When the Cincinnati Reds acquired Nick Northcut late in 2022 as the player to be named in the trade with the Boston Red Sox for Tommy Pham the biggest thing that jumped out on his scouting report was his power. He had hit 30 home runs in 2022 across two levels of the minor leagues. But he was injured when 2023 began and missed the first month of the season.

On Wednesday night, Nick Northcut announced his presence with authority after a few weeks with Double-A Chattanooga. He entered the day with just one home run in 17 games. In the 3rd inning he obliterated the ball for a 429-foot solo home run to tie the game up at 1-1. The next inning he watched Ivan Johnson hit a 2-run homer from the on-deck circle. Northcut followed up with a home run of his own a few pitches later to nearly the exact same spot that Johnson hit his to.

While the first two home runs of the night were big, it was the third home run that was the biggest. With the game tied up in the top of the 11th inning he came to the plate with two men on and hit a 393-foot 3-run, go-ahead homer.

It’s always a good day when you end the day with four times as many home runs on the year as you entered the day with.

While he was outdone ever so slightly in the game, Ivan Johnson smacked two home runs in Chattanooga’s extra-innings win and the one that wasn’t mentioned above was a pretty big one as it tied the game up in the 9th and helped send it to extras. That home run came from the left side of the plate, while the one earlier in the game came from the right side.

It’s been an interesting season so far for Johnson. Over the first two weeks he went 3-36 with 17 strikeouts. He was hitting .083/.209/.139 on April 20th, but he then hit the injured list and missed the next three-and-a-half weeks before returning to the Lookouts. Since he’s come back he’s hit much better. In the 14 games since his return he’s hit .271/.340/.604 with two doubles, a triple, and four home runs.

9 Responses

  1. RedsGettingBetter

    What could we expect about Ivan Johnson and Nick Northcut in the next 2 years? Obviously they aren’t considered top prospects and I would even doubt that they could still be considered as just prospects by the scouts. Maybe they could reach AAA or sometimes being called up at the big leagues to replace an injured player or something else, Couldn’t they?

    • LarkinPhillips

      Northcutt is only 23. He hit 30 humerus in the minors last year. I think he was always viewed as a flyer on the trade, but if he could make more contact he could pan out as more than just a AAA guy. I’ve always liked johnson. But he has really struggled this year and is behind a heap of talent.

    • DaveCT

      Johnson was a three-year top 20 prospect for BA from 20-22. He’s been injured in 22 and now 23. While he may or may not play in the ML’s for the Reds, he has a pretty decent chance of being a utility piece for someone else. This is his age 24 season. With a AA bounce back, he’s an easy candidate for AAA later this summer. From there, you never know.

  2. Laredo Slider

    As mentioned, Northcut’s only 23. Another HR hitter the Reds FO will ignore.

    • PTBNL

      yes, the Reds completely abhor power hitters, almost to the point of loathing them.

  3. MBS

    I’ve been thinking Free has a good shot at some point in 24 of becoming that last man on the bench, but Northcut might make a good pinch hitter with that kind of pop. It’s always fun to have a dangerous man on the bench.

    These next couple of years should be fun, there will be lots of movement on the rosters.

    • MK

      I always harken back to the sage words of the former Akron University Baseball Coach Chris Sabo who said, ” I’m a knee injury away from flipping burgers at McDonalds.” Same can be said for CES, EDC and any of the other Top prospects making Northcutt an important player in the process.

  4. Doc

    Pretty impressive that Ivan Johnson hit a home run from the on deck circle.

  5. Old-school

    Good for nick.
    My son played with him several years on the travel circuit and wonderful kid and family.

    I know our youth coach is proud of that right center HR

    Hope he makes it to GABP at least once .