Cincinnati Reds Hitters: 2015 Team Preview

Sep 9, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams (32) holds the Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton (6) on base during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

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There are some players that I will just not own because I do not value them close to their ADP’s.  Billy Hamilton will be one of those players because I am not going to use my fifth or sixth round draft pick on the fastest guy in the Majors.  He is a bad hitter at the Major League level, and he does not get on-base enough to steal as many bases as everyone wants to see from him.  I would be much more interested in Hamilton if he could get his OBP well above .300.

Last season is likely to be Todd Frazier’s career year for the Reds’ third baseman, but he could still be a value after his breakout.  It would be very unlikely if Frazier approaches 20 stolen bases in 2015, but he could find himself going 20/80 again or better.  My profile on Todd Frazier here projects similar numbers to Tanner’s stats above.

Devin Mesoraco’s 25 home runs and OBP of .359 resulted in him finishing as one of baseball’s premier offensive catchers, but he offers a few scary signs of regression.  His HR/FB rate doubled to 20.5% and his BABIP was over .300 for the first time in his Major League career.  The HR/FB% is more concerning, but there is no reason to not believe that the Reds’ backstop cannot hit upwards of 20 homers.

Jay Bruce was a huge letdown in 2014 after four very consistently productive seasons with high R, HR, and RBI totals.  His 18 homers were a career low and his wRC+ dropped to 79 (Billy Hamilton territory).  Even though Bruce has seen his strikeout rate steadily increase, there is just no way he could get worse.  I simply refuse to believe it.  While I am not as high as others on the extent that Jay Bruce rebounds, he will still bounce back some in 2015.

Fantasy baseball articles about Zack Cozart are far and few in between.  Here is the latest blurb on the shortstop of the Reds!  All I really have to say is that Cozart is a phenomenal defender.  Also, if you play in a league where you try to collect the worst fantasy stats possible, then Zack Cozart is making a great case for the first overall pick.

Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball has created all of the projections seen in this post.  You can read about how he develops his projections here.  His projections are invaluable to this site.  You can also visit his site at www.smartfantasybaseball.com.