There is no secret that the leader of the Cincinnati Reds is Joey Votto. Votto is going to be the first baseman in Cincinnati for a very long time after signing a 13-year contract before the 2011 season. With Votto now entering his seventh year in Major League Baseball, the time has come for him to lead the Reds into a World Series.
Cincinnati was bounced in the playoffs in the National League Divisional Series after Votto hit .389 in last year’s series, after hitting just .100 in 2010 during his MVP season. Cincinnati has gotten better with the addition of Shin-Soo Choo, and there should be even more chances for Votto to knock in runs in 2013.
It is now time to take the next step though, and while Votto can’t pitch the team to a title, he can make sure that he is knocking in runs every chance he gets. Votto missed time in 2012 due to injury and only knocked in 56 runs in 111 games, but had two seasons over 100 RBIs before that.
Votto needs a more productive season in 2013, or at least one that matches his 2010 and 2011 numbers. I think Votto must hit around 35 home runs and knock in over 115 runs if Cincinnati is going to make a deep run into the playoffs. The thing that could hurt the Reds is the fact that the National League Central isn’t too strong right now and with all those games in the division, Cincinnati won’t see the same level of competition that the other teams will face. This must be a career-year for Votto as the team’s leader in 2013.