2. Shogo Akiyama, Reds outfielder
While we're on the subject of underachieving outfielders, we might as well discuss Shogo Akiyama. Now, I'm not going to absolutely bury Akiyama, as there were some issues that the former Japanese star had no control over.
The coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in 2020, and the abbreviated spring training that followed later that summer was not an ideal scenario for Akiyama. The outfielder struggled out of the gate, but seemed to find his groove during the second half of the 60-game season.
Last spring, Akiyama missed a good deal of camp while he was tending to his injured wife back in Cincinnati. The left-handed hitting Akiyama returned only to injure his hamstring and was not even on the field until early-May.
Despite injuries to Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker, Aristides Aquino, and Nick Castellanos, the Japanese outfielder never found his rhythm and was relegated to a bench role. A fine fielder, Akiyama struggled at the plate in 2021 to the tune of a .204 batting average. The 33-year-old has yet to record a home run in the major leagues.
Shogo Akiyama is owed $8M this season, and that's way too much money for a slap-hitting reserve. The Reds should be shopping Akiyama once the MLB lockout concludes, and if they cannot find a taker, perhaps it's better to just sever ties all together.