Reds: 3 little known players who’ll make a big impact in 2021

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Max Schrock (32) dives, but is unable to catch up to a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Max Schrock (32) dives, but is unable to catch up to a ground ball. /
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Cincinnati Reds Max Schrock (32) singles in the third inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game.
Cincinnati Reds Max Schrock (32) singles in the third inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game. /

Max Schrock, Reds infielder

Will Max Schrock make the Reds Opening Day roster? There’s a great possibility that he will, but that’s irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I expect Schrock to be a key contributor to this year’s Cincinnati team all season regardless if he breaks camp with the Reds or not.

Schrock is the left-handed version of Kyle Farmer; a gritty, hard-nosed, versatile infielder who’s not afraid to do the little things. Schrock has played for division rivals St. Louis and Chicago, and this year I expect the 26-year-old to stick it to his former teams en route to solid 2021 campaign with Cincinnati.

Schrock is not going to wow you with immense athleticism or eye-popping power, but the way he approaches the game is quite humbling. The former 13th round pick of the Washington Nationals takes his approach at the dish very seriously. Schrock is not one to strikeout often, and I think David Bell will use that to his advantage in certain situations this season.

One of the biggest complaints from Reds fans last season was the lack of baserunners. Schrock will give this team just that. The left-handed hitting infielder has a smooth approach at the dish and his keen eye has resulted in a very low strikeout percentage throughout his minor league career.

Joey Votto’s health and Eugenio Suarez’s position on the field will greatly impact Max Schrock’s ability to make the Opening Day roster. But, if Kyle Farmer is viewed as more of regular in Cincinnati’s lineup this season, look for Schrock to land the bulk of the innings as the team’s top left-handed utility player; especially if a right-handed pitcher is on the bump.