Despite being reassigned to the Cincinnati Reds minor league camp just a couple days ago, Kyle Farmer is now expected to be part of the 25-man roster due to Scooter Gennett’s injury. Expect him to make an impact when his number is called.
When the Cincinnati Reds made an unusual big-time trade this offseason to acquire Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers, not many people thought twice about the utility also thrown into the deal. Kyle Farmer was one of four players acquired by the Reds in that December trade that sent Homer Bailey out of town.
This weekend Farmer was among the notable players sent down to Triple-A to start the 2019 season. However, after Scooter Gennett suffered a strained groin and is expected to miss 8-12 weeks of action, the Reds announced that Farmer will be part of the Opening Day roster. Farmer brings one of the most valuable attributes to Cincinnati, and that is versatility.
In two seasons with the Dodgers, Farmer played behind the plate, third base, and also played shortstop. Having versatility in the major leagues is valued by every squad as many teams opt to take a multifaceted utility player over perhaps a power-hitting lefty.
Take the New York Yankees for example. The Yanks took Tyler Wade who plays all three outfield positions, second base, third base and shortstop on their Opening Day roster in 2018 and are likely to take keep him as part of the team’s roster in 2019. Is he the best hitter? No, but he brings value with his versatility.
When Farmer gets his chances, he will be able to provide solid defense at multiple positions while giving much needed rest during the dog days of summer to players such as Eugenio Suárez, José Peraza, or even Tucker Barnhart.
Like New York’s Wade, Farmer won’t overwhelm pitchers. He hit .235 average in 39 big league games during the 2018 season. Farmer doesn’t seem like a significant addition, but undervaluing versatility is a big no-no and that’s why the Cincinnati Reds made sure to bring him aboard as part of their blockbuster trade this offseason.