To a specific subset of saber-oriented baseball fans, the face of the Reds is the same as it has been for the last decade. It’s still Joey Votto, that cerebral, brooding presence that makes stat-heads swoon. The Reds have made it clear that they plan on building the next competitive Reds team around Votto, despite his advancing age (he’s already 33!), and Votto will be under contract with the Reds until 2024. He’s the team’s highest earner, and as such, is one of the first players to get the blame locally when the team isn’t winning.
To most Reds fans, though, the face of the team is abruptly changing. Gone are the always smiling faces of Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, and Todd Frazier, the position players that made names for themselves in Cincinnati in a point where Votto preferred to stay out of the spotlight. The Reds’ pitching staff is even more of a toss-up, as Homer Bailey was the only holdover from the previous administration. The power arms of Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman have been replaced with a whole stable of young arms, all ready to prove themselves at the big league level. Fan favorites like Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias should prove to be stalwarts in the Cincinnati bullpen, and Anthony DeSclafani will look to be the main workhorse in the rotation for the next few seasons (as long as he can stay healthy).
The Reds still boast some big personalities, though, and now that Phillips is gone, we will likely see some new faces step up. Billy Hamilton has already been expressing himself as more of a vocal leader now that he’s one of the “veterans” in this clubhouse, and it certainly helps that he’s the type of player that embodies “Reds baseball” as most of the fans know it. The fans in Cincinnati have been watching this rebuild take place and seeing exciting prospects come in, and along with Hamilton, Jose Peraza, Dilson Herrera, Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed will be counted on to be the next faces of the franchise.