3 Cincinnati Reds players we should lower the bar for in 2022

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel walks back to the dugout.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel walks back to the dugout. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Cincinnati Reds center fielder Shogo Akiyama (4) bats.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Shogo Akiyama (4) bats. / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

3. Shogo Akiyama, Reds outfielder

Was there a bigger miss during Cincinnati's free agent spending spree following the 2019 season than inking Shogo Akiyama to a three-year/$21M deal?

I'm not going to completely absolve the Reds front office and coaching staff for the way Akiyama has been used since joining the team, but much of this falls on the 33-year-old himself.

Akiyama's abrupt exit from spring training to tend to his wife and a hamstring injury to begin the season really slowed the outfielder's momentum.

Akiyama had his rookie season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and missed out on crucial time with the coaching staff and teammates that offseason as well.

Perhaps Akiyama will have a calmer offseason this winter and be able to hone his craft following a disappointing start to his major league career.

If there's one area where Shogo Akiyama excels, it's defense. The former Seibu Lions star has made some spectacular defensive catches during his time in Cincinnati.

Fans are going to have to lower the bar for Akiyama heading into next season, as the left-handed hitter has yet to produce much power.

Shogo Akiyama has not seen the ball go over the fence despite 366 career plate appearances.

Next. What does the Reds payroll look like post-lockout?. dark

Will Akiyama record his first major league homer next season? He's going to have to find a way to earn more playing time first.