Cincinnati Reds Scooter Gennett produces, but the RBIs don’t follow

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

While the Cincinnati Reds have gotten off to a slow start, Scooter Gennett has been hot.

The Cincinnati Reds have gotten off to a historically bad start.  They started the season 3-13.  Their offense ranked 22nd in MLB in runs scored.

Meanwhile, Scooter Gennett has gotten off to a great start this year after showing up at spring training in an RV ready to go.  He is batting .303 with an OBP of .333.  He has five doubles among his twenty hits.

Unfortunately, Gennett has no home runs and only five RBIs.  For a clean-up hitter those are not good numbers.  Gennett has struck out 13 times against 3 walks.

Gennett is currently fifth in the National League among starting second basemen in batting average and ninth in OBP.  He is also third in doubles.  He also has the fourth most strikeouts.

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Last season, Gennett led all NL second basemen in home runs and RBIs.  He was also 12th in walks, which is mostly amazing because he only walked 30 times.  He also struck out the third most times on any NL second baseman.

Gennett is batting clean-up out of necessity for a Reds’ team that lacks a consistent OBP threat behind MVP candidate first baseman Joey Votto.  In that vein Gennett won”t hit a ton of home runs, but that doesn’t explain the low RBI total.  The injury to third baseman Eugenio Suarez could be a large factor there.

Despite Scooter Gennett’s hot start for the Cincinnati Reds, they shouldn’t expect him to keep it up.

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Gennett is a .283 lifetime hitter.  That includes batting .295 last season.  Somewhere in the .270 or so range likely makes more sense given the lack of support currently in the Reds’ line-up.

As far as power goes, Gennett will hit for home runs at Great American Ballpark.  He went from 35 over four MLB seasons to 27 last year.  About 20 is a reasonable number with the combination of Gennett and GABP.

Oh, but the RBI situation may be another story.  Gennett had 97 last season after a previous career high of 56.  Even batting clean-up it is hard to imagine Gennett collecting more than 75 RBIs.

Runs is another component of batting in the heart of the line-up.  Currently, he is one pace for 40 after 80 last season and two other seasons higher than 50.  Even in this line-up there is no reason that he shouldn’t approach 70 runs.

Next: Cincinnati Reds outfield works itself out

in the end Gennett’s hot start will balance out with home runs and runs scored in all likelihood later in the season.  In the meantime, though, Gennett is doing what he can to be productive.  Hopefully, the rest of the team will soon, too.