Reds Looking to Take Next Step, Contend for World Series in 2013

The Cincinnati Reds made significant progress as an organization last season, winning the NL Central and falling in the playoffs to eventual World Series champion San Francisco. However, the Reds showed they were not satisfied with mere progress as they set out to bolster their roster, most notably with outfielder Shin-Soo Choo from the Cleveland Indians.

Choo should strengthen the outfield of the Reds, but Jay Bruce, the 26 year old two-time All-Star who hit 34 HRs with 99 RBIs last season is the headliner.

An emerging pitching staff with only one starter, Bronson Arroyo, over the age of 27, the Reds should have some stellar pitching to rely on as they seek to repeat as NL Central champs.

Johnny Cueto, a Cy Young candidate who went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA, is the best of the bunch with Mat Latos also coming on strong. The aging Arroyo has also been consistently reliable.

The Reds also boast one of the league’s better bullpens anchored by Aroldis Chapman, among baseball’s top closers.

Second baseman Brandon Phillips was the team’s MVP last season, hitting .281 with 18 HR and 77 RBI. He also boasts a stellar glove and versatility in the batting order though he will bat second, behind Choo.

Cincinnati is also hoping for a better year from first baseman Joey Votto who was sidelined with injury for much of last year and then struggled to regain form. The star player batted a stellar .337, but only hit 14 home runs and batted in 56 runs which is well below his typical production level.

Todd Frazier, who finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting, should also continue improvement from his .273, 19 HR, and 67 RBI season.

Overall, the Reds should be improved from their stellar season last year, and they could prove to be a serious World Series contender. A youthful ball club, a lot could depend on the development of those young players and whether they can continue to live up to lofty expectations for manager Bob Castellini.


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