The Cincinnati Reds shortstop of the future is already on the team

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 11: Kyle Farmer #52 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 11: Kyle Farmer #52 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Reds need look no further than Kyle Farmer to be the team’s starting shortstop.

With Freddy Galvis entering free agency this offseason, the Cincinnati Reds will be in need of someone to fill the hole at shortstop. After last night’s defensive performance, I think it’s safe to say that Kyle Farmer has his eyes on the starting job in 2021.

Farmer, who played shortstop in college, was inserted into the lineup last night along with several other right-handed bats. With lefty Kris Bubic on the bump for the Kansas City Royals, David Bell added the likes of Farmer, Christian Colón, Curt Casali and Matt Davidson to the lineup card. Joey Votto and Jesse Winker were the only left-handed batters in the starting lineup.

Farmer put the Reds on the board first with a two-out double in the bottom of the second inning. With a 3-2 count, Farmer lifted thee ball up against the wall in right-center field, plating two runs and giving Cincinnati the early 2-0 lead.

Farmer wasn’t done playing hero. The 29-year-old was part of two double-plays during Tuesday night’s festivities. The first came in the top of the fourth inning with Cincinnati nursing a 5-2 lead and Kansas City with a runner on first. Jorge Soler grounded a ball sharply to Farmer, who threw it to Colón at second base and then onto Joey Votto for a 6-4-3 double play to end the Royals threat.

The second, and more impressive double-play helped rescue reliever Nate Jones from disaster. With one out and the bases juiced in the top of the seventh, Ryan O’Hearn hit a rocket up the middle which was gloved by Farmer. The former Georgia Bulldog tapped the bag at second and threw onto Votto at first, preserving the Reds 5-3 lead.

While last night showcased Kyle Farmer’s defensive talents, this is something we’ve seen before. After being essentially thrown into a trade in December 2018 that included Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood and Matt Kemp, Farmer has shown himself to be one of the Reds most invaluable players. Last year, Farmer played every infield position, including catcher.

The question becomes whether or not Farmer would excel as a regular in the Reds lineup or is he better suited for a reserve role? We won’t know until he’s given that opportunity, and I think next season he’ll be given a chance to prove his worth.

What about Reds prospect José García?

While a lot of fans were enamored with the play of José García during spring training, he’s yet to play above A-Ball. To be sure that he’s successful when her reaches the major leagues, García needs more seasoning. Being at the alternate site during this pandemic-shortened season will certainly help García’s development.

García, ranked as the team’s No. 6 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has all the tools to be a big league shortstop. But just as we’ve seen this year with Tyler Stephenson, the Reds tend to be a bit conservative with their young prospects. García will get his chance to shine, but I’m thinking we’ll have to wait until closer to 2022.

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At almost 30-years of age, Farmer is no spring chicken, but he’s still under team control through 2024 and doesn’t reach arbitration until 2022. The prospect of Farmer being the Reds starting shortstop in 2021 is very real and would be welcome in my opinion.