After being embarrassed in the NL Wild Card in 2020 and faltering in 2021, missing the playoffs, the Reds have sold most players who cost more than $5. Even if the property doesn’t deserve a fan’s support, there are a few Reds players who deserve your support. It’s not the players’ fault that the Reds’ front office is cheap.
Even though Cincinnati is likely looking to emulate the Tampa Bay Rays’ model of developing leads, keeping the payroll low, and trading them before you pay them, there are plenty of Reds players who deserve your support as a fan.
Even in a terrible year, there are Reds players worth your support
The rookie of the year 2021. Jonathan India is the future to the second. Last year, India reduced .269/.376/.459 with 21 home runs and 69 RBIs. With 3.1 WAR in 2021, India finished tied for third. While it took a month to really get going, India made the leap from AA after not playing at all in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down all of minor league baseball.
His year 2022 has been marred by injuries, most recently a strained hamstring. India have only played 11 games this year, slashing .295/.311/.341. He apparently injured his hamstring again in the team’s April 29 game.and loss to the Rockies. With the 2022 season in the trash, the Reds aren’t going to rush it.
India is already a fan favorite. Cincinnati has a history of flashy second basemen that the Reds faithful fall in love with. India showed he was a man of the people in the Cincinnati Bengals Super Bowl last year. He has been spotted a few times stalking and cutting it with fans. India even frequents esports websites play with the fans.
India is a player who puts the fans first and gives everything. He was a serious silver lining last year and will be again this year once fully healthy. India is absolutely a Reds player who deserves your support in 2022 and beyond.
Stephenson exploded onto the scene in 2020. In his first-ever appearance against the Chicago Cubs on July 27and, Stephenson went 2-2 with two RBIs. He hit a home run in his first batting career and was rewarded with the Reds not playing him for another 39 days. He finished 2020 cutting .294/.400/.647 with a pair of home runs and six RBIs in 17 at-bats.
2021 was his first glimpse of meaningful playing time with 350 at-bats. Stephenson finished the year .286/.366/.431 with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs. Stephenson finished just behind India in WAR with 2.0.
Heading into 2022, Stephenson was looking to be the Reds’ full-time receiver. At the time of this publication, Cincinnati is 12-26 years old. Stephenson was knocked out of the roster for 10 games and the Reds lost nine. Now, the team being 11-17 with him in the lineup isn’t exciting, but it’s definitely better.
Stephenson is as exciting as any Reds player. As a hitter, Stephenson has the power to hit a home run once in a while. While not as defensively gifted at Barnhart behind home plate, Stephenson is a threat to defensive runners. In 2022 alone, Stephenson caught six runners stealing, which works out to a 30% theft rate. He’s going to be around for a long time and will continue to wow Reds fans.
The hard-throwing rookie phenom is quickly turning heads in 2021. He was selected second overall in the 2017 Entry Draft and has been well-earned the top pick ever since. In his 179 innings pitched across four minor league tiers, Hunter Greene was a withdrawing machine, earning an 11.8K/9. He missed all of 2019’s rehab after Tommy John surgery and, along with the rest of MiLB, didn’t play in 2020.
In his eight Cincinnati starts in 2022, Greene has had a bit of bad luck, posting just a 1-6 record. He discovers that it’s harder to get MLB hitters out with just a blazing fastball. Even then, it scored an 11.44K/9. This bad luck reached its climax during his May 15and start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Green tossed 7.1 innings without a hit and, along with Art Warren, combined for a no-hitter … but the offense couldn’t do its job. The Reds lost 1-0 to be the sixth team in MLB to throw a no-no and lose. It was the second time in Cincinnati history that they had done so.
Green already has what it takes to be a star. His rookie year was full of growing pains, naturally. Once Green can do his walks and stop allowing so many homers (he’s allowed 12 so far), he’ll become the next ace in the rotation.
ALWAYS FRINGE pic.twitter.com/0bsGlieMc6
– Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 29, 2021
What’s left to say about one of the best Reds of all time? Joey Votto is tied with Frank Robinson for the fourth-most war in Cincinnati Reds player history at 63.7. He led the NL in on-base percentage seven times during his 16-year career. He won the 2010 NL Most Valuable Player award and finished in the top six four other times; three times in the top three. If Votto doesn’t swing, it’s not a strike. He has command for the strike zone and it pays off considering he’s led the NL in marches five times.
As rich as the Reds’ history is, Votto is continuously up in most metrics. He is tied for first with Joe Morgan in OBP with .415, first with 1306 steps and second with .931 OPS.
Votto has been a fan favorite since his debut. Considering he’s at the end of his career, there isn’t much time to have him as one of the red players worthy of your support. As painful as it may be, there’s a feeling among the Reds faithful that Cincinnati just needs to trade Votto to a contender for him to have a chance at a ring. There certainly won’t be any in Cincinnati.