Welcome to the next installment of “30 Teams in 30 Days”, where we will look at all 30 Major League teams and dissect what to expect from them this season. Keep an eye out for the hidden gems who could be the key to winning your fantasy baseball season.
Next up on the schedule are the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds haven’t had a winning record or placed higher than third in the division in the last nine years. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips will look to change that in 2010 but without some breakout years in the rotation it’s going to be tough for the offense to keep up. Still, other than the Cardinals, the Central isn’t an especially strong division, so with a few big years from high-potential players, we could see the Reds making a run at the playoffs come September.
|C Ramon Hernandez||.258||.336||.362||25||5||37||1||287|
|1B Joey Votto||.322||.414||.567||82||25||84||4||469|
|2B Brandon Phillips||.276||.329||.447||78||20||98||25||584|
|SS Orlando Cabrera||.284||.316||.389||83||9||77||13||656||w/2T|
|3B Scott Rolen||.305||.368||.455||76||11||67||5||475||w/2T|
|LF Chris Dickerson||.275||.370||.373||31||2||15||11||255|
|CF Drew Stubbs||.267||.323||.439||27||8||17||10||180|
|RF Jay Bruce||.223||.303||.470||47||22||58||3||345|
Unsettled: Left Field. Most of the lineup is pretty set in stone at this point except for left field. As of right now it looks like a platoon between Chris Dickerson and Laynce Nix. Neither have the skills or the playing time to be of much use in most leagues so it’s probably a situation you just want to avoid.
Target: Joey Votto. In 2009, Votto continued building on his impressive rookie year hitting 25 home runs despite missing 31 games due to depression and anxiety issues brought on by the death of his father. Still, he managed to remain among the league leaders in batting average (.322), on-base percentage (.414), and slugging percentage (.567). It seems as though Votto has made it through this rough patch in his life and given a clear mind and a full season of at-bats we can expect even bigger things out of him going into the 2010 season. Right now Votto is being drafted around the middle of the third round and has some of the highest upside of anyone drafted in that area. He’s basically a lock for .300 and 25 homers and definitely has the potential to outperform that.
|Aaron Harang (R)||6-14||4.21||1.41||142||43||162.1|
|Edinson Volquez (R)||4-2||4.35||1.33||47||32||49.2|
|Bronson Arroyo (R)||15-13||3.84||1.27||127||65||220.1|
|Johnny Cueto (R)||11-11||4.41||1.36||132||61||171.1|
|Homer Bailey (R)||8-5||4.53||1.47||86||52||113.1|
Unsettled: Aroldis Chapman. The soon to be 22-year-old flamethrower has gotten quite a bit of press since his defection from Cuba and was signed this off-season by the Reds to a six-year contract, worth $30.25 million. Despite the large contract, his shaky control and lack of a dependable third pitch leave him as a question mark going into the 2010 season. He will almost assuredly start the season in the minors, but given the Reds shaky and injury-prone rotation, it would not be a surprise to see him join the big league team sometime this year. He’s definitely a guy you want to keep an eye during spring training as he could be worth stashing on your bench in deep enough leagues.
Target: Aaron Harang. It looks like the 2006-2007 Harang is gone, but that doesn’t mean the post-injury Harang doesn’t still have value. He still combines a solid strikeout and walk rate (3.3 K/BB in 2009) and had a BABIP 23 points above his career average last year (though that may have been due in part to a career high LD%). Still, he can be had relatively late in drafts and can do wonders to pad your strikeout numbers without doing damage elsewhere. With a bit more luck in run support (3.37 runs per game in 2009), we should see a bump in wins back to the double-digit level as well.
The 8th and 9th Innings
|Francisco Cordero (R)||39||2.16||1.32||58||30||66.2|
|Arthur Rhodes (L)||0||2.53||1.07||48||20||53.1|
Chasing Saves: Francisco Cordero is the guy and with two years and $23 million left on his contract he probably will be the guy at least through 2011. While he’s probably not worth the money he’s getting paid, he’s still getting the job done and continues to rack up the saves. A declining strikeout rate and ballooning walk rate don’t show him headed in the right direction as he enters his age 35 season, but with relatively high job security, he should continue producing enough to be a solid number two closer.
Other than Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, there isn’t a lot to love about the Reds this year. Jay Bruce still has tons of potential if he can bounce back from his fractured wrist, but be wary as it make take him awhile to strengthen the wrist and gain his power stroke back. The rotation has a few guys that can fill out the back end of your fantasy staff, and Volquez still has plenty of potential if he’s able to survive the Dusty Baker factor, but none of them are guys you want to have to lean on. Francisco Cordero is getting up there in years and his stuff is on the decline, but still has plenty of value as someone’s second closer. Still, for the most part, this is a team you want to avoid in your drafts.
Michael Marinakis is a 24-year-old fantasy addict. You can find him roaming the Cafe all day where he posts asGiantsFan14 and waits for Buster Posey's arrival as the savior of the Giants.
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