MIAMI –– Over the final week, the Cincinnati Reds traded 5 key huge leaguers for prospects in an effort to enhance the staff’s long-term outlook. Now, on the MLB roster, they’re making extra choices which are prioritizing the future.
The Reds activated shortstop Jose Barrero, a prime prospect, on Wednesday, and he’ll be the Reds’ beginning shortstop going ahead. With Barrero, 24, filling that spot, Kyle Farmer will get the bulk of his enjoying time at third base going ahead.
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“Every participant will get to some extent – each good participant – the place I consider there is no actual improvement left besides at the Major League degree,” Reds supervisor David Bell stated. “The Major League degree brings out the greatest in loads of younger gamers, particularly the good ones. Obviously, there are not any ensures with any of this. Now is the time to permit Jose to finish that improvement right here.”
Since 2020 spring coaching, Barrero has been considered as a possible shortstop of the future. He had a standout spring coaching that yr and confirmed the energy, athleticism and defensive upside that the Reds are in search of from a shortstop.
Barrero confirmed a lot upside that that they had him make his MLB debut in the final month of the 2020 season, although he had by no means performed above High-A. In 2021, Barrero returned to the minors and gained the group’s Minor League Player of the Year award after hitting .303 with a .919 OPS between Double-A and Triple-A.
He spent the final six weeks of final season in MLB with the Reds, enjoying a bench position and making spot begins in heart discipline as the Reds made a run at a playoff spot.
“He was right here, and I believe it was a very good expertise,” Bell stated. “At the identical time, it wasn’t a sufficiently big pattern of his play. He simply has to get again right here and play lots and keep right here. Just due to how gifted he is and who he is, simply getting the reps and enjoying lots, he will get higher.”
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When Barrero reported to spring coaching in 2022, he was anticipated to obtain an opportunity to compete with Farmer for the beginning spot at shortstop. Then in the first few days, Barrero realized he had a damaged bone in his wrist and wanted surgical procedure.
Barrero performed in his first Triple-A recreation of the 2022 season in late May, however he by no means discovered a rhythm at the plate. In his 220 Triple-A at-bats this season, Barrero was hitting .209 with a .639 OPS, posting the worst offensive season of his minor league profession.
“You bought to study all the things from mentally to what is going on on on the discipline, off the discipline, all the things,” Barrero stated through interpreter Jorge Merlos. “After surgical procedure, I’ve been in a position to battle and get myself ready for at the moment.”
Barrero’s greatest concern was his strikeout charge. In his 237 plate appearances, he struck out 89 instances (37% of the time). In 2021, Barrero solely struck out 84 instances in 380 minor league at-bats (22%).
“It’s all about my mechanics,” Barrero stated. “I labored on that lots over the final stretch proper now. Fortunately all the things feels good, and I really feel like I’ve taken that down a bit. Through the season, it has progressed.”
Barrero nonetheless has as a lot upside as nearly some other participant on the Reds lively roster. With shortstop prospects Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain on Barrero’s heels in the minor leagues, the Reds wanted to take the alternative to see what Barrero can do with prolonged enjoying time in the Reds’ lineup.
As a end result, Farmer shall be shifting over to 3rd base. Since the begin of the 2021 season, Farmer has been considered one of the Reds’ most constant hitters with a .257 batting common and a .717 OPS. Often enjoying by accidents, Farmer has been a constant defender, a tricky at-bat and considered one of the most nicely revered voices in the clubhouse.
Farmer, 31, now strikes to 3rd base so the Reds can higher consider Barrero. Farmer had an off day on Wednesday however is anticipated to stay a giant a part of the lineup.
“(Farmer) has performed an impressive shortstop,” Bell stated. “I do know he beloved the place. I personally assume he has an opportunity to be a good higher third baseman. Not that it is a simple place, and it is most likely going to take a while. To be capable of simply put someone over at third base from shortstop proper in the center of the season, that reveals how a lot we consider in Kyle to have the ability to do this. It’s not simple although by any means.”
The Reds are making an identical choice in the outfield, giving Aristides Aquino the bulk of enjoying time over gamers like Albert Almora Jr., Stuart Fairchild and TJ Friedl. Even although Aquino was designated for task in April and has a .183 batting common since the begin of the 2020 season, he has the highest upside of the group due to his unimaginable energy and league-best arm power.
In Tuesday evening’s win over the Miami Marlins, Aquino delivered a two-run RBI and saved one other run with a 100 mph throw that beat the runner to residence plate.
“He has been by lots,” Bell stated. “Injury, had success right here, had his struggles. Now it is time, not that I’m committing him to play each single day, however I’d prefer to see him play. Get right into a rhythm the place he is enjoying greater than he has in the previous. Just let the skill take over.”