After the best offensive season we have seen from the Reds in a long time, it’s time to see if they can do it again. Last year’s order wasn’t a hard one to figure out, but this year could be a bit trickier. This is what I am shooting for if I am Bryan Price:
1. Billy Hamilton CF .247/.299/.634
Boy I should be making money for this. Billy had a rough year last year, but like always when he can get on base he can be deadly. Not having an OBP over .300 though is just painful to look at. He needs to be around .350 at the minimum.
2. Scooter Gennett 2B .295/.342/.874
It’s hard to find problems with what Scooter did last year. He was an amazing pickup. He does need to work on drawing a few more walks, and he can have issues with lefty pitching. Expect Suarez in this spot against lefties until Scooter can prove he can hit them more consistently.
3. Joey F*****g Votto 1B .320/.454/1.032 <———–!!!!
It took Stanton channeling his inner Hank Aaron to stop Votto from picking up another MVP, but we all know who the real MVP is. Votto had arguably his best offensive season ever in 2017. It will be tough to do it again, but we will see if the next few Reds can give him the protection he needs.
4. Adam Duvall LF .249/.301/.782
Duvall was a bit hit or miss at times last year, but still picked up another 30+ HR season. Like Scooter and Billy he does need to work on drawing more walks and push that OBP up some more. He also struck out 170 times as well. Don’t turn into Adam Dunn, Duvall. I can’t take watching 200 strike outs again.
5. Eugenio Suarez 3B .260/.367/.828
If only he hadn’t hit a slump last season. Suarez was on pace for a great season, but his average took a bit of a beating. Votto Jr. looks primed to break out at any time though, and still is just 26 years old. This might be the year.
6. Scott Schebler RF .233/.307/.791
Discount Jay Bruce finally got his crack at starting last season, and boy that average shows it. He still did have a good OBP considering. Look for him to hopefully improve on that this season, because if he doesn’t…there’s a Winker waiting in the wings.
7. Jose Peraza SS .259/.297/.622
Zach Cozart stole the season Peraza was supposed to have last year. Peraza was really the only disappointment the Reds offense had last season. They will need him to step it up though to try and fill the massive void Cozart left.
8. Tucker Barnhart C .270/.347/.750
One of several highlights last season was Barnhart finally emerging as the catcher the Reds needed. He brought home a gold glove and had a solid year hitting as well. If Peraza doesn’t step things up Barnhart could easily move up to the 7 spot in the batting order.
This Reds lineup looks like it may be slightly weaker than last season’s. Cozart leaving after having an epic year is going to be very hard to replace. It still should be very good, and if Suarez, Schebler, Peraza, or Winker can break out it could be fantastic. One other item to keep an eye on though is Scooter. Was last season an aberration or is he for real? If he is for real? This could be a very fun year.