The bottom line for a baseball offense is scoring runs and the Reds are averaging 4.35 per game. League average is 4.32 r/g. The Reds are smack in the middle of the NL, ranking 8th out of 15 teams. They aren’t in last place because of hitting.
Here are individual statistics for the regular starters. The categories are batting average (AVG), walk-rate (BB%), power (ISO) and run creation (wRC+). Reminders: Power measured by ISO looks exclusively at extra-base hits. Slugging percentage includes singles. wRC+ is pegged to an average of 100. So a wRC+ of 117 means the player has produced runs at 17% above average.
Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce rank #1 and #2 in the NL in power. The Reds, overall, rank seventh in the NL in power. Duvall is #2 in the NL in home runs.
Joey Votto is the only Reds player walking at above league average rates and as you can see, he’s well above average. Because of the team deficiency, the Reds are second-from-last in OBP (.297). Votto’s wRC+ for June is 168. Top eleven highest BB% in MLB: Harper, Goldschmidt, Bautista, Carpenter, Zobrist, Belt, Votto, Donaldson, Trout, Davis and Rizzo.
If you judge hitting by batting average, you would believe the third best hitter on the team has been Brandon Phillips and that Phillips is a better-than-average hitter. In fact, Phillips has produced runs at a rate 21 percent below average. He’s having the worst offensive year of his career – continued decline since 2011 other than slight blip in 2015.
Tucker Barnhart, Billy Hamilton and Brandon Phillips are all producing runs at well below average rates. Barnhart is about as much below average as Jay Bruce is above average. He has been a worse hitter than Billy Hamilton. Meanwhile, Hamilton’s offensive contribution is better than his terrible 2015 but worse than his 2014 season. Still too few hard-hit balls. Premature to say he’s turned a corner.
As a non-regular, Jose Peraza isn’t included in the chart. Meaningless early returns: In 32 plate appearances, Peraza is hitting .226 with no extra-base hits. His walk-rate is 3.1%. His wRC+ is 24.
FWIW, Todd Frazier has 20 home runs but his batting average is just .200. He’s walking at a career-high rate (12.2%). His wRC+ is 102. Surprisingly, many defensive metrics rank him as worse than Eugenio Suarez (both strongly negative).
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.