After a phenomenal 2012 season that ended in heartbreak in the NLDS, the Cincinnati Reds are poised and hungry for 2013 dominance. All signs point to a determined, skilled and motivated roster that keeps its starting rotation intact, a deep and enviable bullpen, and an upgrade in the outfield with the acquisition of Shin-Shoo Choo.
If you need more proof that 2013 will be a great year to be a Reds fan, check out this projected lineup:
1. Shin-Soo Choo, OF: The Reds have struggled to have a strong lead at the top of the batting lineup for years and was a likely motivator in acquiring Choo in the offseason. With an impressive 0.289 career average and significant experience, Choo seems to fill a glaring hole in the Reds starting lineup.
2. Brandon Phillips, 2B: Not winning a fourth Gold Glove last year may have been a bit of a surprise to fans and to Phillips himself, but his consistency will be his strength in the second spot. This lineup position might be new to Phillips, but his 0.273 career average is a good match.
3. Joey Votto, 1B: Returning from a knee injury that needed two operations to correct, fans of Votto are anxious to see him get back to the performance level that netted him the NL’s 2010 MVP. His 0.316 career average will be formidable in 2013.
4. Ryan Ludwick, OF: Emerging as a consistent run producer for the Reds and needing to prove that his All-Star selection in 2008 wasn’t a fluke, Ludwick will be a strong fit at the clean-up post.
5. Jay Bruce, OF: Known to his fans as “Bruce Almighty”, Bruce bats and throws left handed and is a reliable hitter with a 0.255 career average.
6. Todd Frazier, 3B: After a breakout year last season and being freshly minted as third place among the NL Rookie of the Year voting, Frazier has a lot of momentum going for him in 2013.
7. Ryan Hanigan, Catcher: An all around solid ball player, Hanigan is on an upward trajectory and coming off of a career high in home runs from last season.
8. Zack Cozart, SS: Proving the lineup of the Reds will be deep in 2013, Cozart is a potent mix of power and speed whose best years are ahead of him.
Look for “The Big Red Machine” to be a powerful force in the 2013 season.
All career average hitting statistics for these and the rest of the team can be found at the Official Cincinnati Reds website.
Thomas is an avid fan of the Cincinnati Reds and has no connection to the team.