Cincinnati Reds: Top 10 Reds of Week 12
On Tuesday, Reds fans look to the standings and finally see a winning baseball team. It took 70-plus games, but there is no denying the difference Reds fans have witnessed since the team got healthy.
The Reds faced a tall order last week. They went into Pittsburgh and faced the division rival Pirates, who were just one game beneath .500 when the Reds showed up and one game ahead of the Reds in the standings. Then, they hosted the AL East first-place Blue Jays, MLB's No. 3 offense.
Offense has commandeered the list of the top 10 Reds of Week 12, and the bullpen, which was getting heavy exposure for a while, has gone missing.
All stats courtesy of ESPN.com
10. Zack Cozart (Last Week: Unranked)
Zack Cozart has finally made it back to the top 10 this week in the midst of what has been a much better June. Last week, Cozart had seven hits, which included one double, an RBI and two walks.
The shortstop is hitting .269 for the month of June. On June 4, he was hitting just .216. He now stands at .233 on the year.
9. Ryan Ludwick (Last Week: No. 8)
Ryan Ludwick continues to pitch in with consistent contribution. Ludwick had five hits last week, which included three RBI. His OBP for the month of June is .413, which has bumped his season OBP to a respectable .333.
While Ludwick hasn't made any waves, there is no denying that he's been a beneficial bat in the lineup this year. He's No. 6 on the team in RBI, and his OBP is fifth-best.
8. Brandon Phillips (Last Week: No. 2)
Brandon Phillips drops all the way from No. 2 to No. 8 this week, but the second baseman still managed to be productive. He turned in six hits last week, which included two doubles and four RBI.
He still has just seven strikeouts for the month of June, helping him build a decent .325 OBP during that time span.
7. Jay Bruce ( Last Week: Unranked)
Jay Bruce was dropped from last week's list, but he has made a quick return after turning in a productive week at the plate. Bruce had seven hits last week, which included five RBI, three walks and a stolen base.
Bruce has been struggling to get that batting average up from .224, but he does have a decent OBP at .322. He's also third on the team in home runs.
6. Joey Votto (Last Week: No .6)
Joey Votto stays in neutral on this list, which isn't a terrible thing, as he's still contributing. Reds fans would like to see him be the bat that carries this offense, but there's no doubt he's been pivotal.
Last week, Votto had seven hits, five RBI and five walks. Votto's .410 OBP is currently the No. 4 OBP in the National League.
5. Mike Leake (Last Week: Unranked)
Mike Leake has been missing from the top 10 for several weeks, but he came through when the Reds needed him the most last week. After blowing an 8-0 lead against Toronto on Friday evening and eventually losing the game 14-9, Mike Leake went out the next day and threw a gem.
He worked eight innings, allowed just one earned run, walked two and struck out six. This was against the No. 3 offense in baseball. The right-hander hadn't had a quality start since May, making his performance against the Blue Jays all the more impressive.
4. Devin Mesoraco (Last Week: No.10)
For the past two weeks, Devin Mesoraco was clinging to the top 10. He was No. 10 for two straight weeks, enduring his first "mini-slump" of the season.
That has changed following a week in which Mesoraco had five hits, three home runs and six RBI.
Mesoraco homered again in Monday night's contest against the Cubs, giving him four straight games with a home run. Mesoraco's 13 home runs are the second-most of any catcher in baseball. The Braves' Evan Gattis has three more (16).
3. Billy Hamilton (Last Week: No. 3)
Billy Hamilton remains at the No. 3 spot for the second consecutive week. While his performance last week was probably good enough to push him higher, the guys in front of him will simply not allow that to happen at the moment.
Last week, Hamilton was tied for a team-leading nine hits. He drove in five RBI and recorded six stolen bases. Hamilton's 31 stolen bases are good for No. 2 in baseball, behind only the Dodgers' Dee Gordon.
2. Johnny Cueto (Last Week: No. 5)
Johnny Cueto inches closer to the throne he occupied for the first seven weeks of the season after turning in a productive week on the mound. Last week, Cueto pitched 14 innings, allowed just three earned runs, walked five and struck out 10.
His outing in Pittsburgh was stressful. He walked four batters and only made it to the sixth inning. But he more than made up for it with a masterful start last Sunday for the series victory against the No. 3 offense in baseball.
His second start is the only reason he makes the list instead of teammate Alfredo Simon. Simon got just one start last week, and it was similar to Cueto's in Pittsburgh.
Cueto once again owns the best ERA in baseball and is the only pitcher in the game with an ERA beneath two.
1. Todd Frazier (Last Week: No. 1)
For the fourth straight week, Todd Frazier occupies the No. 1 spot on the top 10. Frazier had a prolific week at the plate. He turned in nine hits, two of which were home runs. He drove in six RBI and managed to swipe a base as well.
Frazier should not only be a serious contender to start at third base, but he should also get a chance at the Home Run Derby. His 17 home runs are tied for ninth in the MLB and are third in the NL.
Dropped from the Rankings
Aroldis Chapman (last week: No .9)
Jonathan Broxton (last week: No. 7)
Alfredo Simon (last week: No. 4)
Mike Leake (last week: unranked)
Alfredo Simon (last week: unranked)
On the Cusp
Alfredo Simon, Logan Ondrusek, Jonathan Broxton, Aroldis Chapman