Cincinnati Reds Spring Training: Ranking the Top 5 Early Standouts
Cincinnati Reds Making an Impression in Spring Training
Let me qualify what you're about to see by stating that Spring Training statistics and performances aren't normally the best way to judge a player's potential contribution to the club or his overall ability. It's a small sample, the level of competition varies, and some guys are simply "working on some things."
With that said, it's always better to play well and put up some gaudy statistics, because it gives the player, organization and fans confidence. The alternative of playing poorly wouldn't seem to benefit anyone.
Thus, the Cincinnati Reds have been fortunate enough to witness a handful of players standing out in the early going at Spring Training. Some are making a case to travel north with the club for opening day, possibly in significant roles.
The usual suspects, especially veterans who are basically guaranteed jobs, often coast through this time of year and ensure they're ready and focused when the regular season begins. It's often the young players and fringe guys who put up the best numbers, because they have more to prove and some extra incentive to treat the exhibition season differently.
It will be interesting to see who can keep up their current pace, and even more importantly, who can perform when the games actually count.
Spring Training stats can be terribly fun to look at, with numbers you'll rarely see when the big stadiums are filled. They often look like something out of a video game with numbers and decimal points seemingly in all the wrong places.
The Reds are determined to keep pace with the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central, so they may need the added boost from some players making an impression in camp. With that, here are the Reds players standing out the most in spring.
5. Donald Lutz
Through his first seven games, Donald Lutz has the most RBI on the team with five. Thanks to a home run and a triple, Lutz’s .800 slugging percentage and 1.217 OPS are piquing the interest of the organization.
4. Tony Cingrani
The young lefty has tossed five scoreless frames in his first two starts. He’s given up just one hit, allowing a .071 BAA while striking out six batters. If he can stay healthy, Tony Cingrani could have a huge season in Cincy.
3. Neftali Soto
Neftali Soto has been on an early tear, ripping a team-leading four doubles to help produce his .938 slugging percentage and 1.438 OPS through eight games. Soto may have a tough time making the 25-man roster, but he is certainly giving the organization something to think about, especially if he can handle some catching duties.
2. Alfredo Simon
It’s early, but Alfredo Simon has impressed in his two starts, throwing five innings without giving up a run or even a hit. Overall, he’s allowed only two runners (both walks), struck out four and has tossed just 31 pitches -- 22 of them for strikes. Simon is stating his case for a rotation spot, especially with Mat Latos behind schedule after surgery.
1. Roger Bernadina
He’s had some success at the MLB level before, and now Roger Bernadina is pushing to make the Reds’ Opening Day roster. Cincy’s left field situation isn’t great, so his .500 average and team-leading .688 OBP and 1.488 OPS are forcing the staff to take notice. Bernadina would also be the Reds' best defensive option in left.