Though his batting average might not jump off the page, Kyle Farmer has a lot of value that the Cincinnati Reds could use on a daily basis.
Utility men are perhaps the most valuable players on each major league roster. When the Cincinnati Reds acquired Kyle Farmer from the Los Angeles Dodgers, fans did not generate much excitement. Farmer was part of the trade that also landed Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood. However, while not much was thought at the time, Kyle Farmer has a lot of value and needs more at-bats.
Kyle Farmer can play all over the field. His ability to play behind the plate, both corner infield positions, and second base gives Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell a lot of flexibility in his lineup construction from one game to the next. Farmer has found first base to be his primary position thus far when Joey Votto gets a day off.
At each position, Farmer plays solid defense, and when given his chance to get in the lineup he has home run potential every time he steps to the plate. Farmer broke the Reds 30-inning scoreless streak with a home run against Pittsburgh on April 6th. In 24 at-bats this season, Farmer has hit three home runs. Though his batting average is only .167, this OPS is .801.
Prior to coming to Cincinnati, Farmer only played in a combined 59 games, including 15 starts, in the major leagues with the Dodgers between 2017 and 2018. Farmer’s power is a definite plus, but only consistent at-bats will help Farmer become more than sub-.200 batter.
In the Dodgers minor league system, where the Farmer had the chance to play every day, he put up above average numbers. In 503 career minor league at-bats, Farmer slashed .295/.347/.441 with 145 doubles, 33 home runs, and 279 RBIs.
The potential is there for Kyle Farmer to be a successful major league player. It may not be showing in his batting average, but with more consistent playing time, look for Farmer to emerge as a potential every day starter for the Cincinnati Reds.