Cincinnati Reds need to re-examine their offense for 2018

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds had an inconsistent offense in 2017 because of the players and the line-ups.

The Cincinnati Reds had a line-up filled with streaky players in 2017.  They also lacked consistency in team approach.  That caused a very inconsistent year in 2017 offensively.

The most noticeable player’s streakiness was right fielder Scott Schebler.  He started off the season hot, challenging first baseman Joey Votto for the National League lead in home runs.  In the month of July, he was so cold that his starting job was in jeopardy.

Center fielder Billy Hamilton wasn’t much better.  While the Reds didn’t win or lose based on his OBP challenges, his OBP was up and down all season.  He ended the season cold and injured.

Then there is shortstop of the future, Jose Peraza.  Early in the season he was so cold that he lost his starting second base job to Scooter Gennett.  He was OK offensively when he subbed in for an injured Zack Cozart, but was never the explosive offensive player that Reds fans saw in 2016.

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Left fielder Adam Duvall was a bit streaky in 2017, but in a different way.  He was relatively consistent in OBP and batting average, but had some power issues.  That isn’t too unusual for a slugger, but it places his spot in the order in question.

The Cincinnati Reds need to examine where they bat the streaky hitters to minimize the effects of the streak.

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Duvall is the perfect example of batting someone in the wrong place.  Duvall is a decent offensive player who occasionally goes crazy with elite power.  Batting him lead-off and letting his .300 OBP drive the offense makes sense.

Third baseman Eugenio Suarez is a superiorly consistent batter.  He had a breakout season quietly in 2017.  Bating him second ahead of first baseman Joey Votto would help eliminate the streaky offense that the Reds encountered in 2017.

The issue here is how to support perennial MVP candidate Votto, who contended this season.  They need to consistently get people on base in front of him.  That is what the Reds have not done successfully since the Reds lost Shin-Soo Choo to the Texas Rangers.

Next: Is Billy Hamilton about to be traded?

The Reds saw their offense progress from 2016 to 2017 even though the overall record didn’t greatly improve.  Some of this progress was due to the elite seasons by Cozart and Votto, but much of the progress was due to the maturation of young players and the acquition of Gennett.  Now the Reds need to take a second look at how they are deploying their offensive tools.