The Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox have completed their trade from earlier in the summer that sent Tommy Pham to Boston at the trade deadline. Cincinnati has acquired corner infielder Nick Northcutt to complete the deal.

The 23-year-old has split his time this season between High-A Greenville (not to be confused with Greeneville, where the Reds used to have a team) and Double-A Portland. The Red Sox selected Northcut out of Mason High School (yes, the one right outside of Cincinnati) in 2018 in the 11th round. He’s worked his way up through their system over the past few seasons , showing a big power breakout in 2021 when he hit 32 doubles and 17 home runs in 96 games.

This season he began the year in Greenville where he played in 77 games in the first half and hit 13 doubles with 26 home runs. The power stayed on the positive side of the ledger. But he struggled to hit for average with a .223 mark, and he also had a low on-base percentage thanks to the low average and having just 21 walks to go against 114 strikeouts.

In late July he was promoted up to join Double-A Portland. He’s now played in 26 games there and it’s been a lot more of a struggle. He’s hitting .208/.245/.376 with five doubles and four home runs. The walk rate is down as he’s had just four of them in 106 plate appearances, and his strikeout rate remains very high as he’s fanned 37 times.

With Northcut, the Reds are certainly adding some premium power to the farm system. He’s got plus power and he can use it. But the rest of his offensive game is going to need to improve. With just 25 walks and 151 strikeouts this season to go along with a .219 average and a .276 on-base percentage things will have to improve – either walking more, or striking out less, or ideally improvements in both areas – if he’s going to continue to climb the ladder and find success at the plate. You can see his career stats here.

30 Responses

  1. MK

    Sounds as though Pham was pretty much a give away. Good PR bringing a young guy back to home team.

  2. Bdh

    Getting a prospect with 30 home runs of far from the salary dump I figured the return for Pham would be. It’s not too far off from the stats that Duvall had coming in from the giants farm system when everyone just assumed he was a throw in on the leake trade.

    Got to imagine he’ll start back in AA next season and rotate the 1B/3B/DH spots with Quintana, Encarnacion-Strand, and Wolforth.

    • Bdh

      I’m gonna walk this back a bit. I thought Duvall had struck out a lot more than he did in the minors.

      30 home runs in 103 games is still impressive though

    • RedBB

      Agree 30 HR’s in barely 100 games is pretty good. Still young too at just 23. His 2021 was pretty good. It’s amazing how ppl are willing to write off a prospect based on one bad year which really wasn’t even that bad.

      • DaveCT

        His 2021 season wasn’t bad at all. He was ranked 69th by BA in the 2018 draft and was signed away from Vanderbilt.

      • Doug Gray

        His 2021 was good, but he was also 22 and in Low-A. With 2020 not existing, the age to level thing does get a little leeway.

        Still, this season is far more important data because it’s more recent and reflects what’s happening now. And 25 walks and 151 strikeouts in 428 plate appearances is a big warning sign that things have to improve.

      • Old-school

        Know him personally. Great kid and family. Son played with him multiple years on the travel circuit and we beat some elite teams because of him. He’s a gym rat and hard worker and leader by example. He was a dominant pitcher/2 way player till the end of his amateur career even when most kids went the PO route or position player route at 15 or so. Had he chosen to continue to focus on pitching, I have no doubt he would be still be pitching professionally.

  3. Tom

    Interesting see-saw of discipline at the plate and power at the plate. We’ve seen some of that with McClain and Hendrick. Something developmental going on there I’d surmise. It will be interesting what Doug hears from his sources in the future.

  4. Greenfield Red

    Off topic: Any word on 2023 International signings other than Alfredo Duno? January 15 is not that far away.

    • Bdh

      Adolfo Sanchez is another. Saw somewhere he was a top 5-10 player in Dominican Republic for the next class

      • Greenfield Red

        Can’t find anything on him. Pitcher or position player? Thanks.

    • Doug Gray

      You’re always going to hear stuff like what I’m about to say, so take this for what it’s worth, but the organization really likes the class they believe they have lined up. Obviously Duno is the big get, but as BDH mentioned Adolfo Sanchez also stands out some. We’ll see how things go in January.

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    Northcut has similar profile as a hitter like Hinds, Nelson,Ibarra?

    • DaveCT

      His 2021 season wasn’t bad. His body type reportedly is thicker than Hinds though I can’t imagine it’s in the Ibarra range. Solid defense, big arm, big power. He’s only 23. Sure, I’ll take a flyer.

  6. Optimist

    Was hoping for another teenage/low A arm or two. Then again, there is the salary savings I suppose. Still, a nice local angle, and at least a 70 rating in one aspect of the game to work with.

