Earlier in the week, Reds GM Walt Jocketty said that the Reds are not going to trade Brandon Phillips.  Friday night at RedsFest, Jocketty told Lance McAlister “right now he (Billy Hamilton) is our starting CF.” With those two questions being answered, it basically tells you exactly what the 2014 Cincinnati Reds starting lineup will look like:

C – Devin Mesoraco

1B – Joey Votto

2B – Brandon Phillips

3B – Todd Frazier

SS – Zack Cozart

LF – Ryan Ludwick

CF – Billy Hamilton

RF – Jay Bruce

This might be the best time to examine the Reds 2014 starting lineup, and see how they compare to the league average.  Let’s begin (note: I will use Billy Hamilton’s numbers at AAA last season since he only had 22 PA at the major league level).

On-Base Percentage:

Joey Votto – .435

Jay Bruce – .329

League Average – .318

Todd Frazier – .314

Brandon Phillips – .310

Billy Hamilton – .308

Ryan Ludwick – .293

Devin Mesoraco – .287

Zack Cozart – .254

Slugging Percentage:

Joey Votto – .491

Jay Bruce – .478

Todd Frazier – .407

Brandon Phillips – .396

League Average – .396

Zack Cozart – .381

Devin Mesoraco – .362

Billy Hamilton – .343

Ryan Ludwick – .326

OPS:

Joey Votto – .926

Jay Bruce – .807

Todd Frazier – .721

League Average – .714

Brandon Phillips – .706

Zack Cozart – .665

Billy Hamilton – .651

Devin Mesoraco – .649

Ryan Ludwick – .618

OPS+ (note: there are no OPS+ numbers for minor league players):

“This statistic normalizes a player’s OPS — it adjusts for small variables that might affect OPS scores (e.g. park effects) and puts the statistic on an easy-to-understand scale. A 100 OPS+ is league average, and each point up or down is one percentage  point above or below league average.  In other words, if a player had a 90 OPS+ last season, that means their OPS was 10% below league average.” – Fangraphs

Joey Votto – 154

Jay Bruce – 118

League Average – 100

Todd Frazier – 96

Brandon Phillips – 92

Zack Cozart – 81

Devin Mesoraco – 77

Ryan Ludwick – 70

wRC+:

“Weighted Runs Created (wRC) is an improved version of Bill James’ Runs Created (RC) statistic, which attempted to quantify a player’s total offensive value and measure it by runs.  In Runs Created, instead of looking at a player’s line and listing out all the details (e.g. 23 2B, 15 HR, 55 BB, 110 K, 19 SB, 5 CS), the information is synthesized into one metric in order to say, “Player X was worth 24 runs to his team last year.”  While the idea was sound, James’ formula has since been superseded by Tom Tango’s wRC , which is based off of wOBA.

Similar to OPS+, Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) measures how a player’s wRC compares with league average.  League average is 100, and every point above 100 is a percentage point above league average. For example, a 125 wRC+ means a player created 25% more runs than league average. Similarly, every point below 100 is a percentage point below league average, so a 80 wRC+ means a player created 20% fewer runs than league average.” – Fangraphs

Joey Votto – 156

Jay Bruce – 117

Todd Frazier – 100

League Average – 100

Brandon Phillips – 91

Billy Hamilton – 82

Zack Cozart – 79

Devin Mesoraco – 74

Ryan Ludwick – 70

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When you look at the Reds offense for 2014, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned.  This is what this team will have offensively:

Above average hitters:

Joey Votto

Jay Bruce

Slightly below average or average hitters:

Todd Frazier

Brandon Phillips

Well below average hitters:

Zack Cozart

Devin Mesoraco

Ryan Ludwick

Below average hitter at AAA:

Billy Hamilton

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It gets even worse when you compare this team to the two teams they finished behind in the NL Central:

Cardinals wRC+:

Matt Holliday – 148

Matt Carpenter – 147

Matt Adams – 136

Allen Craig – 135

Yadier Molina – 134

Jhonny Peralta – 123

Kolten Wong – 120 (at AAA)

Peter Bourjos – 103

League Average – 100

Pirates wRC+:

Andrew McCutchen – 155

Starling Marte – 121

Jose Tabata – 118

Gaby Sanchez – 117

Neil Walker – 114

Jordy Mercer – 113

Pedro Alvarez – 111

Russell Martin – 101

League Average – 100

If we just look at wRC+, the Reds will have two above average starters, one average starter, and five below average starters.  Their main competitors will both have eight above average starters (Cardinals’ Wong above average at AAA).  Walt Jocketty has some work to do.