Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
Interestingly, the Reds had the highest batting average of any team during the playoffs this year. They scored more runs than any other team in the first round.
The Reds got 15 more hits than the Giants did, and even outhit the Giants in the infamous Game 5.
During the regular season the Reds had a league average batting average (.251) and a better than average slugging percentage (.411). Their OBP (.315) was too low, and only 4 NL teams were worse. The Reds finished 9th in the NL in runs scored.
Batting average does not correlate very well with scoring, certainly nowhere near as well as OBP and SLG do.
The Reds' problem offensively this year was OBP. It didn't help that the lowest OBP hitters spent most of their time at the top of the lineup. If they had batted lower in the lineup it would have led to a better team OBP and more runs scored over the course of the season. If not for Joey Votto the Reds' OBP would have been atrocious, maybe even the worst in the league. Votto's .474 OBP this year was the best in the majors since Barry Bonds' string of steroid-fueled seasons.
According to ESPN, the Reds were below average in BOTH BA and OBP. BA was .251 and league average was .254. There is no reason to distinguish so heavily between the two. The Reds are deficient in both categories.
And while Votto's OBP dramatically improved the team's OBP, his BA did the same. He hit .337. The only other regular above .280 was Phillips, at .281.
The Reds are a team that hits for power but not for average, not for OBP. And I agree with you that in MANY areas, Votto's outstanding numbers improve the team's overall average. Just as Chapman's numbers dramatically improved the bullpen stats. So we have to look deeper sometimes than just overall team average.
As for the playoffs, the Reds did score a lot of runs in the first two games, but only got 8 in the last three, and of course gave up a bunch in games four and five. The failures in those last three games include hitting, pitching, and defense.
For the Reds offense to be top notch they need more lefty/righty balance, more contact, more OBP. They can live with slightly less power to make the trade off. I've felt this way all year.