Over the course of the month, LWOSports will be breaking down the top five MLB players in franchise history for all 30 teams. This article will rank the top five Cincinnati Reds players in franchise history least to best by who had the biggest impact for the team. You can check out the other series articles here.
Certainly, the Cincinnati Reds have a rich history with five World Series championships along with a plethora of great players. The Reds history goes all the way back to 1882 when they were known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Their name was officially changed to the Reds in 1890. Cincinnati won its first World Series title in 1919, then won again in 1940. Additionally, they won World Series titles in 1975 and 1976 with a group known as the Big Red Machine. Then, in 1990, they pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports history by sweeping the powerful Oakland A’s. With all of that being said, the Reds have produced a number of players who were highly considered for this list. Here are the top five Cincinnati Reds players in franchise history.
Top Five Cincinnati Reds Players
5. Barry Larkin
Barry Larkin checks in at number five on the top five Cincinnati Reds players in franchise history. Larkin played his entire 19-year career with the Reds, accumulating plenty of accolades along the way. He was a great all-around player, hence his presence on this list, including defensively. In 1995, Larkin won the MVP after a stellar season in which he hit .319 while also winning a Gold Glove. In fact, the shortstop won three Gold Gloves in a row from 1994-1996. Additionally, anytime a player walks more than he strikes out, that is extremely impressive. Although Joey Votto is close to surpassing him, Larkin is a great fit at number five.
Accolades in Cincinnati: Hall of Fame, 1995 MVP, 12-time All-Star, three Gold Glove Awards, nine Silver Slugger Awards, 1990 World Series champ.
Stats in Cincinnati: .295 batting average, .371 on-base percentage, .444 slugging percentage, .815 OPS, 1,329 runs scored, 2,340 hits, 441 doubles, 76 triples, 198 home runs, 960 runs batted in, 379 stolen bases, 939 walks, 817 strikeouts.
Franchise ranks: 3rd in WAR, 2nd in offensive WAR, 5th in defensive WAR, t-27th in batting average, t-18th in on-base percentage, t-42nd in slugging percentage, 25th in OPS, 3rd most games played, 3rd in runs scored, 2nd in hits, 3rd in total bases, 2nd in doubles, 11th in triples, 11th in home runs, 6th in runs batted in, 4th in walks, 3rd in stolen bases, 2nd in runs created, 1st in power-speed number, 6th in win probability added.
4. Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan comes in at number four on the top five Cincinnati Reds players in franchise history. Morgan only played eight of his 22 total seasons in Cincinnati, however, they were far and away his best years in the majors. He was an All-Star 10 times throughout his career, eight of those in a Reds uniform. All five of his Gold Gloves were won in Cincinnati. Additionally, Morgan led the league in on-base percentage four times while with the team. Both of his MVP seasons were also in Cincinnati, 1975 and 1976, which were World Series championships. In 1975, Morgan led the league in walks (132), on-base percentage (.466) as well as OPS (.974). In 1976, he also led the league in on-base percentage (.444) and OPS (1.020) as well as slugging percentage (.576).
Accolades in Cincinnati: Hall of Fame, two-time MVP, eight-time All-Star, five Gold Glove Awards, two-time World Series champ.
Stats in Cincinnati: .288 batting average, .415 on-base percentage, .470 slugging percentage, .885 OPS, 816 runs scored, 1,155 hits, 220 doubles, 27 triples, 152 home runs, 612 runs batted in, 406 stolen bases, 881 walks, 410 strikeouts.
Franchise ranks: 6th in WAR, 5th in offensive WAR, t-34th in defensive WAR, t-34th in batting average, 2nd in on-base percentage, t-16th in slugging percentage, 4th in OPS, 26th most games played, 12th in runs scored, 23rd in hits, 20th in total bases, t-19th in doubles, t-16th in home runs, 24th in runs batted in, 6th in walks, 2nd in stolen bases, 10th in runs created, 3rd in power-speed number, 4th in win probability added.
3. Johnny Bench
Many still consider Johnny Bench the greatest catcher in baseball history. Regardless of whether he is or not, Bench is number three on the top five Cincinnati Reds players in franchise history. He played his entire 17 season career with the Reds, posting some impressive numbers, especially for a catcher. Bench won two MVP awards, including in 1970 and 1972. During the 1970 season, he led the majors with 45 home runs along with 148 runs batted in. The 1972 MVP season saw Bench lead the league with 40 home runs as well as 125 runs batted in. 1974 was another strong season in which he led the majors with 129 runs batted in along with 315 total bases. Bench picked up 10 Gold Gloves, all in consecutive seasons from 1968-1977. Quite an impressive career to be certain.
