It’s a pretty good endorsement of a team’s overall body of work to see three position players selected to play in MLB’s All Star Game. So, despite the fact that the Cincinnati Reds got off to a putrid 3-18 start to the season, it shouldn’t really come as a great surprise that they still managed to pull off that feat, what with the significantly improved play since that time.
Each of Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez, and Joey Votto were deserving of All Star bids, and each was rewarded when the teams were announced on Sunday night, as the Reds themselves relayed on Twitter.
Scooter, for one, was a lock. He’s become a fan favorite - which never hurts in these exhibitions - and his .329 batting average entering play Sunday was tops in the NL. He dutifully earned his first All Star nod with that work.
Equally as lock-y was Suarez, who - as MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince noted - entered play Sunday leading the NL in OPS, OPS+, and ribbies, only to clobber another 2-run dinger as part of a 2-hit day against the Chicago Cubs to factor into his breakout season. He, too, is a first-time All Star.
Joining them is Votto, who has found a way to continue to be incredibly valuable despite the fact that his power numbers are way down from last season. He’s once again walking more than he’s striking out, has held a batting average near .300 for most of the season, and he - as he is wont to do - holds nearly a .020 lead over all other NL players in on-base percentage so far this season. It’s Votto’s 6th career All Star appearance, which somehow seems like far too few at this point.
None of these Reds will be starting, of course, as that came down to fan voting. Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman will start at 1B, Chicago’s Javier Baez will start at 2B, and Colorado’s Nolan Arenado will be the starter at 3B, all of whom are incredibly cromulent choices.
Congrats to the Cincinnati trio on their great first halves, and here’s to them maintaining their production through the ol’ 162. Or, in Votto’s case, here’s to his typical second-half offensive explosion.