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2018 Reds predictions

Are they ready for the playoffs?

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“There is always next year” has been a phrase used by many Cincinnati fans for a long time. It is used with both the Bengals and the Reds as you never know what to expect out of them. Even though baseball season is months down the road, many Cincinnati fans are looking for something positive next year.

The Reds had something brewing last year with their lineup. At times, the team exhibited lots of power and hits. In fact, with 219 home runs, they just came up short of breaking the franchise record of 222. This upcoming year’s lineup looks to bet lethal again, but there are still some problems to be solved.

Catcher

Next year, the Red’s should only have one main starter. That man is Tucker Barnhart. In 2017, Barnhart had one of the best seasons as a catcher in the NL. He hit seven home runs, 44 RBI’s, and batted .270. He was signed to a four year, sixteen million dollar contract in September. Compared with injury prone Devin Mesoraco, Barnhart provides a better combination of great defense and solid at bats. At this point in Mesoraco’s career, it looks like the twenty-six year old Barnhart will be the number one come next March. Minor league younger prospects Tyler Stephenson and Chris Okey are far from ready to be called up to “the show.” Catcher starter prediction- Tucker Barnhart

First base

There is no question that the former MVP winner will be playing next year at first base. In fact, Votto played every single game last baseball season. In 2016, he hit .320/.454/1.032 with 36 home runs and 100 RBIs. This was, arguably, the best season of his career. Votto is in the talk for MVP, going against players like Stanton, Goldschmidt, and Arenado. The thirty-four year old has a total of seven years left on his contract. Depth at first base is weak in the organization. The best prospect at first base is Eric Jagielo, a twenty-five year old. He was a former first round pick for the Yankees (came in Chapman deal). Jagielo carries a minor league batting average of .237. First base starter prediction- Joey Votto

 

Joey Votto could be one of the best hitters of his generation.”

Second base

This second base position is clogged with potential starters. Scooter Gennett will be making a lot more money next year as he is arbitration eligible. As of right now, the Reds have not locked him up in a long term deal. But, his current contract expires after the 2020 season. The other candidate for second base is Jose Peraza. Peraza completed his first full MLB season but lost his job to Scooter Gennett. In the 2017 season, Gennett was the better player by a long shot. He hit .295 with 27 home runs and 97 RBIs. Peraza was a consistent hitter throughout the year, but only batted .269. Peraza came to the Reds as a twenty one year old, slated to be the future second baseman behind Phillips. If the Reds want to win some games, Gennett is the best option. If they are serious about “rebuilding,” Peraza is the man. Second base starter prediction- Scooter Gennett

 

photo taken from 2080 Baseball
Senzel has a chance to play on the “hot corner” this upcoming year.

Third base and shortstop

Third base and shortstop players go hand in hand in regards to next season. Whoever plays at shortstop depends on who plays at third. The 2015 first round pick, Nick Senzel, is knocking on the door of “the show.” for third base. During his time in AA last year, Senzel’s his average was .340, with an on base percentage of .413. Senzel is rated the number one prospect in the organization and ninth in major league baseball. However, last year, Suarez had a very good year with 26 home runs, 82 RBIs, and a batting average at of .260. Suarez was a force on the hot corner. If the Reds sign Zack Cozart, I think Suarez will be at third. If the Reds let Cozart go, I think Suarez will move to his original position, which is shortstop. Senzel will then get the starting nod at third base. It is very unlikely that Cozart will be signed again. He is 31 years old and will be asking for a lot of money on the market. Third base prediction- Nick Senzel.   Shortstop prediction- Eugenio Suarez

Left field

Just like first base with Votto, the left field position is full. Adam Duvall has pretty much taken over left field since he was traded for Mike Leake. Ever since he won the job over Scott Schebler in 2016, Duvall has become one of the best left fielders in the game. As a gold glove finalist for 2017, Duvall provides some much needed defense. Duvall will start next year and will look to continue his streak of thirty home runs for the third straight year. Former 2013 first round pick Phil Ervin is big league ready, but he will not see much time in the outfield. Ervin got his feet wet in the 2017 season. In 28 games, he hit 3 home runs, 10 RBIs and his average was .259. Left field prediction- Adam Duvall

Center field

Every year, it seems like Reds fans are asking, “Will Billy Hamilton ever improve his hitting?” Or, “Will Billy Hamilton ever stay healthy?” The 27 year old played well during the 2017 season and stayed healthy until the last month. If Hamilton had not gotten hurt, he would have easily won the stolen base record from Dee Gordon. The fastest player in the MLB (sorry, Trea Turner) will look to improve on a decent season. One area Hamilton needs to work on is his habit of popping the ball up. He needs to put the ball on the ground and get on base. His bunting could be successful if he works on it more. Taylor Trammell is the Reds best outfield prospect, but he is only twenty years old. He had a very good year in single A and accumulated 13 home runs, 77 RBIs, and his an average of .281. Trammell is a player you need to keep an eye on in the future. Center field prediction- Billy Hamilton

Photo taken from Red Reporter
Winker looks to win the right field job over Scott Schebler.

Right field

Right field will be the best position battle in spring training. Scott Schebler received the majority of the time in right this past season until he got hurt. Jesse Winker was the next man up. We all know that Schebler has power. In 141 games, he hit 30 home runs and his slugging percentage was .484. The only problem was that, when Schebler hit his home runs, they were mostly solo shots. He had 67 RBIs. Schebler was sent to Cincinnati in the three team Todd Frazier deal which, it turns out, was one of the best trades for the Reds in recent history. Jesse Winker is a different story. He was pretty impressive in 41 games, with an average of .298, 7 home runs, and 15 RBIs. As he matures at the plate, he will have to get on base more often, just like Billy Hamilton. Winker is 24 years old and has been a top prospect in the organization for many years. 2018 right field prediction- Jesse Winker

Pitching rotation prediction

Luis Castillo

Homer Bailey

Amir Garrett

Anthony Desclafani

Tyler Mahle

Bullpen prediction

Long reliever- Tim Adleman

Middle reliever- Austin Brice

Middle reliever- Ariel Hernandez

Middle reliever- Jimmy Herget

Set up- Wandy Peralta

Set up- Michael Lorenzen

Closer- Raisel Iglesias

Bench prediction

Scott Schebler

Patrick Kivlehan

Jose Peraza

Devin Mesoraco

Stuart Turner

2018 record prediction

85-77, 2nd in NL Central, lose Wild Card Game to Arizona.

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “2018 Reds predictions”

  1. Zach Fries on November 5th, 2017 3:31 am

    I’m impressed, Mahon. This is well done. Good work, buddy

    [Reply]

    Matt Mahon Reply:

    Thanks, Fries. Might be too optimistic because I’m tired of losing

    [Reply]

  2. Not Quill Critic on November 13th, 2017 9:20 am

    Looks good. Kind of wish you had gone in depth with the pitching staff given the burden they’ve been for the team over the past few years. However, the positivity for the starters seems realistic.

    [Reply]

  3. K.K. Callahan on December 2nd, 2017 7:27 pm

    I’ll say a 63 win season, but if they should reach 70 wins it will truly be a positive step forward.

    [Reply]

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2018 Reds predictions