Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Scooter Gennett's groin injury leaves Reds — and Fantasy players — in a bind
With no sign of Nick Senzel, Scooter Gennett's injury leaves Fantasy players without much to fall back on.
For more Fantasy baseball insights, and to keep up with all the latest news, roster trends, and more throughout the season, subscribe to Fantasy Baseball Today now on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify. You can find us on YouTube now, with full episodes and clips available every Monday through Friday.
The Reds' hopes of making a playoff run took a hit in the final weekend of spring training, and so did many Fantasy players', when second baseman Scooter Gennett suffered a groin injury that will keep him out 8-to-12 weeks.
The team announced the diagnosis Saturday, and in case you were hoping it would mean an opportunity for Nick Senzel, the team's top prospect, don't get too excited:
So, no Gennett through at least May, most likely, and no Fantasy-relevant replacement coming through in house. At least for the time being, this stinks.
Gennett was pretty much a consensus top-10 second baseman, and. Gennett was Scott's No. 4 second baseman in both H2H points and category-based formats. Coming off consecutive years with at least a .295 average and 23-plus homers, Gennett was a solid value in the eighth round. Now? It's hard to see him being worth the risk before the reserve rounds come around.
If you want to find a silver lining here, it's that Gennett isn't exactly a guy who relies on speed or athleticism for his Fantasy value. He's a hitter through and through, and a pretty good one, so the hope is the effects of this injury won't linger once he is healthy. If you get him at enough of a discount, you may just have a top-five second baseman for the final three or four months of the season.
As you'll see, the in-house replacement options aren't exactly thrilling — at least not yet — but there are some decent second basemen available late in drafts, or possibly in free agency. D.J. LeMahieu is a solid replacement option who is being discounted because the lack of clarity on his long-term role, but he should play pretty regularly early on. Jeff McNeil is second base eligible, and will be the Mets' starting third baseman to start the season, so he's a good bet, too. But your best option might be Ryan McMahon, who has been absolutely crushing the ball in spring, and has Coors Field to call home. He might be your best bet to replace Gennett — and he has the upside to remain viable starter even when Gennett is back.
Now to the other bad news: The underwhelming replacement option the Reds are likely to turn to. Jose Iglesias isn't a bad player, but much of his real-world value comes from his glove. He might steal a half-dozen bases if he plays everyday for the next few months, but that's about all he'll bring to the table.
Derek Dietrich will also likely figure into the plan at second base (with Peraza sliding over to short) in some way, and he's probably a more interesting Fantasy option on a per-plate-appearance basis thanks to his solid power and on-base skills. However, there probably won't be enough plate appearances for him to make much of an impact. Both he and Iglesias are only worth considering as reserve-round options in an NL-only league.
And, of course, they may only figure into the plans for a couple of weeks, anyway. Senzel competed for the center field job in the spring but was ultimately sent down in the last few days. That was a defensible decision, given Senzel's lack of experience there, but he could see a quick ascension to the majors with Gennett out. The Reds will likely hold him down in the minors for at least a few weeks, both to gain that extra year of club control and to save face in the event of a potential service time fight.
However, if he gets off to a hot start, this now gives him a second avenue toward playing time. Either Scott Schebler struggles — or Jesse Winker or Yasiel Puig gets hurt, something both are at risk for, given history — or Iglesias just proves to be too much of a liability with the glove to be worth playing every day.
This doesn't give Senzel a path to playing time immediately, and for that, Fantasy players are rightly disappointed. However, it does increase his chances of an early debut. If the Reds opt to call him up in April, he has the potential to be a five-category contributor and remains worth drafting in all leagues in the later rounds.
It's not quite a consolation prize for losing Gennett this early, but it's not nothing, either.
Fantasy Baseball Today Newsletter
You're destined to gain an edge over your friends with advice from the award-winning FBT crew.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
We got some good news and some bad news on the injury front Thursday, along with some low-owned...
He's not quite Vladimir Guerrero, but Carter Kieboom brings plenty of exciting skills to the...
Vladimir Guerrero's impending arrival consumes all prospect talk for now, but Scott White has...
Chris Paddack was the standout rookie from Wednesday's action, according to Scott White, but...
The wait is over. Vladimir Guerrero is coming and should prove well worth the investment for...
SportsLine's trade chart and evaluator grades every Fantasy baseball deal