Cincinnati Reds’ 2016 offense as a function of runs created

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds wasted one of the best offensive seasons in National League history in 2016.

The Cincinnati Reds quietly had the best hitter in the National League in 2016.  Much was made of Joey Votto’s ability to bat over .400 during the second half of the season.  Not as much was made of Votto’s overall batting dominance.

For the third time in his career, Votto led the NL in runs created with 130 in 2016.  That was just seven short of American League MVP, Mike Trout.  Votto also led the NL in OBP at .434, just .007 short of Trout’s AL leading number.

To understand how much of a waste Votto was in 2016, just look at the Reds’ second best offensive player, Adam Duvall.  Duvall created 80 runs as the Reds second best offensive player and lone All-Star in 2016.  Duvall hit 33 home runs with 103 RBIs, but ended up with an OBP of just .297.

The other player that was almost as productive as Duvall was third baseman Eugenio Suarez, who created 77 runs in 2016.  Suarez hit 21 home runs and scored 78 runs.  His OBP was decent at .317 to go with a SLG of .411.  These are solid numbers, but neither Duvall nor Suarez provided enough support for the best batter in the NL.

Usually Brandon Phillips would be that guy.  Phillip consistently had runs created in the 70s or higher for much of his career.  In 2016 Phillips had 65 runs created, which is his second lowest amount since he joined the Reds.

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The Cincinnati Reds need to see improvement from their young batters to support Joey Votto offensively.

In only 72 games Jose Peraza created 32 runs.  Over the course of a full season, that projects to come close to what Suarez did.  Peraza just needs a chance to play everyday and get in a groove.

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Scott Schebler was almost as productive in his 82 games.  He created 36 runs which would have projected to 70 runs over a full season.  That number is better than what Phillips provided to the Reds in 2016.

Billy Hamilton was a little bit of a disappointment.  He only created 46 runs in 2016 after creating 64 in 2014.  Since then he has been unable to complete a season healthy.

The forgotten batter here is Zack Cozart.  Cozart contributed 53 runs created, which is about the norm for the defensive minded shortstop.  That places him above Hamilton, but below the rest of the batters in the field.  He doesn’t have much of an upside and may leave by the middle of the 2017 season.

Next: Shifting defense helps the Reds

The Reds are similar to the Angels in that they both have superstars that they cannot properly support.  The difference is that the Angels lack pitching while the Reds lack offense.  Hopefully, the prospects can turn into productive major leaguers before it’s too late.