ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s way too early to make any meaningful predictions about the Reds offense based on a few at-bats. Instead, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some Reds records and make predictions if any member of our current roster has a chance at making RedsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ history.
Highest Batting Average: Cy Seymore, .388, 1905. SeymoreÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record has stood for 110 seasons, and if I were a betting person, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d say this one is going to last for awhile. If you wanted to make an argument that someone might be able to break this record today, you could compare offensive environments form 1905 against 2014. Surprisingly, the league average batting average in 1905 (.248) was not much different than 2014 (.251). Votto may be our best hope of breaking this one, and his and even his best batting average year was .051 points below SeymoreÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record.
Most home runs, George Foster, 52, 1977. In 1977, George Foster made baseball look easy. That year he led the league in RBI (149), home runs (52), slugging (.631) and total bases (388). He led the national league in runs (124) and OPS (1.013). He amassed an amazing 8.4 WAR and won the NL MVP. Could Zach Cozart break this record if they let him hit off a tee? That may seem like an academic question, but it is just as relevant as asking if anyone on our current roster will break this record.
Most Stolen Bases: Bob Bescher, 81, 1911. At 27 years of age, Bob Bescher was not a great hitter. His batting average was league average (hanging a bit above .250) but he could walk and he could run. When he set this Reds record, he drew a walk in 14.1% of his at bats. In 1922, Pat Duncan would try to break BescherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record. After getting thrown out in 28 of his 40 attempts, he would also set a Reds record: more times getting caught stealing in a season. Billy Hamilton stole 56 bases last year but was also caught a (league leading) 23 times. Which one of these records will he break first?
Most walks in a Season: Joe Morgan, 132, 1975. At least, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what the Reds records page says. Its wrong: Joey Votto walked 135 times in 2013. Joey Votto owns the record, but it took him 726 at-bats, while Joe Morgan posted his 132 walks in 639. Nothing against Votto, but if thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a guy who knows how to not swing the bat, its Morgan (he walked in 20.7% of his plate appearances). Predictably, there was a backlash against Morgan for taking so many walks, and he was given the reprimand byÃ‚Â winning the NL MVP award in 1975 (and in 1976, but he only walked in 19.0% of his plate appearances that year).
Home Runs in a Game (3): Drew Stubbs, 2010; Joey Votto, 2008. Both of these came against the Cubs. We still play the Cubs. SoÃ‚Â thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a chance. Just ask Peter Edward Rose.
[Pete has some great moments in his opening day interview, but he is a walking quote machine when it comes to the Cubs. For example: Rose pities a Cubs fan at the luncheon, joking that God told the Cubs, “‘Don’t do a d[arn] thing until I get back’ — and they listened.” He later asks, “Ever been to the Cubs’ website? They don’t have one. They can’tÃ‚Â put three W’s together.”]
Most Strikeouts in a Game (5), Adam Dunn, 2001. Adam Dunn was the player who embodied the Ã¢â‚¬Å“three true outcomesÃ¢â‚¬Â rule better than anyone else. In 286 plate appearances, Dunn struck out 74 times, hit 19 home runs, and walked 38 times. How someone can draw that many walks but swing and miss so many times is beyond me. The Big Donkey still put up 2.1 WAR that year in only 66 games. The golden sombrero could happen to anyone as evidenced by Bryce Harper hittingÃ‚Â the 5K plateau while pulling an 0-for-7 day at the plate back in 2012. There are a few possible Reds that might make a run at this record. The first two that come to mind are Zach Cozart (16.7% career K) and Brandon Phillips (14.2%K). Todd Frazier might also be a candidate after posting a 21.1% strikeout rate last year or Devin Mesoraco (23.4%). IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m hoping Dunn keeps this record to himself. No one likes sharing records, anyways.
Most Home Runs Given Up (40), Eric Milton, 2005. There is no chance anyone breaks this record, but I thought we could reminisce about our good goat-pal, Milton. In 2005, Milton had a 5.44 FIP, an ERA+ of 66 (which means the league average was thirty four percent better than Milton), a 1.551 WHIP, and posted a negative 2.1 WAR. In other words, Eric Milton had the kind of year that would give even a piÃƒÂ±ata postÃ‚Â traumatic stress disorder. The sad part is that the Reds sent him to the hill 34 times that year. And that was year one of a three-year, $25 million contract.