Reds: Kyle Farmer should be starting shortstop for the remainder of 2021

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 17: Kyle Farmer #17 of the Cincinnati Reds walks off the field. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 17: Kyle Farmer #17 of the Cincinnati Reds walks off the field. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Before the season started, many fans questioned whether or not Kyle Farmer could handle the rigors of playing shortstop in the major leagues. Over the past month, the 30-year-old from Georgia has answered the bell, and it’s time to let Farmer remain as the Cincinnati Reds‘ starting shortstop until the end of the 2021 season.

For the entirety of his career, Farmer has been a backup. Whether it was a catcher, an infielder, or even grabbing time as a corner outfielder, Farmer’s spot always started on the bench. Even this season, after getting the majority of work through spring training as the Reds’ starting shortstop, Farmer was supplanted by Eugenio Suarez weeks before the season began.

I was met with sharp resistance earlier this year when suggesting that Farmer would be just fine as Cincinnati’s starting shortstop. While I understand the criticism, and certainly would have liked to see the team pursue the likes of Marcus Semien or Didi Gregorius, my point at the time was, let’s just let this thing run it’s course.

Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer has excelled in the month of July.

The month of July has belonged to Kyle Farmer. The infielder is slashing .333/.396/.604 with four doubles and three home runs and has a 162 wRC+. This type of production from the No. 8 hitter in the Cincinnati Reds’ lineup is more than enough to keep Farmer in the everyday lineup. Farmer also has five multi-hit games during the month of July.

There’s now talk of Nick Senzel getting reps at shortstop and center field during his upcoming rehab assignment next week. I’ve got zero issue with Senzel getting a chance to play shortstop, in fact, I love the idea.

Senzel’s time in the big leagues has been stained by injuries. A return to the infield, something we saw glimpses of this season, is exactly the direction Cincinnati needs to go. And while I love Senzel’s talent, I wouldn’t be so quick to replace Farmer in the starting lineup. That said, the veteran has been dealing with injuries of late, and some time away may benefit him.

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Kyle Farmer has proven this season that he’s more than just a utility infielder. While his versatility may be his calling card, the fact that Farmer has elevated his game from a defensive-minded bench player to starting shortstop in the big leagues is a testament to his grit and determination. Jose Barrero may be ready to start in 2022, but 2021 belongs to Kyle Farmer.