The Cincinnati Reds were established in 1881 and played their first season of baseball in 1882. They joined the National League in 1890 but had to wait until 1919 to make the playoffs for the first time, and they finished the year as World Series champions. It was another long wait, this time until 1939, for the Reds to play in the postseason again. They were swept in the World Series that year but claimed their second title the next season.
The Reds fell in the World Series again in 1961 but by the 1970's they were a dominant force. They won four NL Pennants and two World Series, in 1975 & '76, on the back of players like Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, and Johnny Bench. The Reds last World Series win came in 1990, but since then they have made the playoffs just 4 times and made the NLCS once when they got swept.
Can you bring Cincinnati back to prominence and win them a sixth World Series?
*All stats correct at the time of writing
MLB The Show 19 doesn't provide one team OVR like other games, instead you get a team ranking. The positive here is that you can see exactly where a team sits in the league as a whole. The negative is you can't be sure of the gap between the 6th ranked team and the 7th ranked.
The Reds come into Franchise Mode ranked 14th. This is down to their #1 ranked contact ability and 8th ranked power. The Reds weaknesses are their speed (29th) and defense (26th) while their pitching comes in just 21st in the league.
The Reds also have a solid team budget of $162 million. This isn't enough to completely throw money around and sign amazing free agents, but you should be able to retain key players and add around them with savvy trades and signings. So who are the players you will want to build your team around?
Joey Votto, First Base (89 OVR)
Contract: 4 years/$90 million
Secondary Position: None
Hitter Tendency: Whole Field
Best Stats: Clutch (99), Discipline (99), Contact vs R (95), Durability (94), Contact vs L (80), Vision (74), Power vs R (72)
Joey Votto was a second-round pick for the Reds in 2002 and has developed into one of the best players in franchise history. Votto got his MLB debut in 2007 playing just 24 games but hitting four homers with a .321 average. In 2008 Votto was an everyday player and mashed 24 homers with a .297 average and reasonable defense as he came runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting. In 2010 Votto won the NL MVP with 37 homers and a stellar slashline of .324/.424/.600. Votto was the king of walks in baseball, being ultra selective and rarely striking out more than he walked. As recently as 2017 Votto was MVP runner-up.
In The Show 19 Votto is elite in the clutch (99) and with his discipline (99) at the plate. He is a contact machine (95/80) who still has some pop (72/63) in his bat. Votto is still solid in the field (73) and is remarkably durable (94) for his age.
Scooter Gennett, Second Base (88 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$9.8 million
Secondary Position: None
Hitter Tendency: Whole Field
Best Stats: Durability (94), Clutch (94), Contact vs R (93), Contact vs L (74), Power vs R (70), Reaction (68), Fielding (66)
Scooter Gennett was a 16th-round pick in 2009 for the Milwaukee Brewers and got his MLB debut with them in 2013, playing 69 games with 6 homers, a .324 average and solid defense. Gennett was an everyday player in 2014, and by 2016 he had added a bit of power, hitting 14 homers. Ahead of the 2017 season he moved to Cincinnati and proceeded to hit 50 homers over the course of two years and hit .303 as a Red.
In The Show 19 Gennett is very durable (94) and good in the clutch (94). He has strong contact ability (93/74) and ok power (70/54). He's ok in the field (66) but his arm strength (58) isn't good.
Alex Wood, Starting Pitcher (86 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$9.6 million
Pitches: 2-Seam Fastball, Knuckle Curve, Changeup, 4-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Control (74), Stamina (73), H/9 (72), BB/9 (72), Clutch (71), Break (70)
Alex Wood was a second-round pick for the Atlanta Braves in 2012 and got his MLB debut with them in 2013. He split time between the rotation and bullpen, pitching 77.2 innings with a 3.13 ERA, and he improved on that in a similar situation in 2014 with a 2.78 ERA. In 2015 Wood made 20 starts for the Braves before getting traded to the Dodgers. Injury struck in 2016 but in 2017 Wood made 25 starts with a stellar 2.72 ERA and made his first All-Star appearances.
In The Show 19 Wood is solid rather than spectacular. He has good control (74) and ok stamina (73). His break (70) is fine but not special, and his velocity (59) is only just acceptable. However, as a combination that can work, especially with a knuckle curve in his 4-pitch arsenal which will help keep hitters off balance.
Cincinnati Reds MLB Roster
There can be fluctuations in player OVR from save to save in The Show 19, but even when there is the underlying stats for the player are the same. We will start our look at the Reds MLB roster with the position players and then move on to the pitchers.
|Player||OVR||Age||Position||Bat Hand||Best Contact||Best Power||Fielding||Speed|
|Joey Votto||89||35||1B||L||95 (R)||72 (R)||73||23|
|Scooter Gennett||88||28||2B||L||93 (R)||70 (R)||66||39|
|Eugenio Suarez||87||27||3B||R||84 (L)||85 (L)||66||34|
|Matt Kemp||82||34||LF||R||86 (R)||70 (L)||41||36|
|Yasiel Puig||81||28||RF||R||77 (R)||77 (R)||74||67|
|Jose Peraza||81||24||SS||R||84 (L)||40 (R)||60||76|
|Tucker Barnhart||80||28||C||S||65 (R)||43 (R/L)||69||17|
|Jesse Winker||75||25||LF||L||95 (R)||55 (R)||40||32|
|Jose Iglesias||74||29||SS||R||70 (L)||43 (L)||77||64|
|Curt Casali||69||30||C||R||56 (L)||57 (L)||61||18|
|Scott Schebler||68||28||CF||L||68 (L)||74 (R)||60||59|
|Blake Trahan||68||25||SS||R||54 (L)||27 (L)||73||77|
|Aristides Aquino||67||24||RF||R||53 (L)||63 (L)||64||72|
The Reds MLB roster features 13 position players and 12 pitchers. That is your 8-man starting lineup with a 5-man bench and a 5-man rotation with a 7-man bullpen which includes your closer.
