The Cincinnati Reds were the first Professional baseball team ever. Created in 1867, and going pro in 1869, the franchise has boasted some of the best players ever. Players like Johnny Bench, Pete Rose and Joe Morgan are all names that come to mind. The turn of the decade was kind to the Reds, boasting winning teams and division titles. In the second half of the decade, not so much. From 2010-2019, the Cincinnati Reds were 775-845 a .478 winning percentage. They have two division titles (’10 & ’12) and have hosted the All-Star game, here are the best players of the last decade.
Ramon Hernandez- 2010
Catcher is a hard spot to choose for this decade. There were three main guys who handled the catching duties, Ryan Hanigan, Tucker Barnhart, and Hernandez. Ramon Hernandez had the best single-season of the trio in 2010. He played in 97 games and hit .297/.364/.428 with seven homers and 44 RBI. Hernandez was a veteran piece to a young team that was on the rise. He split time with Hanigan, but was a better player overall.
Joey Votto- 2017
There is no question who is the best player for the Reds in the last decade. You may even be able to find a spot for Joey Votto on the MLB All-Decade squad as well. 2010 saw Votto hit .324/.424/.600 with 37 homers and 113 RBI. He also won the NL MVP award the same year. He helped the Reds win the central, and became one of the best players to ever play the position. His other season, 2017 saw him hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 homers and 100 RBI. He almost beat out Giancarlo Stanton for MVP that year as well, but fell short.
Votto is the only player since Ted Williams to lead the league in OBP six or more times in his career. He is also one of only five players to have a career .310/.420/.530 slash line.
Brandon Phillips- 2011
Another shoo-in for this team is perennial gold glover Brandon Phillips. Phillips just edges out Scooter Gennett for this spot, as his 2011 season saw him hit .300/.353/.427 with 18 homers and 82 RBI. He also added in a Gold Glove award and an all-star selection that year. Unfortunately, it was a down year for the Reds amidst their time of contention in the early 2010s. Phillips was the guy who was always smiling, and was very engaged with the fanbase. He was known for making ridiculous plays in the field, and always will be remembered for bringing fun to the ballpark every single day.
Eugenio Suarez- 2019
Eugenio Suarez is one of the best third baseman in the game today. His 2019 season goes to show you that he lets his play do the talking. His 2019 finished with monster numbers including a .271/.358/.572 slash line complete with 49 homers and 103 RBI. He set the record for most homers hit by a Venezuelan player in a season and also broke Mike Schmidt‘s record for most homers by an NL third baseman in a season. The funny thing is the Reds will look at this and laugh, knowing they plucked a young Suarez from Detroit for only one player. “Whom?” you ask. You guessed it, Alfredo Simon.
Zack Cozart- 2017
Zack Cozart is another fan favorite from the past decade. The sure-handed shortstop was a huge part of the middle infield tandem with Brandon Phillips for years. His best season, 2017, saw him hit .297/.385/.548 with 24 homers. The main story that arose during this season was his path to the all-star team. Teammate Joey Votto promised Cozart a pet donkey if he made it, and he did. Cozart was an all-star, along with Votto, and Joey kept his promise, buying him a donkey. Unfortunately, he struggled with injuries in his career and signed with the Angels, but Reds fans will love him for a long time.
Ryan Ludwick- 2012
Left Field is a futile position for the Reds this past decade. That being said, this honor goes to Ryan Ludwick. He wasn’t with the Reds long, but he had a very good 2012, and gave Cincy something they’d been missing since trading Adam Dunn. 2012 saw Ludwick hit .275/.346/.541 with 26 homers and 80 RBI for team that won 97 games. Ludwick struggled with injuries in his time in Cincinnati and seems to be forgotten, but he played a big part in that 2012 team’s success.
Billy Hamilton- 2016
Billy Hamilton is an electric fielder. The same cannot be said about his hitting, but he may be the best defensive center fielder of the past decade. He routinely made highlight reel catches, especially on balls that were uncatchable by 99% of any other outfielder in baseball, not named Mike Trout. in 2016, he did hit .260 and he also stole 58 bases, which was tops in the league that year. His hitting unfortunately never came around, and he became a lineup liability. That being said, Billy made fans excited to come to the ballpark during the teams’ dark days. With Hamilton, you never knew what highlight he was going to make in the field.
