5 players who will lead the Reds in key offensive categories during the 2022 season

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) steals third base.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) steals third base. / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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Looking at the Cincinnati Reds 2022 roster, who do you think will lead the team in RBIs during the upcoming season? How about home runs? It's oftentimes a fun exercise to predict which of your favorite Reds players will lead the team in some specific categories. But given the subtractions from last year's roster, it might be very difficult to discern who the Reds' best players are.

Last season, Nick Castellanos, now with the Philadelphia Phillies, led the Reds in doubles and RBIs. Joey Votto surprised everyone in Reds Country during the 2021 season by leading the team in homers. Jonathan India was far-and-away the team leader in stolen bases, and Jesse Winker led the team in OPS.

Let's fast-forward to the 2022 season and see if we can project which Cincinnati Reds will lead the team in the aforementioned categories (doubles, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, and OPS). Some of the answers might surprise you.

1. Jonathan India will lead the Reds in doubles during the 2022 season.

With Nick Castellanos no longer on the Cincinnati Reds roster, someone else will be the team leader in doubles during the 2022 season. Logically, it makes sense that it's the player who finished second to Castellanos last season; second baseman Jonathan India.

Castellanos slugged 38 two-baggers for the Redlegs last season while India legged it out for 34 doubles of his own. The next closer player on the team was Jesse Winker with 32. India has the power and speed to not only lead the club in doubles, but also in triples and even home runs.

Last season, Jonathan India was tied with Tyler Naquin, Max Schrock, and Kyle Farmer for the team-lead in triples with two apiece. I'm thinking India could double that total in 2022; no pun intended. There are others on the Reds, however, who could challenge India for the most doubles on the team during the upcoming season.

Recently added Tommy Pham has the wheels to leg-out a few extra base hits. The left fielder had 24 doubles of his own in 2021 for the San Diego Padres. Naquin is another player to keep an eye on if he gets regular playing time. Joey Votto and Nick Senzel, if healthy, could lead the Cincinnati Reds in doubles in 2022.

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Tyler Naquin (12) rounds the bases after hitting a home run.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Tyler Naquin (12) rounds the bases after hitting a home run. / Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content

2. Tyler Naquin will lead the Reds in home runs during the 2022 season.

A bit of a surprise pick here, but I believe we're going to see Tyler Naquin put forth a tremendous performance in 2022. With Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, and Eugenio Suárez playing elsewhere during the upcoming season, the Cincinnati Reds will need a couple players to step up their game. I believe one of them will be Naquin.

Finally healthy in 2021, Naquin put up career-highs in games played, hits, doubles, and home runs. Had Naquin not collided with rookie infielder Jose Barrero late last season, you can bet that the former Cleveland outfielder would have hit at least 20 home runs.

Playing half of his games at Great American Ball Park will certainly help the 30-year-old in his quest to break last season's career-best of 19 home runs. While some have suggested that Tyler Naquin will platoon in right field with Aristides Aquino, I don't see that being the case all too often. Naquin offers too much to this depleted Reds lineup.

There are several Cincinnati Reds players who will be in the mix to lead the team in homers during the 2022 season. Joey Votto had unbelievable power numbers in 2021. If he can duplicate that in 2022, everyone better look out. Jonathan India will be in the mix as well, and a surprise name you may not have thought of is Mike Moustakas. If healthy, Moose could mash 30-plus round trippers in 2022.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) gets set in the batters box.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) gets set in the batters box. / Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content

3. Joey Votto will lead the Reds in RBIs during the 2022 season.

Joey Votto almost led the Cincinnati Reds in both home runs and runs batted in last season and the former NL MVP fell just one RBIs short of 100. I think we'll see the same fire in Votto's eyes this season that we saw in 2021. If that same version of Joey Votto is present in 2022, opposing pitchers better duck and cover.

Votto is the most accomplished hitter on the Reds, there's no denying that. But after two, and arguably three, subpar seasons, the fanbase was beginning to wonder if Votto's bestt days were behind him. Boy, did he make all of us look foolish.

