You know the story at this point. The Cincinnati Reds are the owners of the worst record in Major League Baseball, and that’s just the tip of the ‘worst’ iceberg after 22 games. Worst run differential, worst owners, worst owners’ sons, worst hitting, worst pitching, etc.
For a brief, fleeting moment in time, we’re going to try our best to ignore that. Today, we’re going to highlight what the Cincinnati Reds have been best at in 2022, fully well aware that it’s going to end up reading like a series of incredibly back-handed compliments.
(Perhaps that’s what we’re really after at this point, anyway.)
The following is a brief look at some of the statistical categories tabulated through 22 games of the 2022 Cincinnati Reds in which those 2022 Cincinnati Reds do not rank absolutely, positively last.
No, sorry...they’re definitely last in that. -1.9 combined so far, 2 full wins worse than 29th ranked Detroit.
Hey! They’re 26th, at 7.6%!
27th, at 25.2%!
Their .254 mark is the 4th lowest in the league, meaning they’re due to have some luck and regression at some point soon, in theory.
Their 27.6% hard-hit rate lands them at 22nd in the standings, and that’s important given where their BABIP sits, I guess. It’s not as if they’ve got a horrid BABIP and they’re the most dismal, wet-noodle swinging bats on the planet. They’re hitting it at least hard enough to hope for a bit of BABIP regression - Pittsburgh and Detroit, for reference, sit 24th/25th in hard-hit rate at the moment, and they each sport team BABIPs at or above .300 (.300, .304 respectively).
Their 93.4 mph average heater ranks tied for 18th, and that’s even with Reiver Sanmartin having 16.1 IP with the 13th slowest heater among the 227 arms that have logged at least 10 IP so far.
They’ve thrown nasty hooks 13.1% of the time so far this year, which is actually the 3rd most frequent of all teams. Of course, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are the two clubs who’ve thrown them more often - with Arizona just behind Cincinnati - and that foursome of suck might not be the kind of thing to emulate league-wide.
About that Curveball %...the team’s -3.7 wCB (value generated on thrown curves) ranks 26th in the league. Baltimore, to their credit, uses curves most often and quite well given their 5.0 total here (3rd best in the game), though each of Pittsburgh and Arizona rank below the Reds. Maybe they should stick to givin’ ‘em the heater.
That’s 29th, at .271, just .001 above last-placed Oakland. Better get on base in Milwaukee tonight, boys, or I’m going to have to go back and edit this tomorrow!
Shit, yeah, that’s still absolutely last (.311). Sorry, it’s kind of hard to find better-than-last categories.
SPD is FanGraphs’ way of rating players - and subsequently teams - on their speed and baserunning. I’m going to have to apologize, but the Reds rank last (2.3) here, too.
Infield hits! The Reds have just 5, which...wait, what was the premise of this article? Writing about non-last statistical categories? Dangit, I’m sorry folks - 5 is definitely, absolutely last, and sure as heck has something to do with that SPD rating above.
There we go! The Reds have 32, which is tied for the 23rd most of the 30 MLB clubs.
The Reds have blown just 2 saves all season, putting them in a 9-way tie for the 16th most in the league. Just do yourselves a solid and don’t consider all that has to go right for a club during a 9-inning game to actually have the chance for a save situation.
65.2% of the runners the Reds let reach base end up stranded there. That is more than the 34.8% of runners they allow to reach that end up scoring, according to math. Anyway, that’s only the 2nd worst in the league - thanks, Pittsburgh!
Call this a gut feeling (since I can’t find the answer easily anywhere else), but it sure feels like the Reds definitely aren’t the shortest team in the league. So, they’ve got that going for them, which is nice, I guess.
Stats courtesy of the hard-working folks at FanGraphs.com.