26. Cincinnati Reds (39–52, minus-57, LT: 26)
When Scooter Gennett made baseball history by becoming just the 17th player ever to hit four homers in one game, the temptation was to write off the feat as one of the greatest flukes of all time. Gennett had earned a reputation as a fairly light-hitting second baseman heading into his fifth major league season, and his 14 homers in 2016 (in 542 plate appearances, with an unimpressive .317 on-base percentage and .412 slugging average) stood as his high-water mark. A reasonable reaction to Gennett’s June 5 barrage could’ve been, “Have a day, kid ... it might be your last.”
So much for that. Gennett’s been a man possessed since his four-homer megaday, launching nine more homers and driving in 23 runs in his past 28 games, with an OPS better than 1.000. Gennett’s continued assault on outfield fences puts the Reds in a weird spot. On one hand, they’re in full rebuild mode and would like to see what they have in Jose Peraza, the 23-year-old speedster acquired via three-way trade with the Dodgers and White Sox in December 2015. On the other hand, Peraza has been unfathomably bad with the bat this season, batting a brutal .253/.276/.331. No matter how much a team might want to build for the future, it’s hard to bench one second baseman who’s hitting like Rogers Hornsby for another one who’s hitting like Bruce Hornsby.
If a second base-needy team were to come calling with a trade offer, Gennett would seem a perfect candidate to go ply his trade elsewhere, where his home-run blitzkrieg would be welcome, not a source of organizational agita.