The Cincinnati Reds made a big trade this afternoon, sending outfielder Jesse Winker and third baseman Eugenio Suárez to Seattle. In return the Mariners are sending starting pitcher Justin Dunn, outfielder Jake Fraley, prospect Brandon Williamson, and a player to be named later to the Reds.

We don’t know who the player to be named later is yet, but we do know that Brandon Williamson is joining the organization. The left-handed starter was Seattle’s 2nd round draft pick in 2019 out of TCU. If you made the connection there to Nick Lodolo, good job, but it doesn’t just end with being a lefty drafted in 2019 out of TCU. Like Lodolo, Williamson is also 6′ 6″ tall. Baseball America rated both of them as Top 10 left-handed pitchers in baseball, with Lodolo being 5th and Williamson being 7th.

Brandon Williamson Scouting Report

The lefty has a nice arsenal of pitches. His fastball works in the low 90’s and has topped out at 97 MPH. It’s not just good velocity on the pitch, though, he gets good movement on it and hides the ball well. While the fastball is plenty good, it’s his 12-6 curveball that is the best offering he brings to the table. It’s a plus offering in the mid-to-high 70’s with late break to it. He also has a solid change up that he throws.

Williamson has good control and he throws strikes. In 2021 he walked 33 batters in his 98.1 innings pitched between High-A Everett and Double-A Arkansas while striking out 153 batters and posting a 3.39 ERA.

Where Brandon Williamson ranks

Much like when the Reds acquired Chase Petty over the weekend, I’m not ready just yet to rank Brandon Williamson within the organization. I’d prefer to talk to more people about him and watch some more video to get a better base of information to work with than I currently have. With that said, here’s where he is ranked among the national publications:

  • Baseball America: #83 overall, Mariners #5 Prospect
  • Fangraphs: #61 overall, Mariners #4 Prospect
  • The Athletic: Mariners #6 Prospect
  • Baseball Prospectus: Mariners #7 Prospect

44 Responses

  1. MuddyCleats

    Nice smooth and repeatable delivery. He looks good; FB pops and BB has good depth across two planes. NOT as impressed w/ Dunn though. Dunn looks more like a BP piece IMO. His FB clocks @ avg speed and he hung a lot of BB in the videos I’ve seen. Moreover, he was hurt last yr w/ shoulder issues. Did the Reds get a physical on him prior to the trade? That would b normal for most teams, but for the Reds………?

  2. MikeD

    The Reds have accepted that they won’t be good and might as well be really bad. I guess the strategy is okay if they get a slew of good prospects for some day… I hope it works, but at this point I guess it’s better than pretending to be trying to win. The problem may well be that they burn some of Greens, Lodolo and India’s years being lousy before they get better.

  3. Matt

    Assuming no more trades (bold of me to assume, I know)

    Castillo, Mahle, Greene, Gutierrez, and Dunn isn’t a terrible rotation.

    The lineup got worse with the loss of Winker and Suarez (if it’s September Suarez).

    Lodolo, Ashcraft, Williamson, Sanmartin, O’Brien, and Bailey is a good slew of arms in Louisville.

    But that seems to be the Cincinnati thing. The minors sure do look promising.

    • Jack

      Dunn is terrible, a guy whose control is that bad and is a flyball pitcher will be murdered in GABP. Even on the Reds depleted roster I can’t see him as a starter.

      • Matt

        If Lodolo (or another starter competing for a spot) is even a smidge better in ST than Dunn, Lodolo better be in the rotation. I just assumed it’s a very Reds thing to do to slot the guy in they just traded for.

      • Optimist

        He doesn’t seem terrible, but he does seem like a better version of Hoffman – 100 pitches in 5 innings. I suppose he can be fixed, but they are looking at a 7 man rotation for the first 60-70 games. Good luck with that.

    • AMDG

      Problem is, if you expect Dunn to be in the rotation, you’d better have a ton of relievers. He only averaged 4.5 IP per start over the past 2 seasons.

      I guess walking tons of batters runs up your pitch count, or something like that…

  4. DaveCT

    Williamson is a decent acquisition, a second number three-ish LH to go with Lodolo, although FanGraphs views him equally as much as a long reliever. Dunn is likely another middle reliever unless like Gausman or Sims he can figure something out. . Fraley is, what, a TJ Friedl clone. So, depth with a touch of upside.

      • DaveCT

        Yes. But he found something with the Reds, I think.

      • MuddyCleats

        Yes, had to leave Cincy b4 he could find his split change again n SF. Reds didn’t help themselves any building a small ballpark. However, it’s the same ole issue in Cincy…..they have to be better at developing their players. Does no good to draft and trade for athletes w/ upside if they can’t develop them into solid ML players.

  5. MK

    TCU could throw 6’6″ lefty Lodolo on Friday and 6’6″ Williamson on Saturday had to be fairly intimidating.

    • MBS

      Hopefully in 23 we will be doing the same! I really like the Williamson piece, it cost us my 2 favorite Reds, but lets face it they were’nt going to do anything without an influx of talent, and bob ain’t spending right now.

