The Cincinnati Reds 2018 season through the lens of charts and diagrams.
Four teams remain competing for the 2018 World Series, but the Cincinnati Reds‘ offseason is well underway. While ownership and management search for a 2019 manager, let’s take a look back one more time at the 2018 Reds. Thanks to data from Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs as usual, here are some visualizations of key statistics for this past season.
The offense was generally a bright spot.
The bats were decent for the Reds in 2018. Injuries hampered this squad throughout the year — but when the starting nine were at full strength, it was a potent lineup.
Eugenio Suarez led the team in both OPS (.892) and slugging (.526). Joey Votto took the on-base crown at an impressive .419, while Scooter Gennett out-hit both with a .310 batting average.
Taking a closer look at those three, Suarez also led in wOBA and isolated power. Gennett had the highest batting average on balls in play of the trio.
Not surprising, but Joey Votto led the Reds in walk percentage at a staggering 17.30%. The best strikeout percentage is awarded to Jose Peraza at a flat 11.00%. However, Peraza also scored the lowest walk percentage (4.20%). Adam Duvall, who was traded at the deadline, maintained a shocking 27.00% strikeout rate through July.
In comparison to the rest of Major League Baseball, Cincinnati finished below the median oWAR for all 30 teams.
A quick look at the defense
The Reds went slightly negative in Baseball-Reference’s dWAR this season, which is unusual for a normally elite defensive team. Philadelphia had the lowest mark at -13.3 dWAR, while Arizona was the best at 8.3.
Pitching struggled, to say the least
Reliever Jared Hughes posted the best FIP mark of the season at 3.28. Austin Brice and Homer Bailey had the worst seasons at 5.87 and 5.55, respectively. Pitching should be the primary focal point of the front office this winter once a manager is selected. The starting rotation is in dire need of help and likely requires one or two high-level arms in order to compete in 2019. As a team, FIP for starting pitchers was among the worst in Major League Baseball this past season. The rotation collected a 4.88 FIP — good for fourth lowest in baseball.
Returning to a strong NL Central in 2019
This year, the National League Central was able to send two teams to the postseason, while the Cardinals narrowly missed out. This division could end up being the most competitive in baseball next season, especially if Cincinnati is able to make the proper moves it needs to. After taking a step back this year, the Reds likely will not compete for a division title. However, a .500 record is not unreasonable.
This year, the NL Central combined for 113 fWAR. Cincinnati provided 14% of that total with 15.9 fWAR as a team.
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