Joey Votto (Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)

Top 25 Reds' Position Players of All-Time: End of Year Countdown (Part 2 - 20-16)

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Whenever someone creates a “Best Of” list or a “Greatest” something or other in rank order, it always opens the topic for debate exactly what qualifies someone or something better than another.  To end 2012, I thought it would be interesting to look at All-Time Reds in a rank order.  There is no “right” answer to this, although I made a best attempt to make this a bit more “scientific” in equalizing ranks across a large disparity of games played.  Intangibles are harder to award where discrete numbers weren’t produced, but no consideration was given for any player’s statistics beyond his time as a Reds player.

We pick up today at #20, continuing from the previous list (25-21) from yesterday:

20 – James “Bug” Holliday (1889-1898)

Not a name that would jump out at anyone, but Holliday put up some impressive numbers from the late 1800’s in the deadball era that look impressive even today.  To think what kind of power numbers he could have achieved with a livelier ball (leading the National League in homers at 13 in 1892), but his hitting skills seem undeniable.  With 928 games played as an outfielder for the Reds, Holliday accumulated 728 runs (13th), 1,135 hits (21st), 617 RBI (17th), and a .311 BA (7th) along with a .824 OPS (16th).

19 – Joey Votto (2007-Present)

Anyone who follows the Reds knows that Votto will only climb this list as time goes on.  In statistical categories not weighted for time (of which Votto has played the fewest games of anyone on this list), he ranks at or near the top already.  His hitting prowess ranks among the greats of all-time, and more time will only improve his other stats.  At only 728 games to date, he’s notched 133 HR (18th), 457 RBI (29th), and 562 BB (16th). Where Votto really shines are average categories: .316 BA (4th), .415 OBP (1st), .553 SLG (2nd, only a hair behind Frank Robinson), and a .968 OPS (1st).  It’s tempting to rank Joey higher on potential, but we’ll watch him climb higher all by himself.

18 – Frank McCormick (1934-1945)

McCormick played on the 1940 Championship club during his playing days and was an offensive force during his time. During his 1,228 games played, he scored 631 runs (20th), cracked 1,439 hits (11th), 110 HR (21st), 803 RBI (11th) along with solid .301 BA and .350 OBP.

17 – Eric Davis (1984-1991, 1996)

Davis was known for being a five-tool player, a multi-dimensional outfielder who brought flash and power to the game.  In his 985 games with the Reds, “Eric the Red” scored 635 runs (18th), cracked 203 HR (8th), 615 RBI (18th), and swiped 270 SB (6th).  With a career .510 SLG (7th) and an .877 OPS (5th), Davis was one of the more feared hitters (including his contribution to the 1990 Championship).

16 – John Reilly (1880-1891)

Like Bug Holliday, Reilly’s playing days hit in the formative years of baseball in the late 1800’s.  Reilly accumulated impressive results that are hard to deny.  In his 1,069 games played, he notched 1,296 hits (9th), 135 triples (3rd), 724 RBI (13th), and 245 SB (8th).

I return tomorrow with Part 3, counting down from #15 to #11 to conclude on 12/31 with #5 to #1.

Continue the conversation with me on Twitter via @jdrentz.

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