3 Reds who are most likely to win postseason awards in 2022

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto celebrates.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto celebrates. / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages
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Every year the debate rages in prior to Opening Day about the most likely players to take home MLB's most prestigious postseason awards. Last year, were it not for one misguided voter, Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India would have been the unanimous choice to take home the National League Rookie of the Year.

Both Joey Votto and Nick Castellanos received MVP votes, but ultimately, the award went to Bryce Harper. No one on the Cincinnati pitching staff received any votes for the NL Cy Young which was handed out to Corbin Burnes.

As we embark on the 2022 season, we hear names like Austin Riley, Mookie Betts, and Ronald Acuña Jr., but I haven't yet heard a whisper of any Reds players in the mix for a postseason award. Let's change that line of thinking, shall we? Which three Cincinnati Reds are most likely to take home a postseason award this season?

Joey Votto is the Reds player most likely to win NL MVP.

He's already got one, and he should have two. Joey Votto's resurgence in 2021 has led to the belief that the 38-year-old has some gas left in the tank. I'd wager that's a good assumption, and I sure as heck wouldn't bet against Votto heading into 2022.

Let's not forget that the 2010 NL MVP missed about month with a broken thumb, and it took the six-time All-Star some time to get back in the swing of things. But once Votto got going, there was no stopping the Reds first baseman from flat-out assaulting baseballs in 2021.

Votto finished tied for 16th in the NL MVP vote last season despite ranking fifth amid all vote-getters in OPS (.938) and RBIs (99). Votto was also tied for second among those receiving vote with 36 home runs in 2021.

We all know who Joey Votto's competition is. The likes of Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., and the reigning MVP Bryce Harper will all be in the mix for the 2022 National League Most Value Player Award. It seems like an uphill climb for Votto to even find his way into the conversation, but as we found out last season, Votto Still Bangs!

Runner up: Jonathan India, Reds second baseman

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle (30) delivers during live batting practice.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle (30) delivers during live batting practice. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Tyler Mahle is the Reds player most likely to win NL Cy Young.

Some fans are going to think I'm nuts for not including Luis Castillo as the most likely Cincinnati Reds pitcher to take home the NL Cy Young Award in 2022. But hear me out. Castillo is not going to be on the Opening Day roster, likely missing two starts, and you've got to question whether or not La Piedra will even be part of the Reds organization after the trade deadline.

But it's more than Castillo's early-season absence and trade speculation that has me leaning toward Tyler Mahle. The right-hander had an impressive 2021 campaign, and for the most part, was the better pitcher between the two last season.

Mahle had more wins, more innings pitched, more strikeouts, fewer walks, and a lower ERA than Castillo last season. We also saw Castillo totally stumble out of the gate in 2021, something that wouldn't be too shocking this season given how little time he's had to prepare for the regular season, Castillo didn't appear in a Cactus League game and will start the season on the Injured List.

In order for Tyler Mahle to enter the Cy Young conversation, he cannot have the same type of disparity between his home/ road splits in 2022 that he did in 2021. Last season, Mahle owned a 2.30 ERA on the road and a 5.63 ERA at home. Mahle also has to be able to pitch deeper into games, and avoid so many full counts. Mahle has the stuff to be in the Cy Young conversation.

Runner up: Luis Castillo, Reds right-handed pitcher

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Hunter Greene is the Reds player most likely to win NL Rookie of the Year.

This was the toughest of the bunch. Joey Votto felt like the clear-cut frontrunner for the NL MVP, and Tyler Mahle, while a bit of surprise, is probably the Reds pitcher most likely to take home the NL Cy Young Award. But the Rookie of the Year trophy? Wow! The Redlegs are going to have a lot of first-year players on the field in 2022.

But, the one who we know will be on the field from the start is Hunter Greene. The former first-round pick will toe the rubber on Sunday afternoon at Truist Park in Atlanta for his first big league start. Greene has been working hard since returning from Tommy John surgery to make it back, and I'm sure his adrenaline will be pumping when he steps onto the mound for the first time.

Greene, the Reds first-round pick in 2017, has a three-pitch mix that includes a 90-MPH change up and a wicked slider. Greene can also light up the radar gun routinely at 100-plus MPH. This young man has all the tools to be something very special.

But the Reds are not devoid of good, young talent. Fellow pitcher Nick Lodolo could be in the Rookie of the Year conversation as well, but I'm not sure how many starts we're going to see from the left-hander in 2022. Once Luis Castillo and Mike Minoor return from the IL, the Reds are going to have to make room in the starting rotation.

Next. 9 bold predictions for the Reds 2022 season. dark

While the Cincinnati Reds have a lot of young talent, I'm not sure that anyone else is going to get the amount of playing time necessary to be in the Rookie of the Year conversation. Jose Barrero, who would be still considered a rookie under normal circumstances, received full service time during his tenure with the club in September of 2020. That pushed him past the 45 day threshold.

Runner up: Nick Lodolo, Reds left-handed pitcher