There are high expectations on the Cincinnati Reds in 2013 after going to the playoffs last season and adding Shin-Soo Choo in the offseason. There may be a player who got a lot of attention before that could slip under the radar a little in 2013 that is even more important to the success of Cincinnati than Choo in Brandon Phillips.
Phillips just missed out on his third straight Gold Glove during a season where he made just five errors for the National League Central champions. Phillips also was consistent at the plate with his third straight season of 18 home runs. The reason why Phillips is important is simply because he is going to be in a new role this season of not having to lead off for the team. Phillips hit .281 last season but had an on-base percentage of .321. Those aren’t leadoff hitter numbers.
If the Reds can slot Phillips into the cleanup spot between Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, the Reds are going to be put up a ton of runs in 2013 especially with Choo at the top of the lineup. Phillips has had a tendency to be a little flamboyant in his career and that probably cost him the Gold Glove last year. I don’t want Phillips to change any of that and as long as he is producing, Cincinnati is going to be a great team and a World Series contender. Phillips is likely headed for a season where he hits 20 home runs and knocks in 85-90 runs just because of where he probably will hit in the lineup.