Cincinnati Reds: These players will get the final four spots on the roster

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 10: Cody Reed #23 and Sal Romano #47 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 10: Cody Reed #23 and Sal Romano #47 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 24: Travis Jankowski #31 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

2. Travis Jankowski’s speed sets him apart from anyone else on the Reds roster

Speed is an undervalued attribute in today’s game. No, we’re unlikely in the age of analytics to ever see a player steal over 100 bases in a season. For those of you who don’t remember, Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson did that three times in his career. However, Travis Jankowski is faster than any other player on the Reds; an asset that may help him make the team.

Yes, while it’s true that Jankowski profiles very similar to former Cincinnati Reds centerfielder Billy Hamilton, the way that David Bell might use Jankowski would bee very different. Hamilton was a rotational player occupying a starting position. Sure, his speed and defense were outstanding, but he couldn’t get on base. Jankowski has the same problem.

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For his career, Travis Jankowski is a .241 hitter with a career on-base percentage of .317. Last season, however, Jankowski hit just .187 with a .250 OBP. That’s not going to get it done. But, with the new rules in place during the 2020 season, having a player with the speed of Jankowski could be of great benefit to the Reds.

In 2020, if a game goes into extra innings, each team will begin with a runner on second base. If Bell stationed Jankowski at second base to begin an inning, any ball that left the infield should be able to get the former San Diego Padre home. Jankowski should not be considered a starter, but a substitutional outfielder who’s speed could change the fortunes of the Reds late in games.