I thought we might need something to break the dramatic tension before the finale of the Pittsburgh series. So without cheating - can you name the last Reds player to have at least 200 hits in a season?
As you probably inferred from the fact that I posted a FanPost asking this question, it's been some time. 31 (soon to be 32) years, with Pete Rose's 204 hits in '77 being the most recent. This is the longest drought in the majors by a long shot according to a recent THT post.
I definitely care less about the baseball card stats than I used to, but I can't completely rid myself of admiration for these kinds of landmarks. A 200-hit season requires superb contact skills, durability, and ideally, speed. Hitting towards the top of the order and eschewing walks also helps.
Pete mostly fits these traits. In '78 he fell two short of 200 (between 1974 and 1982, this was the only non-strike season when he played less than 162 games; he played 159). He topped 200 for his final time in 1979, but that was his first season with Philadelphia. Otherwise, Dave Parker (198) and Sean Casey (197) have come close. I'm a little surprised Larkin never got closer than 185, but it's a hard mark to reach if you don't play a full season.
I would bet that someone on the current team will get 200 in one of the next four seasons. Joey Votto, if he stays healthy for a full year, has a decent chance because he is good at hitting baseballs. Jay Bruce has shown problems with making contact but I think he'll rebound and turn into a very nice all-around hitter. Brandon Phillips has already reached 187 (in 2007), and with a little babip luck (despite his speed, his highest as a Red is only .304) I think he has a shot over the next couple of years. Drew Stubbs has speed and youth on his side.