This week’s respondents are Jason Linden, Wes Jenkins, Bill Lack, Grant Freking, and Chad Dotson.

Our Daily Reds Obsession: Excluding Joey Votto, who will be the Reds MVP in 2018?

Jason: I can’t pick between Eugenio Suarez and Luis Castillo, so I’m going to say both. I think Castillo more or less keeps on doing what he’s already done and gives the Reds their first 15-game winner since 2014. I see no reason to think he’ll take a step back and I’d expect his control to be a good deal better this year. I even think it’s possible he contends for the Cy Young Award. Or, at least, gets some down-ballot support.

As for Suarez, he’s the second-best player on the team until somebody proves he isn’t. I’ve said before and will say again that, with his climbing walk-rate, he could easily become and MVP-caliber player. Especially if he has a good BABIP year. By WAR, he was won of the top-20 position players in the NL this year, so he’s not that far away now. We’ll see, I suppose.

Wes: Ideally, I would say Nick Senzel, but realistically, Eugenio Suarez. My only request for 2018 is for Nick Senzel to light the Major League stage on fire, torching the campaigns that Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger put down this year as the Rookie gauntlet. I want Senzel to play all 162 at second base, hit .305 with a dozen dingers, and race Votto to see who can end the year with more doubles. I want this reality so badly I will become Nick Senzel’s campaign manager and go door-to-door getting Ohioans to sign a petition for a his call-up to the big league squad. However, it’s unlikely to happen, so I expect Eugenio to keep crushing and build on his fantastic 2017 with an even-better 2018.

Bill: I’d love to say it’ll be Nick Senzel. In my dreams, he’s slotted at 2B coming into camp, has a great camp, wins the job, has a big year, wins the ROY (narrowly beating out Jesse Winker). But more realistically, it’s Eugenio Suarez, who already is the second-best player on this team and he’s only 25. He’s continued to improve offensively and his defense went from a liability to outstanding in the course of a season. I see no reason to believe he won’t continue to improve. If I were the Reds, I’d be working on a contract extension with him, before it becomes cost prohibitive. My only concern is that the Reds decide to shift his position again and it affects his offense. I’d leave him alone and find somewhere else for Senzel to play.

Grant: Eugenio Suarez. I expect Suarez’s star to continue to rise, but unfortunately for Geno, he shares the same position with Kris Bryant, Anthony Rendon, Justin Turner and Nolan Arenado, so an All-Star appearance remains unlikely. And yet, the 26-year-old should further cement himself as a cornerstone of this club with his blossoming two-way play. It’s also quite possible that Jesse Winker or Luis Castillo emerge as the Reds’ second-best player, too.

Chad: Billy Hamilton. Obviously. (I don’t care what everyone else says!)

14 Responses

  1. cupofcoffee1955

    I’m going out on a big leap of faith & say Homer Bailey. Please don’t laugh… We can all dream! Next year Homer will compete for the Cy Young award plus earn his salary of $21M.

  2. scottya

    Eugenio Suarez with over a 4 war season. Great defense and very good offense

  3. Sandman

    Suarez. But giving him a run for his money is Cozy (if brought back) & Gennett (if retained) and if they both repeat their 2017’s next year.
    I don’t think any of our pitchers will have a Cy Young worthy season, but, what do I know. Just my opinion. Could be wrong.
    Chad, you deserve an award of some kind for your unwavering & unbridled enthusiasm for Billy Hamilton when a lot of other people are starting to see the writing on the wall with him. It’s almost commendable.🙌😉

    • Scott Carter

      YES! I will stand up and clap for Chad if Billy is second most valuable player in 2018 for Reds.

    • Sandman

      Klugo, The only way I see Hamilton becoming good offensively is if he changes his entire approach to hitting. That means changing his mechanics and developing an entirely new swing.

      • Sandman

        Cont: His current approach just isn’t working and I hope he and the rest of the staff aren’t too blind to see it and work now to change his swing or whatever needs to be changed to give him an entirely new swing.

  4. bouwills

    The MVP for the Reds in 2018 isn’t the player with the highest WAR, because (w/o Cozart) the Reds aren’t going to be a playoff contender. So valuable either means “fans in the stands” or building a future winning team. Building a future winner on this ballclub equals establishing a reliable , capable rotation. I discount Bailey & DeSclafani based on multiple years of injury. The candidates therefore, are Castillo, Finnegan, Stephenson, Romano, possibly Mahle or Garrett. My pick? Co-MVPs Finnegan, Castillo, & Stephenson with a combined 500+ innings of baseball at less than 3.75 ERA & more than 40 QS. Something valuable to build on for 2019.

  5. cfd3000

    Joey Votto, the most interesting man in baseball, is so good that he’s the MVP even on a list where he’s been explicitly excluded.

    After Joey I expect the NMVP (next most valuable player) to be, in order, Winker, Suarez, Senzel, Barnhart, Schebler. The Cy Youngiest will be Mahle, DeSclafani, Castillo, Bailey, Iglesias and Garrett. But except for Joey and Geno, those are all admittedly straight from the Wild Ass Guess files.

  6. DHud

    After toying with an OF platoon rotation through the first 4 weeks of the season, Jesse Winker wins a starting position outright and is inserted at the top of the lineup. Over the next 130 games, he hits a solid .280/.340/.400 and consistently provides someone on the base paths in front of Votto to drive in