Cincinnati Reds: Kyle Farmer cannot be counted on as an everyday player

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: Kyle Farmer #52 of the Cincinnati Reds cannot turn the second half of a double play in the eighth inning. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: Kyle Farmer #52 of the Cincinnati Reds cannot turn the second half of a double play in the eighth inning. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Reds utility player Kyle Farmer played exceeding well in 2020, but cannot be counted on every day.

The Cincinnati Reds have a lot of question marks to answer for the 2021 season and shortstop is high on that list of questions. That being said, there was one guy who filled in nicely there when he was called to do so. As a matter of fact, Kyle Farmer filled in whenever and wherever he was called.

Before the 2019 season began, Homer Bailey’s huge contract was another topic of concern. The Reds were finally were able rid themselves of it thanks to a trade with the Dodgers in December of 2018 that sent Bailey and two prospects to Los Angeles.

For Cincinnati’s part, they acquired Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Matt Kemp and Kyle Farmer. When those four names pop up, Farmer seemed like a throw-in. The Reds sure didn’t need a third catcher, but they did need to dump Bailey’s contract. Fast forward a little over a year and Farmer was the most important piece of them all.

When Reds manager, David Bell, decided to start Kyle Farmer at shortstop this season, there was a deep sigh from Reds fans seeing a catcher needing to play shortstop as a lack of depth within the organization. What Reds  Country was not aware of and certainly not expecting, was Farmer playing the high-level of defense that he did.

One of the more impressive stats from Farmer this year was his versatility in the field. The majority of his games played came up the middle at shortstop and second base, but he would also see action at first base, third base and left field. As a matter of fact, Farmer did not suit up behind the plate for one game this year, despite Tucker Barnhart’s absence during the earlier this season.

The Reds bats were exhaustingly below average this year, but that was not the case for Farmer.  He would actually end the year with a .266 average at the dish and .329 on-base percentage.  Though it was a small sample size, the Reds finished last in baseball with a team batting average, so Farmer hitting .266 was a high point for a struggling Cincinnati Reds lineup.

While I’m happy that Kyle Farmer performed well when called upon this season, under no circumstances should Cincinnati be content with the fact that their third catcher played arguably the best defense this year up the middle and was one of their best hitters.

The Reds should also not rely on Farmer to repeat that performance in 2021. Instead, they should be thankful they have him as a human Band-Aid that fits into every position on the field and look to upgrade their defense this offseason, primarily at shortstop.

To justify Farmer as an everyday player next year is to immediately give up on the season.  That would be the equivalent of the Cincinnati Reds telling the fan base that the owner does not want to spend any money what so ever.

Kyle Farmer can give anyone an off day, and that is rare in The Show and a nice thing to have on a big-league roster, but that doesn’t mean he should be plugged into one of those positions every day. The back of the baseball card usually tells the story, and Farmer is career .242 batter with an on-base percentage below .300.

Next. Way-too-early Reds 2021 roster projection

Reds Country loves the Farm Dawg and are happy with him in Cincy. However, if this team really wants to compete next year, then they should have a lineup so deep that they don’t have to rely on what was the third piece in a salary dump, to play shortstop in the major leagues.