Cincinnati Reds must decide how they want to arrange batters in 2017

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds must think long and hard about how they want to us their batters next year.

Given how the home of the Cincinnati Reds, Great American Ballpark, played in 2016 they must seriously consider how to stack their line-up in 2017.  They must decide whether GABP is giving up enough home runs that they should stack batters in the order of likely home runs or slugging percentage.  The other option is business as usual.
With Billy Hamilton’s maturation into a player with decent OBP, the Reds must allow him to start the season batting lead-off.  He might stay there, but he deserves the chance to play his way out of it at the very least.  To start the season the Reds have no better option than Hamilton.
The second spot in the batting order has long been a spot of controversy for the Reds.  Adam Duvall has solved this controversy.  His added power in the line-up allows former MVP Joey Votto to bat second.

Here’s how the team looked this year.

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Another nice development has been the power of Eugenio Suarez.  The way that GABP plays, his power fits in nicely to protect Votto.  This was Suarez’s first year as a starter.  He will only get better with time.

After the top three, the Reds have a clear cut option on how to fill out the middle three of their line-up.

Scott Schebler stepped into right field nicely when Jay Bruce was traded to the New York Mets.  Next year Schebler will be ready to step-in to the four spot in the order.  He previewed it the second half of the season and looks good.

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The real unknown is who will be the second baseman.  Jose Peraza will be competing with Dilson Herrera and Tony Renda for that job.  Whoever wins the job will have the inside track on batting fifth.

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Adam Duvall will provide the power in the bottom half of the line-up whether he ends up batting fifth or sixth.  His OBP and low batting order may necessitate that he starts the season batting sixth.  He is showing himself to be more of a slugger than anyone else on the roster.

The Reds’ front office needs to be thinking about this now.  They need to figure where they need to add offense to compete. With players like Raisel Iglesias and Blake Wood as possible trade pieces, they could add some nice pieces rather than repeating 2016.  Otherwise the 100-loss watch will be back on in 2017.