Reds: 3 players on pace to make their first All-Star Game

CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 17: Jesse Winker #33 and Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate in the ninth inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 17: Jesse Winker #33 and Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate in the ninth inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next
Tucker Barnhart #16 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 13: Tucker Barnhart #16 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

3. Tucker Barnhart, Reds catcher

Tucker Barnhart earned his second Gold Glove last season, cementing the Cincinnati Reds backstop as one of the best defensive catchers in the game. But, this season, Barnhart has shown that he’s pretty good with the stick as well.

This season, Barnhart is hitting .286/.348/.457. Barnhart’s nine doubles are second-most among all National League catchers, training only Pittsburgh Pirates’ backstop Jacob Stallings. Barnhart’s hitting has always been his Achilles heel, save for the 2017 season when he slashed .270/.347/.403.

This season, Tucker Barnhart’s OPS+ is sitting at 112, a 26 point improvement over his career OPS+ of 86. In his 33 games played, Barnhart has 14 RBIs, which is already one better than his 13 RBIs from last year’s abbreviated campaign in which he only played 38 games.

Barnhart ranks No. 3 in the NL in pitch framing according to FanGraphs. The Reds catcher has never made it to the Midsummer Classic, but this may be Barnhart’s best chance. Catchers are typically given a bit of leniency in terms of their offensive production, but with Barnhart putting up career-highs, perhaps this is season he gets his just due.

Next. Santillan should replace Hoffman in the rotation

All of these Cincinnati Reds players have competition to make their first trip to the All-Star Game, but none more so than Tucker Barnhart. J.T. Realmuto is regarded as one of the best hitting catchers in the league, and Buster Posey has looked sensational this season. The aforementioned Stallings and James McCann are also playing well this season.