Cincinnati Reds legend Joe Nuxhall was the team’s all-time greatest pitcher
Major League Baseball has seen many dominant players over the years, but Shohei Othani opens the door for more two-way players. Winner of the AL MVP award last season, Ohtani has shown his dominance as both a hitter and pitcher. But who was the Cincinnati Reds’ all-time greatest pitcher?
Last year, Ohtani hit .257 with 46 home runs and 100 RBIs. While tying the league leader in triples with eight, Ohtani also posted an incredible .592 slugging percentage which was the third highest in the league. The Japanese start also put up an OPS 965, good for fifth-best in the AL.
Let’s not forget the 130 innings thrown by Ohtani. The right-hander went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA while also possessing a 10.8 K/9 percentage. Opposing batters only hit .207 with one against .637 OPS. Ohtani’s dominance at home plate and the mound helped him rack up a league-leading 9.1 bWAR.
Joe Nuxhall, the youngest player in MLB history, made his debut for the Cincinnati Reds on June 10, 1944 at just 15 years old. In his 15-year Queen City career, Nuxhall went 130-109 with a 3.80 ERA. Southpaw Ole had 20 shutouts and 83 complete games in 2,169 innings with the Redlegs.
Nuxhall spent just two seasons away from his hometown, playing for both the Kansas City Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels during his 16-year major league career.
At home plate, Nuxhal hit .190 with a .507 OPS. There wasn’t much power in Nuxhall’s bat, but he had 65 runs and 13 home runs recorded during his career with the Reds. Nuxhall also hit two home runs during his time with the Angels.
A .278 slugging percentage won’t help you win a Silver Slugger these days, but Nuxhall had 19 doubles and two triples with Cincinnati. For a player with just 785 plate appearances as a Red, Nuxhall posted an impressive 2.8 offensive bWAR. In his 616 major league board appearances, first-round pick Nick Senzel has an offensive bWAR of just 0.1.
The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer is one of the most underrated athletes in team history. While Michael Lorenzen, now gone to Los Angeles, was one of the best hitters in recent seasons, Joe Nuxhall was the best hitters in Reds history.