Cincinnati Reds should bat Adam Duvall lead-off in 2018

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

The Cincinnati Reds have had a lead-off problem since Shin-Soo Choo left town for the Texas Rangers.

Since Shin-Soo Choo left the Cincinnati Reds following the 2013 season via free agency, they have difficulty in the lead-off position.  They actually had it in 2012 and before, prior to Choo’s arrival.  Truth be told, Choo’s one year in Cincinnati is the only time recently that the Reds have had a lead-off hitter consistently do what he’s supposed to do, get on base.

Choo understood his role on the team.  Choo got on base at a .423 clip that included 112 walks.  His second highest number of walks in one season was 83 in 2010 with the Cleveland Indians.

Choo turned one outstanding year into a $130-million contract.  Choo is a good player.  He is not, however, a $130-million player.

Prior to the Choo the Reds had Drew Stubbs in the lead-off spot.  His best season was 2010 when he had an OBP of .329 and scored 91 runs.  The following year he struck out 205 times, most in Major League Baseball for the season.

Want your voice heard? Join the Blog Red Machine team!

Write for us!

2016 was Billy Hamilton’s best season as a Red.  he got on base at a .321 clip, scoring 69 times.  He stole 59 bases and scored 85 runs in 2017, but saw his OBP drop to .299.  The Reds need better production out of the lead-off spot.

The Cincinnati Reds have the best OBP hitter in the game today on their roster.

More from Reds News

National League MVP runner-up, Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto, is an on base machine.  He led the NL in walks, OBP, and OPS in 2017.  That is great, but you can’t let him bat lead-off.

The batter that looks the most appealing is the truest slugger on the team, left fielder Adam Duvall.  In his two seasons with the Reds his stat lines have been nearly identical.  Both years he batted in the .240s with an OBP close to .300.

That consistency combined with the OBP skill of third baseman Eugenio Suarez and Votto makes for a powerful start to the line-up.  Duvall gets on just enough to warrant batting lead-off.  Plus he would have protection for the first time in his MLB career.

Most of the last two seasons, right fielder Scott Schebler or the departed Jay Bruce batted behind Duvall.  Both are big league hitters.  Both, also, are the streakiest hitters in recent Reds’ lore.

Next: Oh no, Joe! Morgan tells other HoFers how to vote!

The Reds need someone with explosive offensive skills to bat lead-off.  With Hamilton incapable and shortstop Zack Cozart gone, that leaves just a handful of players.  After 2017, it can’t get much worse ahead of Votto and Suarez.