  7. Bdh

    Doug do you think Northcut could have a ceiling similar to someone like Patrick Wisdom?

  8. DaveCT

    So, in 2023.

    AAA infield is 1B McGarry, 2B McLain, SS EDLC, and 3B CES, with Quintana and others utility

    AA infield is 1B Ibarra (?), 2B Callihan, SS Marte, and 3B Northcutt, with Torres ult

    Hi-A is 1B Tirana, 2B Steiger, SS Faltine, and 3B Callahan

    Lo-A is 1B Stewart, 2B Minier/Jorge, SS Arroyo/Balcazar, 3B Collier

    Is that close?

    • Bdh

      I’d guess

      AAA – 1B McGarry, 2B Johnson, SS McLain or De La Cruz (other to the outfield) 3B Santana or Lopez if Moustakas is kept

      AA – 1B CES, 2B Torres, SS Marte, 3B Quintana, DH Northcut rotating at 1B/3B

      A+ – 1B Ibarra/Triana, 2B Callihan/Faltine, SS Arroyo, 3B Callahan

      A – 1B Pino/Stewart, 2B Jorge/Ascanio, SS Balcazar/Acosta, 3B Collier/Minier

      • DaveCT

        I thinking if this were June 30th, and after the 45-50 AA games CES has had, that they’d push him to AAA, especially as a college kid from a big program. I’m also thinking this trade might have been made with this partly in mind, plugging a 3B gap with a real prospect at AA,

    • MBS

      I feel like 1 of EDLC, McGarry, or CES will be on the Reds opening day roster. Who that is could send ripples down theses lists. EDLC could be the opening day SS or CF. McGarry or CES could be the backup plan for a not yet recovered Votto.

      MLB: 1B McGarry 2B Steer SS Barrero 3B India (CF EDLC)
      AAA: 1B CES 2B Rivas SS McLain 3B Quintana
      AA: 1B Ibarra 2B Johnson SS Marte 3B Callihan
      A+: 1B Pino 2B Torres SS Arroyo 3B Trina
      A: 1B Stewart 2B Jorge SS Balcazar 3B Collier

      Pino is probably my biggest stretch, but the rest feels right to me. EDLC is the only top prospect SS that I think gets moved off their spot. Once a direction of Barrero is determined, others will move around. My guess is the Reds will know one way or the other on Barrero by midseason 23.

      • DaveCT

        Pino I think goes to Hi-A, if for no other reason than to clear a path for Stewart. Or not. Doesn’t really matter with Ibarra and Triana.

        I agree Barrero gets the nod for 2023. I don’t think EDLC gets moved until he plays himself off the position, if for no reason but the failures associated with both Senzel and Barrero getting moved in their rookie seasons.

        Between Steer, Solano, Stephenson and even Farmer, I think 1B will be covered until Votto returns. I think it’s a stretch for McGarry to basically skip AAA, especially with Steer already there.

        If CES plays himself off of 3B, or already has, Quintana and others play 3B. Rivas, Hernandez, Johnson are all capable utility guys.

      • MBS

        Let’s jump past Votto and Moose era to 24.
        1B McGarry, 3B India, DH CES, C Stephenson

        India, Starts (144 at 3B)
        McGarry, Starts (144 at 1B)
        CES, Starts (108 at DH) (18 At 3B) (18 at 1B)
        Stephenson, Starts (90 at C) (54 at DH)

        The big key would to be to have a quality catcher to back up Stephenson, as they would be inline for 71 starts. That’s why a back up C is one of my top priorities for the Reds. Hopefully this helps keep Stephenson healthy.

        The middle infield has so many quality players, it will sort itself out one way or another, but I like this solutions for the corners/DH/C.

      • DaveCT

        Backup catcher would be. a solid get. Romine has stabilized the position, IMO. I like his engagement with the pitchers, especially the young guys.

  9. DaveCT

    With Ascansio in Dayton and Acosta (from the Padres) in Daytona. Among others.

  10. Zach

    I think that is about right in exchange for Pham. Hope Northcutt can work on his approach and cut way down on the Ks. Would be an incredible story if he succeeds considering he grew up in the same neighborhood as many of us.

  11. AMDG

    2018 low avg, low obp, high K’s, no power
    2019 low avg, low obp, high K’s, no power
    2020 N/A
    2021 decent avg, good obp, decent K’s, lots of power
    2022 low avg, low obp, high K’s, lots of power

    Looking at his #’s, he seems to be a worse hitter than Aquino, but with even more HR hitting ability.

  12. Fanman

    Free agent/trade backup catcher. Allowing Stephenson’s bat to remain in lineup at 1b/DH. Also, a good lefty acquisition in bullpen needed. P