2020 MLB Power Rankings: 14. Cincinnati Reds


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Brendan Murphy

The Cincinnati Reds were one of the busiest teams in the offseason, signing two big free agents. In what appears to be a weak NL Central division this year, I think the Reds could make a run for the division title, with the St. Louis Cardinals being their main competition. I have the Reds at number 14 in my Major League Baseball (MLB) power rankings.

The Reds filled two major holes on their roster by signing veterans Mike Moustakas and Nicholas Castellanos to four-year deals. They also signed Shogo Akiyama from Japan’s Seibu Lions to a three-year deal to be their leadoff hitter and man centerfield. Akiyama batted .300 or better in four of his last five seasons in Japan with a career high .359 average in 2015 according to Baseball Reference. He will be a key contributor to a lineup that was already very good last season. Veteran first baseman Joey Votto is coming off the worst season of his career, but I expect him to bounce back and be the heartbeat for this team as he has been for the past decade.

The pitching staff is in very good shape. The Reds traded for Sonny Gray last offseason and he returned to form following a poor year and a half with the New York Yankees. They also traded for Trevor Bauer from the Indians at the trade deadline last season and he continued to show why he is a Cy Young candidate. As if that wasn’t already impressive, their ace is Luis Castillo, who has become a star with his electrifying fastball and great assortment of off-speed pitches.This rotation is up there with some the best in baseball.

The Reds have a middle of the pack farm system, ranked 16th in baseball according to Bleacher Report. Their top prospect is former number two overall pick Hunter Greene, but he has been developing slowly due to a number of injuries. Greene will miss a good chunk of 2020 while he recovers from Tommy John Surgery.

The main prospect I want to talk about is Jonathan India. India was the 5th overall pick in 2018 out of the University of Florida where he was a 2018 All-American and SEC Player of the Year. India has struggled a bit with the bat early in his career but he should improve as he progresses through the minor leagues. With Suarez and Moustakas at third and second respectively, it seems as though India is blocked, so don’t be surprised if the team trades him in order to bring in an impact player at the deadline or next offseason.

Overall, I think the Reds have a pretty good chance to make a postseason push. I expect them to compete with the Cardinals for the division and the four teams in the NL East for the two wild card spots. It will be interesting to see how the team stacks up against its competitors in 2020.


Top Acquisition – Nicholas Castellanos

Biggest loss – Jose Peraza

MVP – Eugenio Suarez

Projected Finish – 2nd in NL Central


Projected Lineup:

  1. Shogo Akiyama, CF
  2. Joey Votto, 1B
  3. Eugenio Suarez, 3B
  4. Mike Moustakas, 2B
  5. Nick Castellanos, RF
  6. Jesse Winker, LF
  7. Tucker Barnhart, C
  8. Freddy Galvis, SS
  9. Pitcher

Projected Rotation:

  1. Luis Castillo
  2. Sonny Gray
  3. Trevor Bauer
  4. Anthony DeSclafani
  5. Wade Miley

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