconsider.
I am 39 and I asked my wife if I was a prospect. She rolled her eyes and told me I was lucky I have not been designated for assignment.
Wes, there’s always Indy Ball, though I wouldn’t recommend it too highly.