Accolades in Cincinnati: Hall of Fame, two-time MVP, 14-time All-Star, 1967 Rookie of the Year, 10 Gold Glove Awards, two-time World Series champ.
Stats in Cincinnati: .267 batting average, .342 on-base percentage, .476 slugging percentage, .817 OPS, 1,091 runs scored, 2,048 hits, 381 doubles, 24 triples, 389 home runs, 1,376 runs batted in, 68 stolen bases, 891 walks, 1,278 strikeouts.
Franchise ranks: 2nd in WAR, 3rd in offensive WAR, 2nd in defensive WAR, t-12th in slugging percentage, 24th in OPS, 4th most games played, 4th in runs scored, 5th in hits, 2nd in total bases, 4th in doubles, 1st in home runs, 1st in runs batted in, 5th in walks, 4th in runs created, 13th in power-speed number, 7th in win probability added.
2. Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson is second on the top five Cincinnati Reds players in franchise history. Robinson certainly found success in Baltimore, however, the first 10 seasons of his 21-year career were spent in Cincinnati. He burst onto the scene in 1956, winning the Rookie of the Year Award after hitting .290 with 38 home runs. Additionally, he led the league in runs scored with 122. Robinson won the first of his two career MVP awards in 1961 after leading the majors with a .611 slugging percentage. He also posted an amazing OPS of 1.015. Amazingly, Robinson’s 1962 season was better across the board, but he finished just fourth in the MVP voting. That particular season, Robinson led the majors with 134 runs, 51 doubles, a .421 on-base percentage, .624 slugging percentage, and 1.045 OPS. Also, he hit 39 home runs with 136 runs batted in.
Accolades in Cincinnati: Hall of Fame, 1961 MVP, six-time All-Star, 1956 Rookie of the Year, 1958 Gold Glove Award.
Stats in Cincinnati: .303 batting average, .389 on-base percentage, .554 slugging percentage, .943 OPS, 1,043 runs scored, 1,673 hits, 318 doubles, 50 triples, 324 home runs, 1,009 runs batted in, 161 stolen bases, 698 walks, 789 strikeouts.
Franchise ranks: 4th in WAR, 4th in offensive WAR, t-16th in batting average, 5th in on-base percentage, 1st in slugging percentage, 2nd in OPS, 10th most games played, 5th in runs scored, 11th in hits, 7th in total bases, 8th in doubles, t-28th in triples, 2nd in home runs, 5th in runs batted in, 9th in walks, 20th in stolen bases, 5th in runs created, 4th in power-speed number, 3rd in win probability added.
1. Pete Rose
Undeniably, Pete Rose is first on the top five Cincinnati Reds player in franchise history. By the way, put him in the Hall of Fame, regardless of his actions years ago. Certainly, Rose has paid his dues. On another note, Rose spent 19 of his 24 years in the majors with the Reds franchise. He played there from 1963-1978 before moving on to Philadelphia at age 38. Then, Rose found his way back to Cincy in 1984 at age 43 where he played for parts of another three seasons. He won three batting titles, in 1968 (.335), 1969 (.348) as well as 1973 (.338). Additionally during his time with the Reds, Rose led the majors in hits six times. Also, Rose led in on-base percentage once, in 1968. Sure, Rose was a professional hitter if there ever was one, however, he also won two Gold Glove Awards in Cincinnati.
Accolades in Cincinnati: 1973 MVP, 13-time All-Star, 1963 Rookie of the Year, two Gold Glove Awards, three batting titles, two-time World Series champ.
Stats in Cincinnati: .307 batting average, .379 on-base percentage, .425 slugging percentage, .804 OPS, 1,741 runs scored, 3,358 hits, 601 doubles, 115 triples, 152 home runs, 1,036 runs batted in, 146 stolen bases, 1,210 walks, 972 strikeouts.
Franchise ranks: 1st WAR, 1st in offensive WAR, t-11th in batting average, t-8th in on-base percentage, t-32nd in OPS, 1st in games played, 1st in runs scored, 1st in hits, 1st in total bases, 1st in doubles, 4th in triples, t-16th in home runs, 4th in runs batted in, 1st in walks, 1st in runs created, 8th in power-speed number, 2nd in win probability added.
Honorable mention: Joey Votto, Tony Perez, Vada Pinson, Dave Concepcion, Edd Roush.
There you have it, the top five Cincinnati Reds players in franchise history. Certainly, names like Joey Votto, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion and more were incredible players for the Reds. However, these five best exemplify greatness achieved in a Reds uniform. Be sure you are following along with our series.
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