Reds: Tyler Naquin’s red-hot start to the 2nd-half cannot be overlooked

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 16: Tyler Naquin #12 celebrates with Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 16: Tyler Naquin #12 celebrates with Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have relied heavily on the bats of Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker this season, but Tyler Naquin refuses to be left out of the conversation. The former Cleveland Indians’ outfielder has been raking of late.

If Cincinnati is going to compete for the National League Central Division title, it’s going to take a herculean effort from the Reds’ bats. With the struggles we’ve seen from the starting staff of late and the bullpen all season, it seems as though the Redlegs’ offense will be what carries them to the postseason.

Last night versus the New York Mets, Tyler Naquin put on a show. The 30-year-old went 5-for-6 with a double and four RBIs. The Texas native has been red-hot following the All-Star break, and with Nick Castellanos currently out of the lineup with a wrist injury, the team is learning heavily on Naquin’s offensive productivity.

Reds outfielder Tyler Naquin is off to a scorching-hot start to start the 2nd-half.

Tyler Naquin’s first three weeks in the Queen City produced some incredibly productive results. After Nick Senzel left the first game of the season with a shoulder injury, Naquin was inserted into the starting lineup.

During his first 14 games in a Cincinnati uniform, Naquin hit .260/.345/.640 with six home runs and 18 RBIs. We’re seeing some very similar production over the last four games with the left-handed hitting slugger going 8-for-16 (.500), smacking two doubles, and racking up six RBIs. Naquin is slugging .625 since the All-Star break.

Naquin has been a bright spot all season for the Reds. General manager Nick Krall made the shrewd signing this offseason after Naquin was let go by the Indians. It was assumed that Naquin would fill more of a bench role for Cincinnati this season, but his power-packed production has guaranteed playing time for the former first-round pick.

Naquin’s bat has also forced David Bell to reconsider how to utilize former No. 2 overall pick Nick Senzel when the 26-year-old returns from the IL. It was reported yesterday that there’s a possibility we’ll see Senzel line up at shortstop after the former University of Tennessee product returns from a rehab assignment.

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Tyler Naquin has been an integral piece of the Cincinnati Reds offense this season. Naquin (54) trails only Nick Castellanos (59) for the team-lead in RBIs. Naquin has 13 home runs this season, which is one shy of his career-high set during his rookie season in 2016.