Jay Bruce- 2012
When Ken Griffey Jr. was traded to Chicago in 2008, fans were heartbroken. Enter Jay Bruce. Bruce was the prototypical right fielder, as he hit for lots of power, and had a cannon of an arm. His best season, 2012, he hit .252/.327/.514 with 34 homers and 99 RBI. He had three straight seasons of top-10 MVP finishes and delivered the Reds their best moment of the decade. In the bottom of the ninth, Bruce stepped in versus Houston Astros lefty Tim Byrdak and delivered a walk-off, division-clinching homer. The call from Thom Brennaman is still ringing in Reds’ fans ears to this day. “Here’s Bruce…High drive, left-center field, racing back to the wall Bourgeois, the Reds, are National League Central Division Champions!”
Johnny Cueto– 2014
Johnny Cueto had a magnificent four year stretch as the Reds ace. From 2010-2014, Cueto was regularly one of the best pitchers in baseball. His best season with Cincinnati was 2014. His 2014 finished with a 20-9 record, a 2.25 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He also lead the MLB in starts (34) and hits per nine innings (6.2). He received an all-star selection and was just edged out by the equally magnificent Clayton Kershaw for the NL Cy Young Award.
Sonny Gray was acquired in January of 2019, and he was coming off a rocky stay in New York. Once he got to Cincinnati though, he was lights out. Gray enjoyed the best season of his career and was a great 1-2 punch with Luis Castillo. His 2019 ended with an 11-8 record and a 2.87 ERA. There was also a stretch in the summer where he was virtually unhittable, posting a sub-1.00 ERA and winning 6 straight outings. Gray is inked for our current Reds team through 2022.
Homer Bailey– 2012
I know what you’re thinking. “Homer Bailey? Dude, are you kidding me?” Hear me out. Bailey was a good pitcher before the elbow injuries derailed his career. He was especially good in 2012, where he posted 208 innings pitched and a 3.68 ERA. For a guy that gave up the long ball, he was good in his home park. He even became the first pitcher since Tom Browning to throw a no-hitter for the Reds. He also followed that performance against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with a second no hitter against the San Francisco Giants. So yes, Homer Bailey claims a starting rotation spot on this team. He may not have lived up to his ultimate potential, but he gave us two sparkling memories to hold onto.
Mat Latos– 2013
When the Reds acquired Mat Latos in 2012, they solidified an already strong rotation. Latos was not here long, but he pitched very well for Cincinnati. Between 2012-’13 he was 28-11 with a 3.27 ERA. His 2013, however, saw him improve upon 2012. He was 14-7 with 208.1 innings pitched and a 3.16 ERA. He was very solid in the middle of the rotation, and could bring the heat.
With that all said and done, Latos played with emotion, and true Reds fans loved him. We will always remember his heroic outing when Johnny Cueto went down in game 1 of the 2012 NLDS, and he went 4 innings with 4 hits and an earned run. Ultimately it lead to victory for this squad.
Luis Castillo– 2019
Luis Castillo is the young ace of this Cincinnati Reds squad. He was acquired for pennies from the Miami Marlins in 2016. Manager David Bell anointed him with the Opening Day start last year, and we were in for a good ride. This young Dominican fireballer ooh-ed and ah-ed his way into our hearts with a high 90’s fastball and one of the dirtiest changeups you’ll ever see. Castillo finished 2019 with a 15-8 record and a 3.48 ERA. He also compiled 226 strikeouts, 156 of which were by his changeup. He is one of the up and comers in baseball, and will surely steal Reds fans’ hearts along the way.
RP Arthur Rhodes– 2010
Arthur Rhodes was almost 40 when he joined the Reds in 2010. That didn’t stop him from becoming an all-star with a 2.25 ERA in 55.0 innings pitched. For good measure, Rhodes even had a streak of 33 consecutive appearances without giving up a run.