    • BK

      I agree with two caveats: is either player open to an extension? If so, explore that opportunity. Second, the returns have to be right. With the payroll under $86M right now, the Reds should be out of their COVID debtor’s prison.

      • Zach

        In all honesty, this needed to be done. They are looking for the future post-Votto. Why waste our time going .500 until Votto leaves and not making the playoffs or any money/prospects for the future. Let’s face it, they don’t have the money to do that since we were stuck with Moose and Saurez contacts.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they unload Moose as well, doubt they can find a suitor though.

        Still have a chance this season- never say never. Go Redlegs

    • citizen54

      Me too. Williamson looks to have more upside that Lodolo. If both Williamson and Lodolo pan out could be a good rotation. A Castilo, Mahle, Gutierrez, Dunn Green/Lodolo rotation right now doesn’t even look that bad.

    • Shawn

      I agree. Would be idiotic not to now. Farmer, Naquin and anyone else with value that won’t be here in 2024 as well.

  6. BK

    I don’t like the payroll shedding any more than the rest of you. This is fallout from the pandemic. The Reds went into COVID with a record payroll, one that likely expected a bounce from attendance, too. The timing was terrible. Based on Forbes data, I would guess the Reds lost at least $60M (Forbes reported on operating loss of $47, but they still have to pay interest on debt, taxes, depreciation, etc.). The Reds mostly kept the team together last year–aren’t we glad Bauer got away when he did. So, hopefully they broke even. Per Cot’s, payroll is now at $85.7M. Let’s hope 2022 allows the Reds to recoup their 2020 losses and enables them to invest in payroll as early as next season.

    I’m more down on yesterday’s trade of Sonny Gray than todays. Nothing against Petty, but I’m really surprised we’d accept only one prospect in return especially given how far from MLB ready he is. I say this realizing Gray’s numbers were dipping and that he’s on the wrong side of the aging curve. However, all of the projections expect him to be above average in 2022. So, this return was light and leaves a ton of pressure on Petty’s development.

    Winker was a personal favorite and a joy to watch. That said, he struggled to stay on the field due to injury maxing out at 113 games in 2019. He was also a liability in the outfield and simply couldn’t hit LHP–but boy could he crush righties. Projections show Winker maintaining his value in 2022, but that means they expect him to miss a lot of games, too. Suarez fell in love with the long ball in 2019 and injured his shoulder–he left a giant hole in the lineup last year (until September) and was subpar at 3B, too. Most view his contract as under water. 2022 projections show him just above or below league average. The return:

    What’s not to like about Brandon Williamson–really nice pickup.

    Dunn dealt with injuries last year, but while healthy he posted an ERA+ of 111 which is in line with his career numbers. While he may be a bullpen piece like he was for the most part at Boston College, he’s at least a capable bridge to a group of really special pitchers in the Red’s upper minors.

    Jake Fraley has really nice AAA numbers and an excellent walk rate which led to an OPS+ of 104 last year. He’s also average of better defensively and supposedly there’s another piece coming our way. Like Winker, he’s a lot better against RHP than LHP. At worst, he’s a solid platoon outfielder. Three likely major leaguers, one with a nice ceiling, all with lots of low-cost time–this is not a bad return in my mind.

  7. MBS

    @doug, when we have a player to be named later, is there an exact time frame to select the player, like trade deadline, or something else?

    • Shawn

      I heard in Sirius MLB channel today that the Reds had 2 months to look over a group of players and chose one from the group. I assume they know what they are talking about.

      • Doug Gray

        This is the second time I’ve seen someone bring up the 2 months thing. I mean maybe that’s what the two sides agreed upon, but the rules (in the official rulebook) say a team gets 6 months from the trade to decide on the player (but can make the decision earlier if they would like).

  8. Jim Delaney

    The trading will continue, businesses do this when they are planning a sale and it is clear with how Castellini is handling the Reds and some of his other businesses he is tidying things up to relax and count his money. Shame that the REDS fans are
    shrapnel in his run to sell the REDS franchise. Hopefully a large corporation or wealthy conglomerate will come in and want to put a winning product on the field. Castellini talked very blustery when he came in as the owner, losing won’t occur on his watch. His last year as owner will see a lot of losing. Looking forward to new ownership and new ownership getting here quickly!

    • LDS

      Now that’s optimism. I hope you’re right. A real serious owner would be something. Fire everyone and start over. Less nepotism, better baseball.

  9. Greg

    This is easily a bottom 5 offense.
    Going to be a long year.
    Buy some crypto Bob.

    • MBS

      I wouldn’t go that far, India, Votto, Stephenson should be a solid 1,2,3. The middle of the order would be questionable, Naquin, Farmer, and Moustakes. But you have some upside guys like Barrero, Senzel, and even Fraley. I was looking at his numbers, good speed with a good OBP. Could be our 2nd leadoff guy sitting in the 9 hole. I believe 1 of Barrero or Senzel will hit in 22, hopefully both.

