Reds OF prospect Michael Siani's stock will plummet in 2022.
This is one I really hope I get wrong because Michael Siani is arguably the best defensive outfielder in the entire Cincinnati Reds organization. The question surrounding Siani this year is the same one that has dogged the outfield prospect for his entire professional career; can he hit enough to be an everyday player?
Before I get into the negative, let me say that Siani has Gold Glove-caliber defensive talent. His speed and athleticism is second to none. But we saw the exact same thing with Billy Hamilton for years. Now, Hamilton is little more than a rotational outfielder.
If this were 20 years ago, Siani would already be on the big league roster. Team used to be able to have a defense-first centerfielder or shortstop who was a liability at the plate. The manager would batt said player eighth in the lineup and settle for a .225 batting average because of what the player could do defensively. But it's a different game now.
Teams and coaches expect every player in a uniform to be able to hit. Over his three-year career in the minors, Siani has hit .247/.332/.343 with a wRC+ of just 94. If Siani can't put up better numbers than that in A-Ball, what can we expect to see once he's promoted to Double-A or Triple-A?
We saw similar stuff out of former Cincinnati prospect Alfredo Rodriguez. The shortstop was a phenomenal defensive talent, but he never produced at the dish. In five minor league seasons, Rodriguez never produced a wRC+ above 100.
Michael Siani had success in the Arizona Fall League last year, hitting .300/.451/.450. If that version of Siani is the one who steps into the batters' box during the 2022 season, then instead of plummeting, the 22-year-old will skyrocket up the Reds farm system. This looks to be a make-or-break season for Siani.