Washington Nationals visit Joey Votto and the Reds to begin the year

GOODYEAR, AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Joey Votto /
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Lack of a supporting cast in Cincinnati

When people think of the Reds, they think of Joey Votto. He is among the best players in the league and is undoubtedly the face of the franchise.

Votto had another great year last year, hitting .320 with 36 homers, yet the Reds had one of the worst records in baseball. This is no fault of Votto’s; he receives very little support from his teammates.

Of course, the Reds have Billy Hamilton in center field. The 27-year-old speedster may be the fastest player in the league, but he struggles to get on base. If he cannot find his way on base, his speed is worthless.

Along with Votto and Hamilton, Adam Duvall and Scooter Gennett highlight the Reds’ roster.

Duvall had a breakout year in 2016, being named a National League All-Star. His power catches people’s eye, as he has hit 64 homers in the last two years, but his game is one-dimensional.

Like most power hitters, Duvall struggles to hit for average. He is also a below average outfielder in left field. He can hit homers with the best of them, but that is about all that he provides.

Gennett is similar to Duvall, in the respect that he has good pop, but he is a better overall hitter. In 2017, he slashed .295/.342/.531 with 27 homers. While he had a solid season, it was unlike anything he had done before. It will be interesting to see if he can repeat his performance in 2018.

If he is healthy, Votto should have yet another productive season. What his teammates do, however, remains to be seen.