Monday, March 4, 2013

2013 Reds predictions: Offensive MVP

Today begins an eight-part series of posts highlighting our predicitions for the upcoming season. While we don't profess to having a crystal ball in our possession, we do have our knowledge (as limited as it may be) and our gut instinct to aide in our decision. The decision on each prediction was a collective choice as each member of the Redlegs Review staff voted in a private poll. The player with the plurality of votes in each category garnered the honors. Below is the tentative schedule for each post.

4th Offensive MVP
5th Defensive MVP
6th Pitching MVP
7th Most Improved
8th Top Newcomer
9th Player Poised for Breakout Year
10th Top Youngster

11th Potential All-Stars

Here is our choice for who will be the 2013 Reds Offensive MVP:

Can he win the MVP again in 2013?

@RedlegsWriter: He's the face of MLB and it should come as no surprise that Votto repeats as our choice for Reds Offensive MVP (he was it in 2012 also). It was pretty much a unanimous decision. Even coming off a knee injury that seemed to sap his power near the end of 2012, there is no reason to believe that Votto won't return to an MVP-like state. He's the best pure hitter on the team, and maybe in baseball. In just 374 at-bats last year, he led all first basemen with a WAR of 5.6, a whole point better than second place.

The guy got on-base nearly half the time too (.474 OBP). That's insane. He was also on pace to set a record for doubles in a season before getting hurt. He ended up with a measley 44 doubles, 14 home runs, and 56 RBI to go along with a .337 average in 111 games. Now with Shin-Soo Choo hitting leadoff and Brandon Phillips manning the two-hole, Votto should be poised to return to his 2010 form and perhaps even surpass it to win his second National League MVP award.

@Redlegs_Review: Is there really any other viable candidate here? Apologies to Jay Bruce, Shin-Soo Choo, Brandon Phillips, and others, but Votto is far and away the best all-around hitter on this team, maybe even the best in the entire league. Votto is the cornerstone of the lineup to which every other piece is assembled around. And the prospect of Votto having another MVP-type season is excellent considering that the Reds seemingly have more "pieces" than ever to complement him. For the first time in his Reds career, Votto will have the benefit of having a leadoff hitter that actually will get on base at an above average rate. Additionally, the likes of Ryan Ludwick, Todd Frazier, and Jay Bruce will provide plenty of protection around his spot in the lineup, so that opposing pitchers can't get away with just peppering the corners of the plate.

All in all, the Canadian slugger is in great shape to win another MVP award this year.

Honorable mention goes to Jay Bruce who received the lone dissenting vote.

Once again, here's the full schedule for the 2013 season predictions series:
Today: Offensive MVP
Tuesday: Defensive MVP
Wednesday: Pitching MVP
Thursday: Most Improved
Friday: Top Newcomer
Saturday: Player Poised for Breakout Year
Sunday: Top Youngster

Monday: Potential All-Stars

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