The Reds took a bite out of a 7.5-game deficit by taking three of four from the first-place Brewers. Last week, we witnessed a healthy shot of offense while getting the same consistent pitching we've come to expect from this team. Here are the top 10 Reds from last week:
1. Johnny Cueto (last week No.1)
Johnny Cueto sits atop the power rankings for the third straight week. His marvelous 1.31 ERA is the No. 1 ERA in baseball. Cueto was masterful against the Brewers, going eight innings and surrendering just two earned runs. He leads the majors with 55 innings pitched, and no starting pitcher in the game has given his team more in the early season. Only Juan Fernandez of the Marlins has more strikeouts than Cueto.
2. Alfredo Simon (last week No. 3)
Alfredo Simon continues his shocking campaign as one of the best arms on the staff—and one of the best arms in baseball. His 1.99 ERA is among the top 10 in MLB, and he turned in two strong performances last week. He allowed just two runs to the Cubs in a win and then allowed just three runs against the Brewers en route to a no-decision. Simon continues to keep the conversation away from Mat Latos, which is a remarkable feat when you consider what the Reds are missing.
3. Todd Frazier (last week No. 9)
Todd Frazier made a splash last week, and he’s jumped six spots on this list because of it. Frazier was instrumental in the offense last week, recording a hit in every game against the Cubs and the Brewers. He had six hits in the Brewers series alone. Last week, Frazier led the team in RBI with eight and had eight hits, four doubles and a .364 average. His OBP last week was .423; just Billy Hamilton got on base more in that time frame.
4. Brayan Pena (last week unranked)
When Devin Mesoraco pulled a hamstring, Walt Jocketty secured the services of former Tigers catcher Brayan Pena. Pena was imperative in the Reds’ productive offense last week. He hit .421 and homered thrice, driving in six runs. Only Todd Frazier drove in more runs than Pena in this time frame.
5. Joey Votto (last week No. 5)
Joey Votto turned in another mediocre week, at least at first glance. He hit for just .227, but his OBP was a useful .393. Votto also recorded four doubles last week. With six walks, Votto once again led the Reds in walks for this time frame. He drove in no runs last week.
6. Brandon Phillips (last week unranked)
After weeks of power rankings, Brandon Phillips finally cracks the top 10 after turning in a prolific week of baseball. Last week, he hit .368 with a great OBP of .381. He drove in three runs and homered once, which might have been the Reds’ biggest home run of this young season. Phillips homered in the eighth inning of a 3-2 ball game while the Reds trailed the Brewers. The Reds went on to win the game and the series.
7. Jonathan Broxton (last week No. 8)
Steadily climbing the charts is reliever Jonathan Broxton, who has been very serviceable in the absence of closer Aroldis Chapman. Broxton pitched in three games last week, allowing no runs and just one walk. He allowed no hits and struck out three batters, earning his fifth save in as many opportunities.
8. Sam LeCure (last week No. 6)
LeCure drops to No. 8 through no fault of his own—he can only serve a limited amount of time, and the offense last week was surprisingly prolific. But LeCure still had a very productive week. He pitched three games and allowed no runs. He did surrender two hits and two walks in that time, which made his WHIP 1.33 for the week, but he managed to keep any runs from scoring and earned his first win of the year last Sunday against the first-place Brewers. It was also his birthday.
9. Zack Cozart (last week unranked)
Zack Cozart has made the power rankings after a week in which he led the team in batting average, tying only teammate Todd Frazier. He hit .364 last week in 22 plate appearances, which included eight hits, a double and a triple. His OBP for the week was .417, the third-highest in this time frame.
10. Ryan Ludwick (last week No.4)
Ludwick takes a big dip in the power rankings. He had a below-average week at the plate, turning in a .211 average with a .289 OBP. But he did drive in three runs. Ludwick will have to rebound with more contribution at the plate in order to stay in the rankings next week.
Dropped from Reds Player Power Rankings
Jay Bruce (last week No. 7), DL
Tony Cingrani (last week No. 10), DL
Devin Mesoraco (last week No. 3), DL
Biggest Jump: Todd Frazier (No. 9 to No. 3)
Biggest Drop: Devin Mesoraco (No. 3 to unranked)
On the Cusp: Billy Hamilton, Homer Bailey
All stats provided courtesy of MLB.com
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