Last week, we had only a one game sample. This week, we’re up to seven games as I’m writing this before the Tuesday night game.
At this point in the season, the samples are still far from reliable, so what I’m really looking for here are positive and negative trends. I’m not going to address conventional numbers very often, especially in the early going. You all know what they are and at this point in the season, and single game can change things radically. For now, I though we’d go down the lineup and take a brief look at each player.
Billy Hamilton – The erstwhile leadoff man has had a rough first week. A jammed finger, lots of strikeouts and not much getting on base. However, there is hope. He only has a .091 BABIP right now, and I promise you that’s going to go up. He will at least spend more time on base than he has so far.
Brandon Phillips – Phillips, more than any other player seems to have found his level. The Ks and BABIP are both a little high, but they’re balancing each other out right now giving him a .259/.310/.370 line that looks a lot like what we’ll probably see at the end of the season.
Joey Votto – Our very own MVP hasn’t shown much power yet, and that’s what we’re all looking for out of him. Of course, he could always hit two homers after I write this and make it moot. That’s what I mean about it being early in the season. He is, however, walking, which is a good sign.
Jay Bruce – Hitting fourth regularly has worked well for Bruce so far, even if the numbers don’t show it yet. His .143 BABIP isn’t Billy Hamilton low, but it’s still unsustainably low. He’ll have Bruce-like numbers soon.
Ryan Ludwick – Here is our first of two batters who’s been lucky so far. His BABIP is high, but it’s his Isolated Power that needs to improve if the Reds are going to get what they need out of him.
Todd Frazier – Frazier, like Ludwick, has been lucky, but he’s also shown good power. If the power keeps up, he could be the third good hitter the Reds desperately need.
Zack Cozart – Will get on base one day. I promise.
Catcher Hodgepodge – Tune in next week for this as Mesoraco is just getting going.
In closing, I want to know what you want from this column as the season progresses. My inclination is to continue with mostly advanced stats and, once the season really gets going, focus on one or two players at a time, but if you want something else, let me know.
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.