All-time best Reds starting lineup based on WAR

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin / Ron Vesely/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 9
Next

5. All-time best Reds starting lineup: Tony Perez, DH

Okay, we now arrive at one of those points where the discussion ensues. Obviously, both Tony Perez and Joey Votto played first base. Votto's 64.5 bWAR rates higher than Perez's 45.6 bWAR, so one could easily surmise that the position goes to the player with the higher bWAR. Well, that's just part of the equation.

While Votto has won just one Gold Glove during his Reds career, Perez didn't take home single one. Votto's career-fielding percentage of .994 is just slightly higher than Perez's .992. So, for those reasons, Perez is moved from first base to the DH.

But that doesn't take away anything form the prestigious career that the Hall of Famer had during his run with the Cincinnati Reds. Perez was a seven-time All-Star and two-time World Champion and is often heralded as the heart and soul of the Big Red Machine.

Many Reds fans from years past will tell you that once Perez was traded, the Big Red Machine lost all it's momentum. While that may be a bit subjective, the numbers and win-loss records don't lie.

There are those that will look at Perez's career and see only one Top 3 MVP finish. Perez also never led the league at any point in his career in a meaningful category (batting average, home runs, RBIs, etc.). But Perez is a Hall of Famer, has his jersey number retired by the Reds, and should be considered among the best all-time to ever play in a Cincinnati uniform.