Cincinnati Reds: The 2010s All-Decade Team

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 27: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds in action against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 27: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds in action against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Joey Votto and Aroldis Chapman are the obvious leaders among the best Cincinnati Reds players at each position during the 2010s

The Cincinnati Reds experienced more than a few moments of glory through the second decade of the 21st Century. The Reds claimed two National League Central championships (in 2010 and 2012), added a 2013 wild card berth and placed six starters on various National League All-Star teams.

At the same time, four Reds teams finished at the bottom of the NL Central, and the team’s decade won-lost record was seventy games below .500, at .478.

Cincinnati fans enjoyed cheering one of the game’s most consistently high-performing players, first baseman Joey Votto. He batted .304 with occasionally exceptional on-base averages that translated to a 150.9 OPS+.

But they only rarely found a rotation starter capable of performing with any consistency at all, and on the few occasions when they did – notably Johnny Cueto – they couldn’t afford to keep him. Cueto was traded to Kansas City, where he helped lead the Royals to the 2015 World Series victory.

The Reds’ emphasis on an offensive approach is largely a reflection of their home field, Great American Ballpark, which remains recognized as one of the game’s most prominent offensive sites. Statistically, Great American favored batters in each of the past five seasons.

The Reds All-Decade team is an interesting mix. Of the eight offensive positions, the choice at one is obvious, and there’s a fairly strong consensus at two others.

But there are reasonable arguments to be made for multiple candidates at five of the positions, including three indistinguishable candidates at catcher, third base and left field.

On the mound, the No.1 starter and the closer are both obvious picks. Deeper into the rotation, however, the selections are less clear.

Here’s a position-by-position look.