Best duos in Cincinnati Reds history

Written by:
May 16, 2022
Schyler // Wikimedia Commons

Best duos in Cincinnati Reds history

In Major League Baseball, it takes more than one skilled player to field a championship contender. It takes talent all over the field at a variety of positions, both in terms of pitchers and hitters. While having a star pitcher and a star hitter at the same time is no guarantee of success, it does put your team in a position to have the type of season that fans will talk about for generations.

While it’s not quite the same as the NBA, where one standout duo can take a team from the cellar to playoff contention, it’s not uncommon for an outstanding season from a pitcher and position player duo to add 20 wins or more, according to Baseball Reference’s wins above replacement player metric. The number is designed to illustrate the difference between a star player and the type of player that would be considered “replacement level”—that is, one who could be easily signed as a midseason free agent or called up from the minor leagues.

The following is a list of the top pitcher/position player duos in Cincinnati Reds history. Using wins above replacement, Stacker compiled a list of the seasons in franchise history that had a pitcher and hitter with the most combined value. Note that, for the purpose of capturing and examining the game's "modern era", only seasons after 1969 were used for this list.

#10. 1991 Cincinnati Reds
- Barry Larkin: 6.1 WAR (#12 position player in 1991)
- Jose Rijo: 5.5 WAR (#7 pitcher in 1991)
- Total: 11.6 WAR

#9. 1996 Cincinnati Reds
- Barry Larkin: 7.2 WAR (#11 position player in 1996)
- John Smiley: 4.4 WAR (#22 pitcher in 1996)
- Total: 11.6 WAR

#8. 1977 Cincinnati Reds
- George Foster: 8.4 WAR (#3 position player in 1977)
- Fred Norman: 3.4 WAR (#34 pitcher in 1977)
- Total: 11.8 WAR

#7. 1988 Cincinnati Reds
- Barry Larkin: 7 WAR (#5 position player in 1988)
- Danny Jackson: 5 WAR (#13 pitcher in 1988)
- Total: 12 WAR

#6. 1970 Cincinnati Reds
- Johnny Bench: 7.4 WAR (#3 position player in 1970)
- Gary Nolan: 4.7 WAR (#14 pitcher in 1970)
- Total: 12.1 WAR

#5. 1973 Cincinnati Reds
- Joe Morgan: 9.3 WAR (#1 position player in 1973)
- Jack Billingham: 3.1 WAR (#45 pitcher in 1973)
- Total: 12.4 WAR

#4. 1972 Cincinnati Reds
- Joe Morgan: 9.3 WAR (#1 position player in 1972)
- Gary Nolan: 3.3 WAR (#37 pitcher in 1972)
- Total: 12.6 WAR

#3. 1993 Cincinnati Reds
- Barry Larkin: 3.8 WAR (#49 position player in 1993)
- Jose Rijo: 9.2 WAR (#2 pitcher in 1993)
- Total: 13 WAR

#2. 1976 Cincinnati Reds
- Joe Morgan: 9.6 WAR (#1 position player in 1976)
- Pat Zachry: 3.6 WAR (#30 pitcher in 1976)
- Total: 13.2 WAR

#1. 1975 Cincinnati Reds
- Joe Morgan: 11 WAR (#1 position player in 1975)
- Don Gullett: 3.1 WAR (#34 pitcher in 1975)
- Total: 14.1 WAR

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