Jay Bruce and Joey Votto are not yet household names among baseball fans. Soon, they will be.

In about a week’s time the Cincinnati Reds will be playing in the National League playoffs for the first time in 15 years as the 2010 NL Central Division champions.

The Reds have endured some of the worst seasons the franchise has ever seen the last 15 years. All the hardship was washed away last night as the Reds clubhouse was soaked with champagne for the first time in the history of the Great American Ball Park.

The method for the Reds’ success was a patient approach to building a winner.

Cincinnati’s great start to the season was not taken seriously. They couldn’t last the whole season—not a young and inexperienced team. However, not only did they play a full season of winning baseball, the reigning NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals were the team that collapsed amidst their own high expectations for 2010. 

The engine driving the Reds is their first baseman, Joey Votto. Votto, the leading MVP candidate among experts, means more to the Reds than any other player in the National League. Joey is having a monster season, batting .325 with 37 HR and 111 RBI, ranking in the top three in the NL for each category.

Votto is just one of the many talented young players the Reds have received major contributions from this season.

Jay Bruce, last night’s hero with a walk-off home run vs. Houston, has had his struggles in 2010. Dubbed a surefire All-Star by baseball scouts, Bruce has had a very inconsistent MLB career since an impressive debut last season.

The Reds’ patience in Bruce is not just good for the franchise, but also sends a message letting players know they’ll get their shot, a welcoming thing for drafted players and free agents.

The majority of Cincinnati’s best players under 30-years-old, including a quartet of quality pitchers: Johnny Cueto (24), Aroldis Chapman (22), Homer Bailey (24), and Edinson Volquez (27).

The youth of the Reds will keep them a contender for many years to come, but they are not lacking experience, a flaw many in the mainstream media think will be their downfall come October.

Cincinnati has been brilliantly directed by veteran manager Dusty Baker, who last night became the ninth manager to lead three different teams to the playoffs (Giants and Cubs, previously).

On the field, former World Series champions Orlando Cabrera and Scott Rolen will provide the leadership and knowledge to guide the young players through the postseason.

Cabrera’s story is unique, as he helped end 86 years of baseball torment for Boston in 2004, while Rolen, after failures in Philadelphia, finally helped the St. Louis to glory in 2006.

Sports is not a patient business, and with an economic recession, teams are pressured to make risky moves now.

The Reds have showed us taking a patient approach to developing talent, building team character, and mixing youngsters with veterans is a great recipe for success.

This plan will not only help the Cincinnati Reds’ 2010 campaign but will also give them many, many years of championship-level baseball.

Are the Reds baseball’s new dynasty in the making?

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