NL Central Preview: Cincinnati Reds

Ryan GaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 24, 2009

SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Edinson Volquez #36 of the Cincinnati Reds poses for a photo during Spring Training Photo day on February 18, 2009 at the Cincinnati Reds training facility in Sarasota, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds will make the greatest improvement this year. I have a feeling they will finish above .500 after a 74-88 record last year. They will do so well that they will contend for the NL Central division crown and an NL Wildcard berth but will fall short in both.

Players like Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Joey Votto, and, Brandon Phillips will step up this year. This will be their first full season without Adam Dunn who was traded a the trade deadline last year to Arizona. Jay Bruce will have to come in as he will fill-in for Dunn in right field. Chris Dickerson will be in left and Willy Taveras will be in center. It's a whole different Cincinnati Red ball club this year.

Keep an eye on: Chris Dickerson, lf

Chris Dickerson is part of the new outfield look for the Reds this year. It's kind of strange not to see Ken Griffey Jr or Adam Dunn out there. Dickerson played mostly for Triple-A Louisville last year hitting .297 and jacking 11 homers and 53 RBIs. Dickerson is from Hollywood, CA and is looking to bring showtime to Cincy.

Projected Lineup
1. Willy Taveras, cf
2. Brandon Phillips, 2b
3. Chris Dickerson, lf
4. Edwin Encarnacion, 3b
5. Joey Votto, 1b
6. Jay Bruce, rf
7. Ramon Hernandez, c
8. Alex Gonzalez, ss

Projected Pitching Staff
1. Edinson Volquez, rhp
2. Bronson Arroyo, rhp
3. Aaron Harang, rhp
4. Johnny Cueto, rhp
5. Homer Bailey, rhp

Projected Bullpen
Francisco Cordero
David Weathers
Arthur Rhodes
Jared Burton
Mike Lincoln
Bill Bray
Micah Owings

Top Prospects
1. Yonder Alonso, 1b
2. Nefetali Soto, 3b/ss
3. Drew Stubbs, of
4. Todd Frazier, 3b/1b
5. Yorman Rodriguez, of