It is strange how some players can thrive on even the best pitchers or teams in baseball. For example, in his career Luis Gonzalez hit 10 HR (the most by any batter) off the great Greg Maddux in just 115 AB. He wasn’t a great hitter, only batted .283 in his 19 year career.
There are countless (seemingly) examples you could see where the same type thing occurred.
The Cincinnati Reds have had their share of arch-nemeses over the years. Did you ever wonder who is the best, among active players, against the Reds? Uncle Cliffy is about to show you. This is the Current Reds’ Killer team, position by position.
We will start behind the plate and leave the pitcher for last. A table showing all of the group’s individual statistics appears at the end of the article.
Catcher – Brian McCann
McCann of the Atlanta Braves has done his damage to the Reds having played them fewer times than anyone on this roster. His HR rate of 1 in 10 AB ranks No. 1 on this list. McCann is next to last in HR totals only because he has played the Reds a mere 41 games. He also carries the third best batting average on this virtual squad and he ranks first in SLG and OPS.
First Baseman – Albert Pujols
Any fan of the Reds knows that Prince Albert has been one of the biggest killers the Reds have faced in his career. It got so bad at one point the Reds were thinking about walking him intentionally with the bases loaded to minimize the collateral damage.
His career numbers against the Reds looks like an MVP yearly line. He is second on this list in HR with 46 and leads the group in RBI. He also leads in runs, hits, doubles and OBP. He has crushed 20 HR at Great American Ball Park.
Second Base – Chase Utley
We only have to flip the calendar one week in order to see how he thrives off Reds’ pitching. He took Bronson Arroyo deep in pinch-hit fashion tying the game, although the Reds came back to win it.
Utley has the worst line of anyone else on the team, but hey, middle infielders right? His AVG against the Reds is only .287 but it would seem that all of those hits have been key. He has 44 RBI in just 59 games.
Third Base – Aramis Ramirez
To become part of this team it is important to be nested in the National League Central Division. Ramirez has made the division his home for the duration of his 16-year career. He began with the Pittsburgh Pirates, then went to the Chicago Cubs and is currently manning the hot corner for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Like Pujols, his career numbers represent what would appear to be an MVP yearly total. 212 H, 31 HR, 125 RBI and a .305 BA could get you an MVP trophy or at least alot of votes.
Shortstop – Rafael Furcal
Furcal has been doing a job on the Reds for 13 years as a member of the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and currently the St. Louis Cardinals. On this roster, he trails only Pujols with a .336 BA having collected 111 hits in 77 games.
Left Fielder – Jason Bay
The former Rookie-of-the-Year with the Pirates, Bay did most of the damage to the Reds while a member of the Bucs. It seems as if every series he played against the Reds, he hit at least one dinger. His .332 BA is good enough for fourth on this particular leaderboard. He leads this entire group in RBI/G with a 90.8 percent rate. His closest chaser is has 87.9 percent.
Center Fielder – Andruw Jones
I realize Jones is not in MLB currently, but he hasn’t retired because he is still playing overseas. That means he is still an active player at least for my purposes. His 80 RBI in just 91 games places him second in that category. He is tied for third with Ramirez in HR with 31. One interesting fact is that he leads active center-fielders while never being a member of the NL Central.
Right Fielder – Lance Berkman
Here is the Big Daddy of them all. I could have placed Berkman at 1B but that would have left Pujols off the list and since Berkman is a RF as well, it is only fitting. The man has hit 52 HR which leads this team, he is first in OBP and is second in SLG and OPS. He has drawn 124 walks which is 30 more than Pujols in one less game played.
Nearly all of his damage was done while a member of the Houston Astros and Cardinals. Thank God he is in the American League now, along with Pujols and Bay.
Pitcher – Roy Oswalt
Though Oswalt isn’t on anyone’s roster at the moment, he still claims he is available for hire. He has CYA credentials for his career against the men from the Queen City. 23-3 with a 2.81 ERA. Until a few short years ago it didn’t look as though the Reds could ever win against him. As soon as you saw his name down as the starter you could just pencil in a loss for the Reds.
He hasn’t been nearly as effective in the past few years although he still reigns supreme as the biggest active Reds Killer on the mound.
Career Totals against the Cincinnati Reds
All statistics extracted from Baseball-Reference.com