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Cincinnati Reds: Plenty of Promise

Spencer Steer runs the bases for the Cincinnati Reds on the road.

One team who is showing plenty of promise looking forward to the 2024 Major League Baseball season is the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cincinnati Reds laid claim to an above-.500 record for the 2023 campaign, 20 games better than a disappointing 62-100 mark in 2022. And with one of the youngest rosters in the league, there is plenty of upside in the Queen City.

At an average of just over 27 years old, Cincinnati has a young group that’s ready to compete. One award that denotes that more than anything: Cincinnati has three young guns who are a part of Baseball America’s All-Rookie team.

Their style is similar to that of their in-state rivals, the Cleveland Guardians, who also feature many young big leaguers.

With a solid foundation in tow, how do the Cincinnati Reds build on their promising outlook for 2024? Let’s get a deeper examination for the Queen City…

Young Offense Shows They’re Ready to Play

With such a young offense, people would think the Reds would struggle. That was not the case in 2023, however. Looking at some NL statistics, Cincinnati is one of the better offensive units to watch. Surprisingly, the Redlegs were top-five in runs scored (783), team on-base percentage (.327), team slugging (.420), and OPS (.747).

One player in particular who is already bringing plenty of excitement to the team is young SS Elly De La Cruz. After being a June call-up, De La Cruz is looking like a major force for Cincinnati over the coming years. In just 98 games, Cruz tallied a .235/.300/.410 slash line, 13 home runs, and 44 RBIs. But one reason that makes the young Cruz so flashy is his electric speed. He stole 35 bases in 43 attempts, and he also legged out seven triples.

The Dominican Republic native will be entering his age-22 season in 2024, and if his rookie campaign is any sign, De La Cruz will have a long, dominant career.

Steer Breaks Out in First Full Season

Another guy who rose to the occasion for the Reds in 2023 is utility man 3B Spencer Steer. Playing in his first full season in Cincinnati, Steer looks to be following in the footsteps of another great Reds corner guy, 1B Joey Votto. Steer was one of the three aforementioned rookies to be named to Baseball America’s All-Rookie Team. In 2o23, Steer takes home a .271/.356/.464 slash line, and a team-best 23 bombs, 86 RBIs, and 37 doubles.

Spencer also led Cincinnati with 158 hits in 2023, showing that he can develop multiple facets to his game. After appearing in just 24 games in 2022, Steer played 158 games in 2023, which is a nod to his durability.

Despite being one of the younger teams in the game, the Reds have plenty of moxie at the plate and are not afraid to show it.

Another thing to note is that Cincinnati has speed to burn, and plenty of it. The Reds hit the second-most triples in the Senior Circuit (37) and led the NL in stolen bases (190).

Pitching: a Rather Lackluster Unit Despite One Young Star

Despite a 20-win improvement from 2022, the 2023 Reds staff was one of the worst based on statistics. While they did lead the NL in saves with 53, they were in the bottom five of the Senior Circuit in ERA (4.83, 13th), hits (1426, 12th), runs (821, 12th), and walks (613, worst). They finish middle-of-the-pack in the NL in ringing up 1381 strikeouts, but with an average 2.25/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the Reds need to reign in the free passes. They also finished with a staff average WHIP of 1.417, which is well above the Major League average.

That is something not to be proud of. However, there is one rookie who made a name for himself.

Rookie Lefty Dominant Right from The Get-Go

The lefty in question would be June call-up SP Andrew Abbott. However, after his first seven or so starts, he found other teams solving him. Rookies often will go through a learning curve throughout their first season.

But he is still someone in the conversation for the NL Rookie of the Year. In 21 starts, the University of Virginia product finished with an 8-6 record, a respectable 3.87 ERA, and 120 strikeouts in 109.1 innings.

Abbott looks to be a pitcher who becomes an ace later in his career. That is, of course, if he can find some consistency in his pitching.

So, What Do the Reds Need to Do in the Offseason?

The most important thing to do for Cincinnati in this offseason is to go find a pitcher. A starting pitcher, to be specific. The Reds could also use some bullpen help. If they want to be serious about competing, they can’t rely on just their offense to get through the season.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Cincinnati Reds are one of the younger and more exciting teams in MLB. With their youth, they will draw some serious interest. 2024 looks to be a promising year for the Cincinnati Reds. But whether they can build on it remains to be seen.


Nate Powalie is a contributor for Back Sports Page. A 2022 graduate of Ashland University (Ashland, Ohio), Nate has five years of sports writing experience and has gotten the chance to call sporting events for radio and live stream. Nate also works as a cashier and can be found on Twitter (@PNate22) and Facebook (Nate Powalie).

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