The Reds offense is powered by Joey Votto (contact R 95, contact L 80), Eugenio Suarez (power L 85, contact L 84), and Matt Kemp (contact R 86, contact L 84). They are ably supported by Scooter Gennett (power R 93, contact L 74), Yasiel Puig (power R 77, contact R 77), Jose Peraza (contact L 84, contact R 73), and Jesse Winker (contact R 95, vision 77).
In the field the most reliable gloves belong to Jose Iglesias (fielding 77), Votto (fielding 73), and Puig (fielding 74), though none are superstars. Most of the starters are competent but Winker (fielding 40) is poor and Matt Kemp (fielding 41) is no long the force he was.
The Reds starting rotation is poor. Alex Wood (control 74, stamina 73) is a nice pitcher but he is miscast as the #1 arm in the rotation. Tanner Roark (stamina 85, break 85) and Luis Castillo (velocity 89, stamina 82) are more innings-eaters than they are effective starters while Sonny gray (break 77, velocity 76) and Anthony DeSclafani (break 85, stamina 82) are inconsistent pitchers that could blow up quickly.
The bullpen is anchored by closer Raisel Iglesias (velocity 96, break 93) and setup man Matt Bowman (break 85, velocity 67). However, they can't pitch every day, so the likes of David Hernandez (break 90, velocity 76) and Zach Duke (break 92, HR/9 85) will have to pick up some key innings too. Jared Hughes (break 86, HR/9 76) and Michael Lorenzen (velocity 87, HR/9 70) should be kept away from high leverage situations. Amir Garrett (break 91, velocity 80) is the long man in the bullpen but he can take up a role to bridge to Iglesias and Bowman as well.
In The Show 19 there are four lineups for you to set. These are against right-handed starters with and without the DH and against left-handed starters with and without the DH. As the Reds are in the National League the majority of their games will be without the DH. The Show 19 will provide some preset lineups, let's take a look at what the game gives you for the Reds.
Against righties without the DH SS Jose Peraza leads off and is followed by LF Jesse Winker and 1B Joey Votto. 3B Eugenio Suarez bats #4 and 2B Scooter Gennett is #5. CF Matt Kemp is next, followed by RF Yasiel Puig and C Tucker Barnhart. With the DH Scott Schebler takes over the CF spot and hits #8 while Kemp plays as the DH.
Against lefties without the DH Gennett is promoted to #2 and Matt Kemp hits #5. Schebler plays CF and hits #6 over Winker, with Puig and Barnhart next. With the DH Jose Iglesias comes in and hits #2 and plays SS with Peraza taking up the DH spot and Gennett demoted to #6.
These lineups are ok, but we can do better.
Against righties we promote Gennett to #1 as he has elite contact and solid power. Winker stays #2 followed by Votto but Puig moves to #4 with his balanced contact & power against righties. Suarez hits #5 followed by Kemp, with Peraza and Barnhart wrapping up the lineup. With the DH we keep the same Schebler into the field with Kemp only hitting.
Against lefties we have left Peraza at #1 but bumped Votto up to #2 and Suarez to #3. Matt Kemp hits #4 with Gennett at #5 and Schebler at #6, with Puig and Barnhart again at the bottom. With the DH Iglesias plays shortstop and hits #6 with Peraza taking the DH role.
The farm system in MLB The Show 19 can be a frustration. The fluctuation in OVR can affect potential too, which makes scouting prospects hard. Their underlying stats are the same so we can use those as a guide. There is also unfortunately a lack of some real life prospects that means you can't just google a list and work off that. There are some useful players within the Reds farm system.
Henry Rivera, Closing Pitcher (69 OVR)
Pitches: 2-Seam Fastball, Changeup, Curveball, Slider, Sinker
Best Stats: Velocity (79), BB/9 (66), HR/9 (65), Break (63), Clutch (62), K/9 (61)
Henry Rivera has nice velocity (79) already and solid control (54) for a teenager. His break (63) is ok but not ideal given his movement-heavy pitch repertoire. He does ok preventing walks (66) and homers (65), and with time in the Minors he will improve dramatically.
Sal Romano, Starting Pitcher (68 OVR)
Pitches: 2-Seam Fastball, Slider, 4-Seam Fastball, Changeup
Best Stats: Velocity (82), Break (78), Arm Strength (68), Stamina (65), HR/9 (58), BB/9 (57)
Sal Romano was a 23rd-round pick for the Reds in the 2011 draft. He got his MLB debut in 2017, making 16 starts with a 4.45 ERA. In 2018 he made 25 starts and 14 bullpen appearances, racking up 145.2 innings with a poor 5.31 ERA.
In The Show 19 Romano has good velocity (82) and break (78), but his control (50) is very shaky. He has the stamina (65) to go through innings and start a game in the Majors. He could be a useful arm to fill a few starts in the case of injury, and he is young enough to improve to the point that you could give him the #5 spot in the rotation in 2020.
Rickey Hernandez, Center Field (58 OVR)
Secondary Position: LF, RF
Hitter Tendency: Whole Field
Best Stats: Speed (70), Durability (69), Power vs R (69), Stealing (63), Fielding (57), Power vs L (56)
There aren't many young hitting prospects in the Reds farm system, but Rickey Henderson is a solid prospect on the Double-A team. He has nice speed (70) and stealing ability (63), as well as nice power against righties (69). His fielding (57) is ok, as is his durability (69), and all that should improve with time. His vision (39) and discipline (22) are poor, but that should improve and you can help those out yourself with good play.