3 players Reds' fans should lower the bar for in 2024

Take it easy on these guys.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tejay Antone
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tejay Antone / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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3. TJ Friedl

Some Reds fans won't like this, but if you think TJ Friedl is going to duplicate his performance from 2023, you might be sorely disappointed. That's not to say that he can't, but 18 home runs and a 4.4 fWAR will be hard to match.

Friedl is the type of player that the fans in Cincinnati absolutely love, and they should. The outfielder wears his heart on his sleeve and plays every game as if it's his last. Reds fans love that type of hard-nosed ballplayer. It's the same reason players like Kyle Farmer, Ryan Freel, and Corky Miller were so popular during their time with the Reds organization.

But can Friedl have sustained success in the big leagues? That's the question as the 27-year-old enters his second full season in the majors. Friedl did enough in 2022 to warrant consideration for a roster spot last spring. His performance in 2023 was arguably the best of any player on the team. But can he keep that same level of intensity and be the Reds leadoff hitter in 2024?

Friedl isn't going to forget how to play the game and turn into a platoon outfielder. But the Pennsylvania native plays with such reckless abandon, that injuries will always be a concern. However, no one is going to ask Friedl to take his foot off the gas, because that gritty, determined, aggressive style of play is what got him to The Show in the first place.

So while Reds fans shouldn't expect TJ Friedl to take a major step backward in 2024, it's also unfair to expect him to play much better than he did in 2023. But Friedl offers more than just what can be found in a box score. So while Friedl's on-field performance may diminish during the upcoming season, he'll still going to be at the top step encouraging his teammates throughout the game whether he's 0-for-4 or riding a seven-game hitting streak.