LHRP Bill Bray– 2011
Bill Bray was a quirky lefty for the Cincinnati Reds in their early playoff runs. He was great in 2011 though, as he made 79 appearances with 48.1 innings pitched and a 2.98 ERA. He also only gave up 3 homers that year, solidifying his spot on this roster as a lefty specialist.
CP Francisco “Coco” Cordero- 2011
Francisco Cordero had a great year as a closer for the 2011 Cincinnati Reds. Cordero had 37 saves in 43 opportunities. He also pitched to the tune of a 2.45 ERA in 69.2 innings pitched. He would later be usurped by a guy you’ll see later on this list. You may know who he is.
RP Jonathan Broxton– 2014
Jonathan Broxton was one of the best closers of the era, so when he came to the Cincinnati Reds, people hoped he would be a good addition. That intuition served them right as Broxton made 51 appearances with 48.1 innings pitched and a 1.86 ERA.
RP Michael Lorenzen– 2019
Michael Lorenzen is a good pitcher. He is also a very good hitter. Lorenzen leads all pitchers in homers over the last 2 seasons with five long balls. He also pitched very well this season, accumulating 83.1 innings pitched with a 2.92 ERA. Not only is he a backend fireballer, but he’s also the Reds version of Shohei Ohtani.
CP Raisel Iglesias– 2018
Raisel Iglesias has been very solid for Cincinnati since another certain closer was traded away. In 2018 he had his best season, where he posted a 2.38 ERA over 72 innings and even saved 30 ballgames in 34 chances. He remains the Reds’ closer to this day, and after a rocky 2019, he will look to bounce back big time.
LHCP Aroldis Chapman– 2012
Aroldis Chapman is the 8th wonder of the world. So much, they call him “The Cuban Missile” and he even has a fireball tattooed on his left forearm. There’s a good reason for that, as Chapman stepped on the scene with a sizzling fastball that set the new ML record at 106.1 MPH. Early on he was wild, but once he got his control, he was virtually unhittable. In 2012, he posted a 1.51 ERA over 71.2 innings pitched with 38 saves. If you managed to get a piece of his fastball, which you often didn’t, he’d devastate you with the slider.
2B Scooter Gennett– 2018
Scooter Gennett had a 2018 to remember. His career year included a .310/.357/.490 slash line with 23 homers and 92 RBI. He likely would’ve been the NL Batting Champ had it not been for that guy named Christian Yelich. In his two years as a Red, Gennett posted a .304/.343/.510 slash with 60 total homers and 189 RBI. Most people will remember his historic 4-homer game where he was 5-5 with 17 total bases and 10 RBI to boot.
C Tucker Barnhart– 2017
Tucker Barnhart has had his struggles at the plate, but he is a great fielder. 2017 was Barnhart’s best all-around season with a .270/.347/.403 slash line with seven homers and 44 RBI. The reason this season stands out though, is because he won the Gold Glove award. Barnhart is the only catcher for the Cincinnati Reds since Johnny Bench to win the award.
3B Scott Rolen– 2010
Scott Rolen is a future Hall of Famer. At the trade deadline in 2009, the Cincinnati Reds traded slugger Edwin Encarnacion in favor of the veteran Rolen. The move paid off, as Rolen had a really good 2010 and led the clubhouse for a young Reds squad. In 2010, Rolen had a .285/.358/.497 slash line with 20 homers and 83 RBI. He also added in an All-Star selection and his 8th career Gold Glove award.
CF Drew Stubbs– 2011
Drew Stubbs was very similar to Billy Hamilton, except he had more power. Stubbs was a very good center fielder, and a speed demon on the basepaths. His 2011 season was okay, as he hit .243/.321/.364 with 15 homers and 44 RBI. He struck out a league-high 205 times, but he also stole 40/50 bases for an 80% clip.
OF Adam Duvall– 2016
Adam Duvall was the second coming of Adam Dunn, that is, of course, before he figured out he could play defense. Duvall had a monster 2016 and 2017 season. He gained an All-Star selection in ’16 and played at the same rate in ’17. In that time he hit .245/.299/.489 with 64 homers and 202 RBI.
This is the full 25-man roster for the Cincinnati Reds All-Decade Team. This team would probably make a good run in October, given that everyone is healthy. See anyone we missed?
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