A fan would be hard-pressed to find positives for the Cincinnati Reds in 2016. The MLB All Star Game was just another hard pill to swallow.
The Cincinnati Reds only managed to contribute one player to the 2016 MLB All Star Game. Adam Duvall, the powerful outfielder, was voted in by the players as a reserve. As the lone Reds player in the field, Duvall deserved the recognition after his breakout year at the plate.
It’s hard for a Reds fan to sit and watch an All-Star game whenever there are seven Chicago Cubs on the National League roster. Five Cubs were voted as starters in the game at their respective positions. Look where that got them.
The Cincinnati Reds have talented players. It is expected that every single year, the Reds will have multiple All-Stars. Guys like Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Homer Bailey (if healthy), and the rest of the big money players need to produce enough to be selected to the NL All-Star roster. That just didn’t happen last season.
Looking ahead to 2017
The 2017 season is quickly approaching with pitchers and catchers reporting on February 13th. The Cincinnati Reds look to improve on the number of All-Stars representing the Queen City. Look for these players to have a breakout year. These players will be representing the Reds in Miami for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game.
Joey Votto looks to have a solid season at first base for the Redlegs. Votto posted a .326 batting average in 2016, which was top 5 in the league for players with a minimum of 500 plate appearances. He also hit 29 home runs and had 97 runs batted in. I look for Votto’s RBI count to rise this season as the Reds roster finds themselves on base more often when the Canadian is at the plate. Joey Votto is a master at putting the ball in play and finding his way on base. He made a late surge last season at the NL MVP award. Joey Votto will be an All-Star in 2017.
Billy Hamilton is a flash on the base path. Hamilton finished second in the league in steals in 2016 with 58. That is four steals behind Milwaukee Brewer shortstop, Jonathan Villar. Hamilton will improve that stat in 2017 barring any injury, and will take the crown as the leagues top base stealer. In order for Hamilton to find his way on top of the leaderboards again in 2017, he will need to be better at the plate. The Reds center fielder batted .260 with an on base percentage of .321. Billy will find his way on base to make a difference in games, giving him the nod as an All-Star in 2017.
Drew Storen is a new face to the Cincinnati Reds. I look for Drew to make an immediate impact on a watered down bullpen for the Reds. Storen is a veteran who will be the closer in Cincinnati for the 2017 season. The Reds will start fresh out of a revamped pen in the first half of the season which will give Storen more save opportunities. Young pitchers such as Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias will hold the lead allowing the Reds new closer to work his magic. Storen will be in the top 5 for saves this season earning him an All-Star bid.
Representing Reds Fans
If there is one thing Reds fans want to see this spring, it’s improvement. The Reds need to be better at closing games and keeping leads past the seventh inning. Pitching must also improve. The starting rotation, whoever ends up there, needs to go deep into games and set up better situations for the bullpen. This will be more than just a better year for the Cincinnati Reds. The talent is also there to win baseball games. This might not be the year in which we dethrone the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, but a top 2 finish in the NL Central is a logical expectation.
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With that said, the Reds will have more than one representative during the 2017 All-Star Game. The above candidates are more likely to make the cut, than not, if the team is competitive. But don’t close your eyes on the youth movement. You can finally expect big things from the Reds’ newest faces this spring.