MLB insider makes absurd prediction about the Reds best player in 2023
By Drew Koch
With 2023 now in full-swing, MLB experts, insiders, and analysts are out and about giving their best predictions for how the baseball season might unfold.
Will Leitch, a contributor for MLB.com, made his predictions for who will be each major league team's best player in 2023.
Several of Leitch's predictions are probably spot-on. He sees Adley Rutschman as the best player on the up-and-coming Baltimore Orioles and cites Julio Rodriguez as the best player who'll emerge from the Seattle Mariners roster. But his prediction for the Cincinnati Reds' best player in 2023 isn't just wrong, it's absurd.
Joey Votto will not be the Reds best player in 2023.
MLB.com predicts that Joey Votto will be the Cincinnati Reds best player in 2023. MLB insider Will Leitch even mentions, "for old times sake." Wow! This prediction can be picked apart in so many ways.
First, let's not forget that Votto is coming off shoulder surgery. Shortly after the Field of Dreams Game, Votto announced that he'd be undergoing season-ending surgery for an injury that he sustained several years prior. It's questionable as to whether or not Votto will even be on the field on Opening Day.
Votto will also be entering his age-39 season. While the six-time All-Star put forth of renaissance performance in 2021, Votto didn't exactly back that performance up in 2022. Votto hit .205/.319/.370 with just 11 home runs and posted a -0.3 bWAR.
Furthermore, for the first time in a long time, Votto has some competition at first base. Wil Myers and Tyler Stephenson will likely see some time playing the position, and the young prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand will knocking on the major league door next season.
Sure, when Votto doesn't have glove in hand, Reds manager David Bell could still turn to the veteran to occupy the role of designated hitter. But there's a good chance that Votto's playing time will take a hit in 2023.
Finally, if Joey Votto is the Cincinnati Reds best player in 2023, then things are worst that the fanbase imagined. Even if Votto were able to turn back the clock one more time, players like Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, Hunter Greene, and Nick Lodolo have a much better path to being the Reds best player next season.
This feels like one of those nostalgic-type of predictions. Having said that, it's not as if Miguel Cabrera was picked to the be the Detroit Tigers best player.