The Cincinnati Reds are a very promising team this season. The National League central isn’t necessarily theirs to lose at this point but they certainly are front runners going into the year. One reason for their success a year ago was a great season by second baseman Brandon Phillips. His 2012 year was good enough to rank 17th in Most Valuable Player voting. That begs the question; does Phillips have what it takes to put up an MVP season?
I think any player that ends up winning an MVP has something of a striving desire to compete and succeed that outshines their competition. Mike Trout’s run in the American League last year could be seen as an example. There was just fire in his eyes seemingly all the time. After coming back from the World Baseball Classic, Phillips is disappointed in the Team USA loss and ready to win with the Reds. That takes care of his desire at least. It’s there, no doubt.
As far as the numbers go, he needs to improve some over last year. The average needs to come back to and over the .300 mark. Last season’s .281 is very good but won’t win him an MVP. He had 18 homers a year ago and 77 RBI. Both of those numbers need to come up a little more to around 25 and 90. If he is able to do those things as well as get on base more, strikeout less, he could be this season’s MVP. Of course it will help if the Reds win the Central. For his part, Phillips is certainly capable of upping these numbers this little bit. Maybe he will go all the way to an MVP title this year or next. It is absolutely possible.