For all the injuries and the near catastrophe of Aroldis Chapman, the 2014 season for the Cincinnati Reds may be looking a little green around gills before opening day even arrives.
Not so. The future for the Reds in 2014 remains rosy.
The Reds will survive the current pitching woes that have befallen them, and the excitement on offense that is coming for Reds Country will soften those woes with the promise of a scoring parade even more prolific than the Reds have featured during the team’s success over the past four years.
The biggest reason for enthusiasm is center fielder speed demon Billy Hamilton, who is poised to ignite Reds Country with an electricity unlike any ever seen in Cincinnati. Hamilton has picked up in spring training where he left off with his cup of coffee in the bigs last year — hitting well, reaching base and stealing bases by the bunches.
Hamilton will make his case early and often as rookie with the most impact in baseball in 2014. The live-wire buzz he will generate as a leadoff hitter on the bases with blazing speed and in the field with surreal range will make each and every Reds game an event not just in Cincinnati, but all across the baseball landscape.
First baseman Joey Votto stands to be a direct beneficiary of the emergence of Hamilton, much like he was a beneficiary of Shin-Soo Choo batting leadoff in 2013. Votto may not substantially improve upon his modest RBI total (73) in 2013, but he does stand to continue his rise as one of baseball’s most prolific hitters in terms of runs created.
Every at-bat Votto takes in 2014 is bound to captivate Reds Country with the sheer magnitude of its implications. The Reds will most likely need to score more runs in April to win more games because of the extensive loss of both starting and relief pitching to start the season.
And the pressure will be full on Votto to ignite the Reds’ offense more than ever before if the Reds are going to make the start of the season a catalyst for another division title run for the NL Central.
Tags: Cincinnati Reds