Votto proved that he still bangs and went on a tear last season, nearly setting the Major League Baseball record for the most consecutive games with a home run. I hope we see the same power in Votto's bat this season, but without the heavy-hitters like Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker in the lineup, I'm not sure how opposing pitchers are going to deal with Votto. Will he get anything to hit?

That's where Tyler Stephenson comes in. Look for Votto to be slotted either third or fourth in the Cincinnati Reds batting order with Tommy Pham hitting ahead of him and Stephenson hitting behind him. With Jonathan India setting the table, and maybe even Nick Senzel getting in the action, Votto should have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs.

Tyler Stephenson is another player to watch. With Tucker Barnhart now in Detroit, expect to see Stephenson on the field for 140-plus games in 2022. Mike Moustakas is another big bat who can drive in runs, but I've got to see it to believe it when it comes to Moose this season.

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley (27) steals second base during a spring training game.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley (27) steals second base during a spring training game. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

4. Jake Fraley will lead the Reds in stolen bases during the 2022 season.

The Cincinnati Reds appear to be more committed than ever to the stolen base heading into the 2022 season; at least during David Bell's tenure as manager anyway. It should come as no surprise with the absence of Nick Castellano, Eugenio Suárez, and Jesse Winker that the Reds skipper is looking for alternative ways to score runs.

That means Reds fans can look forward to more action on the base paths; something I'm very excited to see. Cincinnati stole just 36 bases in 2021, which was the lowest among any team in Major League Baseball. The Reds were also gunned down 24 times, meaning their 60% success-rate was also last among every team in the majors last season.

Thank goodness for Jake Fraley. One of the newest members of your Redlegs has excellent speed, and when he's in the game, you can bet that the 26-year-old will be off to the races. Fraley swiped 10 bags last season for the Seattle Mariners, which is two less than Jonathan India recorded for the Cincinnati Reds.

I'm thinking that we'll see Fraley running early and often in 2022. The outfielder will draw a lot of starts versus right-handed pitching, and could be a late-inning pinch runner as well. I think we'll see Fraley swipe 20-plus bases in 2022.

Other to keep an eye on would of course be India. Pitchers will keep a close watch on last year's Rookie of the Year when he's aboard. Nick Senzel has the speed to snag an extra base and so does Tommy Pham. If TJ Friedl gets enough playing time, he'll enter the conversation as well, but it looks as though the speedster will begin the 2022 at Triple-A Louisville.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) reacts as he runs the bases.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) reacts as he runs the bases. / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

5. Joey Votto will lead the Reds in OPS during the 2022 season.

Batting average is no longer the best way to evaluate a player's performance. Heck, even on-base percentage doesn't do a player any justice in today's game. While those statistics are not bad, the best barometer right now might be on-base percentage plus slugging (OPS).

OPS and OPS+ have made their way into the mainstream and now found on virtually every broadcast and scoreboard throughout Major League Baseball. Last season, Jesse Winker led the way for the Cincinnati Reds with a .949 OPS. Nick Castellanos wasn't far behind with an OPS of .939. Joey Votto finished third on the team with a .938 OPS, just one point behind Castellanos.

I expect Votto to be in the mix again this season, and in fact, look for the former MVP to be the team-leader in that category. While Votto's on-base percentage took slight hit last season, he still got on base over 37% of the time.

While Votto may be standing up taller and swinging harder, he still maintained a good OBP. That, coupled with the increased power we saw from Votto last season is good reason to assume the 38-year-old still has enough left in the tank.

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

Jonathan India will certainly be battling with Joey Votto all season for the team-lead in both on-base percentage and OPS. Mike Moustakas doesn't draw enough walks to find himself in the mix. Tommy Pham will be an interesting name to watch in the OPS department. The right-handed hitting outfielder has a career-OPS of .810. A lot may depend on how he hits at Great American Ball Park.