In Parts I and II of my mid-season assessment of the Cincinnati Reds, I focused on the pitching, starting and relief respectively. As I said in both, the pitching is what has kept the Reds at or near the top of their division for most of the first half of the season.
In Part III and final part, I am going to focus on the hitting of the Cincinnati Reds.
Let’s look at some team statistics and marvel as to how the Reds can be only 1 game out of first in the Central Division.
-Batting Average – The Reds come in with a .248 average. That makes them 10th in the league – middle of the pack.
-On Base Percentage – Here we find the Reds sporting a .314 average and, again, ranked 10th.
-On Base + Slugging Percentage – Cincinnati moves up to 6th with a .714 average in this important category.
-Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position – This the biggest concern for the Cincinnat Reds as the season resumes on Thursday. The Reds are ranked 12th with a .236 average. Only Joey Votto is batting above .300 in this category. They must, MUST do better in this area to be in line for a playoff spot.
Individually, we need to look at the big three – Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce.
Votto, the leader of the Cincinnati Reds, leads the Reds in many categories: BA .348 (fifth in the league), Hits 100, OBP .471 and OPS 1.087. He’s cooled off a little over the last 10 games, but is still the most feared hitter in the line-up.
Phillips comes in with a BA of .280 and 10 HRs. He, too, has had some struggles lately. He needs to produce more RBI.
Bruce leads the team in HRs 18 and RBI 56. He really needs to improve on strike outs, 76. If he can do that, all numbers will improve dramatically. He is one that really needs to improve with RISP.
To sum it up, the Cincinnati Reds are becoming an all or nothing team. If they get the long ball, they win. If not, they don’t. I am going to discuss that in tomorrow’s blog in my second half prediction.