Chicago Cubs: Change is coming – and the NL Central is ready to battle

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Can Cincinnati win during Votto’s final years?

The Cincinnati Reds pretty much know where they stand in the NL Central. The ceiling for the Reds is probably in fourth place because of the talent ahead of them in the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers – not to mention the lack of talent on their own team.

One of the greatest hitters of the last 20 years, Joey Votto, looks to have a bounceback year after a sluggish 2019. He is scheduled to make a whopping $25 million in each of the next three years and has a $20 million option for 2024.

He is one of the more technically sound hitters in the game and rarely makes mistakes. The Canada native is extremely talented and has one of the best baseball minds in the league. I look forward to Votto returning to greatness and hopefully help out his younger teammates take the next step in development.

Derek Dietrich is an interesting case. A lightning rod personality paired with sub-par offensive stats might not get you too much entering arbitration in 2020. The thing he is honestly best at is getting hit by pitches. He has led the league once and consistently has over 20 a season. He plays almost everywhere on the diamond which gives you versatility but wont help offensively all that much.

Trevor Bauer is a big-ticket name that really disappointed many fans in 2019. Bauer started off the year in Cleveland before being traded to the Reds. Bauer was a little shaky with the Indians and really imploded after arriving in Cincinnati. Bauer is somebody I would not be worried about as a Reds fan. This guy studies his spin rates and is very analytical which would give me hope about his return to what we saw in 2017 and 2018.

My spotlight for the Cincinnati reds would have to be Jesse Winker. A first round draft pick and left fielder that hasn’t taken that step many Reds fans are waiting for. Winker consistently hits for a high average and is someone who just has not found the power yet. If Winker ever takes the next step as an offensive weapon, I expect it to be 2020.

The Cincinnati Reds will likely finish fourth in the division this year. There is some young talent in Cincinnati that can have a fighting chance against some of the tougher opponents within the division.