      • Matt

        Small sample of only 123 PAs, but you don’t have to squint to see Schrock being productive against RHP. 342/470/811 line against righties in 2021. If he can play passable left or right field defense, I think he plays vs RHP.

        Fraley the same vs RHP last season – 371/441/815.

        Through Naquin in there who 339/513/853 against righties.

        This team won’t have an issue hitting right handed pitching. It’s vs LHP that will continue to be the issue unless the FO (and ownership) addresses it.

        I was down and bummed yesterday when they traded Geno and Wink, but you don’t have to have extremely rose colored glasses to see a decent team.

        I’ll be optimistic until I’m undoubtedly proven wrong (or when they trade more dudes)

  10. kevinz

    Like added another LHP to the system.
    Hate lost Winker but Injuries had to be a factor.
    Fraley type fits OBP line drives going for.
    Not saying going to work out.
    Just trying see the Positive in it.
    Now Mostly youth see how it goes.
    Wonder if Castillo and Mahle are safe?
    Who knows we will see.

  11. Optimist

    As bad as last year’s non-trading was, and this pre-season’s shedding as been, they really seem to be stocking up on pitching. I’ve been a fan since the 60s and I only recall 2 times they’ve been this focused on pitching – late 60’s early 70’s Maloney/McCool/Nolan/Simpson/Gullet – and the 2012 starting rotation. Injuries did in the first group, and the 2012 rotation was a one-year peak except for Cueto.

    With Antone back next year, and this year’s AA/AAA staffs, they may be loaded on the mound for a few years, but given the recent SS and OF debacles, and inability vs. LHPs, how are they going to refill the offense?

    What’s the difference between losing late in the game by 9-7 instead of dinking your way to a 4-2 or 3-1 defeat?

    Still looking for a path to winning.

  12. Stock

    I see Williamson differently as most. Many are saying he is a #3 similar to Lodolo. I think he is either a #1 or #2 or he is in the bullpen.

    Lodolo has a great slider and very good command. However, his fastball is average and maybe below average for a ML pitcher. His curve is probably above average.

    Williamson has to work on his command but his fastball, curveball, slider and change up are all very good pitches. It is not often a pitcher falls into your lap with four pitches that rate a 60 FV. If he can improve his command a bit more he is a #1 or #2. If he can’t he will be a very good Relief pitcher.

    With Derek Johnson helping him, I put my money on him eventually being one of the 50 best SP in baseball (hopefully top 25) and better than Lodolo.

    I think Fraley is being under rated also. Great speed/power guy if he can get his K% back to where it was pre-Covid.

  13. Stock

    The Reds should sign Greene and Lodolo to 7 year contracts with 2 options while it is cheap. They should consider signing Williamson to an 8 year contract because he will not be ready for the majors until next year.

  14. Tom

    Great comments today. A nice well of levelheadedness when the rest of the world is burning and looting over the trade.

    Emotions aside, what I’m wondering is are there calls for Senzel to third base? I think now might be the time to give the guy a chance at his natural position.

    • MuddyCleats

      Exactly, put Senzel where he can relax and try to b the hitter the Reds drafted him to b. Recall guys like Nick Esasky and EE improved AB moving fm 3B. I think this is the hope 4 prospect Hinds – hopefully he’ll relax more in OF and focus more on his hitting. For Senzel, he has vertigo, arm and leg issues. Maybe moving him back to his college position will help him relax AB and keep him “more” healthy?
      Say what u want about Suarez, but he finished 6th in HRs and 10th in RBIs last season in approx 50-100 fewer ABs than other top 10 finishers. Likewise, he played good Def as well.
      That’s what ML 3B r supposed to do; play the hot corner, hit HRs and drive in runs!

  15. Magnum 44

    I completely agree he should be the 3rd baseman Barrerro should be the shortstop fro day one Farmer should be spelling 1st SS 2nd and Lf Moustakas and Votto split time DH/1b if Greene and Lodolo are ready you let them get their innings in the big leagues with the new CBA no advantage of keeping them in minors.

  16. m2

    Although this might be unpopular, but I am pleased with the Winker/Suarez trade. As currently constructed, this team will not win a championship. There are too many flaws. Last year’s team featured players who couldn’t field, run, or play defense and one player who was gold glove caliber who couldn’t hit much. Admittedly I was stunned at Votto’s leap in productivity but would be astonished if he could replicate that. I know that it is heresy to some here, but I would love for him to read the room and agree to a trade. The Yankees would welcome his bat and he could aid in the pursuit of a championship. I would also like the Reds to find a way to offload Moose, but I fear his contract will make this prohibitively difficult. It might also be wise to offload one more starting pitcher, but only if a club is willing to part with one or two blue chip prospects. If the Reds continue with this “transition” it’s not unreasonable to hope for the team to make major leaps forward as early as next season provided they select the right players and develop them. ~Thank you.

      • MuddyCleats

        Maybe so, but why would he want to do it in Cincy w/ yet another losing ball club ?