Jason’s wonderful series, previewing the 2013 Cincinnati Reds, provides us with a lot to get excited about for the new season! I took his slash line projections for each player and used the baseballmusings.com lineup tool to calculate the expected runs scored improvement over last season.

The table below illustrates the Reds 2012 slash lines by batting order for comparison. The 2013 lineup is the expected opening day lineup. I’ve shown my playing time estimates for each player along with the aggregate slash line for that spot in the batting order. The aggregate slash line is the weighted average of that player’s projection and the bench projection.

I’ve left the pitchers spot identical to last year, though you could argue that a stronger bench could boost those numbers slightly. The bench weights account for about 17% of the playing time in spots 1-8 of the batting order, consistent with the bench’s playing time last year.

2012 Bat Order OBP SLG OPS —- 2013 Player GP estimate OBP SLG OPS
Leadoff 0.254 0.327 0.581 —- Choo 125 0.364 0.434 0.798
2nd 0.310 0.390 0.700 —- Phillips 145 0.319 0.416 0.735
3rd 0.425 0.521 0.946 —- Votto 140 0.431 0.518 0.949
4th 0.333 0.432 0.765 —- Ludwick 125 0.329 0.442 0.771
5th 0.323 0.499 0.822 —- Bruce 145 0.337 0.505 0.842
6th 0.325 0.471 0.796 —- Frazier 130 0.318 0.428 0.746
7th 0.305 0.443 0.748 —- Cozart 135 0.310 0.413 0.723
8th 0.324 0.341 0.665 —- Hanigan/Mesoraco 130 0.358 0.360 0.718
9th 0.226 0.265 0.491 —- 2012 “9th” 162 0.226 0.265 0.491

In aggregate, this new lineup is projected to score 75-80 more runs in 2013. Most of that is due to the significant improvement expected at the top of that batting order. The leadoff spot alone accounts for 77% of the run improvement estimate.

That size of a run improvement puts them at around 100 wins. If the Reds pitching & defense is not as strong as a year ago and allows 35-40 more runs than they allowed last year, their expected jump in offense would put the Reds at 95 wins with an expected run differential at 744 runs scored and 625 runs allowed.

9 Responses

  1. Shchi Cossack

    Jason’s work (I hope is was more a labor of love) was comprehensive but admittedly conservative. I think the estimate on pitching and defensive performance is also conservative. We’re all just guessing right now. Jason’s predictions are VERY educated guesses, but guesses none the less. 95-67 will be a very successful season, but after reviewing Jason’s analysis, I’m looking for 98+ wins from this team, but I guess that’s just the Old Cossack’s guess, isn’t it…

    • OhioJim

      @Shchi Cossack: In the end all the projections are just guesses which is why they play the games.

      The same disclaimer that appears at the end of an investment prospectus should be attached to sports projections because they are the application of the same principles, i.e. to quote one investment site, “future performance cannot be deduced from past performance”.

      Before I get labelled as totally “old school”, I do think that once a significant sample size is established for a specific season, the ratios are good indicators to use in shaping game level and situational decisions.

  2. steveschoen

    I want to tell you thank you, also, Jason, for giving all of us something to talk about that we all have been missing out on all off season.

    As for the offense, I am not too worried about it at all. It should only be better with Choo and BP in the 1-2 holes. My worries:

    – Production from the 4 hole. It has to be good enough to make the other team pitch to Votto.
    – the K’s. We have to cut them down. I can understand the philosophy of you wanting to go up there swinging, to drive in runs. But, you have to use your head, still. Too many potential rallies stymied by striking out. Groundout or flyout, fine, at least those could end up being sacrifices, moving the runners along, even scoring runs. Not to mention, at least you make the other team make a play; there is such a thing as errors. Shoot, taking a walk isn’t the worse thing in the world. You do make the other team’s pitcher throw even more pitches, you still get on base, you still extend the offense for your team. Walks have even driven in runs themselves. I would like to at least see us get out of the top 10 in the entire league in K’s, something we haven’t done since 2009.

    I’m a bit more worried about seeing if the pitching can repeat last season, starters and pen. I can’t remember the entire staff being that good on this team. It’s always harder to do it the second time around.

    Defensively, I am a bit worried about CF with Choo. Could it cost us some runs? Sure. “But”, as many runs as Choo will help us with offensively, I will take Choo over Stubbs. I just hope that what comes back at us is “when” the runs cost us.

    • steveschoen

      @steveschoen: Also, we need to guard against any letdown. Like, last season, it seemed like the team stepped it up once Votto went down. Where were they the entire time? The entire team needs to be playing like they did when Votto was out of the lineup, when Votto is in there. Even if Votto is a good player, it still takes a team to win.

  3. RC

    My fondest hope for this season (even fonder than my hopes for a certain Cuban) is that it will serve as a demonstration of the importance of OBP that nobody in the organization could *possibly* miss. 75-80 runs ought to do it, huh? 😉

  4. TC

    Odd that the team is flying home right now and there has been no announcement regarding the 25-man roster yet. (Check the time of this comment.) Wow.

    • OhioJim

      @TC: I was thinking the same and looking around at MLBTR and Googling for Reds news etc. I see where C.Trent has posted some of the minor league rosters on the Enquirer blog; but he doesn’t have Louisville. He must be trying to mine the minor league lists to reverse engineer the Reds roster.

      He did come up with the fact that for now at least, Hamilton is NOT on the AA roster so presumably they are sticking to the plan and sending him to AAA.

      I’m thinking there could be a trade or two in the works.

      • Shchi Cossack

        @OhioJim: I’m with you Jim. It certainly appears that WJ is working the phones, but we’ll just have to wait for any announcement. WJ just doesn’t drop any hints when he’s working behind closed doors.

      • TC

        @OhioJim: Still no word and first pitch is in a little over 24 hours.

        I have no doubt you are correct. Dafler said on twitter there is a Fay rumor that it will be Donald and Arrendondo (either cut or traded). I find Arrendondo a strange name. I think he is the least likely of the three in questions between him, Simon, and Ondrusek. Donald doesn’t surprise me though. I think Isturiz would be an assett to the team, filling the same role as Miguel. And of the three (Izturis, Donald, and Burriss) IMO Izturis is the better defender. There isn’t a big enough difference at the plate to justify one over the other, but again, defense and leadership is securely in Izturis’ favor.