Two years ago as spring training was coming to an end, we fantasized about the possible break-out campaigns of Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey. At the time, the Reds were coming off a disappointing season, hoping the offense could improve without any major additions to the roster. Neither Stubbs nor Heisey came remotely close to reaching those lofty expectations, but the Reds did get some help in other areas and finished 2012 with 97 wins.
This year is similar in some ways. For the Reds to score enough runs rookie Billy Hamilton must reach base frequently enough to utilize his elite speed and Todd Frazier must come closer to his 2012 production than what we saw last year. If both can manage to exceed expectations the Reds offense should score more than enough runs to win games with the pitching staff on hand.
The forecasting system at Baseball Prospectus provides several projections for each player. The 90th percentile projection represents their view of the best case scenario for that player. Based on their projections, this is the absolute best we can hope for from Hamilton this season:
That kind of season from Billy Quix would be enough to earn him Rookie of the Year honors in the National League. If Frazier put up those kind of numbers he would come close to matching Jay Bruce's best season to date, at least in terms of OPS. If both Billy and Todd give the Reds the best-case production... the Cardinals might not be the shoo-in for division supremacy that everyone is predicting.
Yeah... I'm like the Everly Brothers here, "dreaming my life away," but that's what spring training is for, right?