5 bold predictions for the Cincinnati Reds 2023 season

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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2. Bold prediction for Reds 2023 season: Jake Fraley leads the team in HRs.

Looking up and down the Cincinnati Reds roster, you're not really going to see a bunch of power bats. Nine Reds players eclipsed 10 home runs during the 2021 season with Joey Votto (36) leading the way. Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez also hit over 30 home runs that season as well.

You'll be lucky to find one player on this year's Cincinnati Reds who could surpass 30 home runs. Yes, Votto has done it three times during his career, but there are questions about whether or not the six-time All-Star will even be available for Opening Day. Furthermore, over the last four seasons, Votto has averaged just 17 round trippers.

Newcomers Wil Myers and Will Benson have the potential to crack 30-plus homers in a season. However, Myers could very well be traded in July (much like Brandon Drury in 2022) and Benson may still be scuffling in the minors.

In just 68 games last season, Jake Fraley crushed a dozen home runs in 216 at-bats. Fraley's .468 slugging percentage was second to only Brandon Drury (.520) among Reds with 200 or more ABs in 2022. Of his 12 homers, 11 came off right-handed pitching while also posting a slugging percentage of .500 and a tOPS+ of 112.

Jake Fraley is likely to have some sort of platoon role with a right-handed bat. Whether that's Chad Pinder, Stuart Fairchild, or Nick Solak remains to be seen. ZiPS projections forecasts Fraley to hit just 14 home runs in 2023. Let's look for him to almost double that.