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Can Cincinnati Reds prospect Michael Siani develop into more than an elite defender?

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez's (7) bat and helmet rest on the field.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez's (7) bat and helmet rest on the field. / Kareem Elgazzar, Cincinnati Enquirer via
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Can Michael Siani transform into more than just an elite defensive outfielder? The Cincinnati Reds sure hope so.

Siani was a fourth-round selection in the 2018 MLB Draft, but was given over-slot money ($2M signing bonus) to sign with the Reds.

Can Reds' OF Michael Siani develop into more than an elite defender?

When it comes to defensive stalwarts, you're unlikely to find anyone else in the Cincinnati Reds farm system who can match what Michael Siani does on the field.

Siani has Gold Glove written all over him. But the question then becomes, will the 22-year-old develop enough at the dish to warrant playing time at the major league level?

The Reds brass are hoping that Siani's recent stint in the Arizona Fall League fuels a more disciplined approach at the dish heading into the 2022 minor league season.

Siani spent 97 games at High-A Dayton in 2021 and slashed .216/.321/.327 with six home runs, 36 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases.

Siani will never be confused for a power hitter, but the Pennsylvania native has to find a way to raise both his batting average and on-base percentage.

As a manager, you can certainly live with a player who's career on-base percentage sits around .330, but he better bring a .400-plus slugging percentage as well.

That's not Siani's game, so what the Reds need from their outfield prospect is similar numbers to what he put up in the Arizona Fall League.

In 14 games for the Surprise Saguaros, Siani slashed .300/.451/.450 with three doubles, a home run, and six runs batted in.

Siani has the speed to beat out a dribbler up the line or a sharply grounded ball laced toward the hole.

It's the strikeout-rate that Michael Siani needs to reduce. Last season for the Dayton Dragons, Siani posted a 25.2% K-rate.

For a power-hitter like Eugenio Suárez, you can live with that. But the Reds need Siani to post numbers similar to what they saw in Arizona (17.6% strikeout-rate).

Michael Siani appears to be seeing the ball better. He posted a 12.3% walk-rate in the minors last season and a 19.6% walk-rate for the Saguaros.

Next. Former Reds OF lands $1M deal in KBO. dark

Siani has the ability to change the game with his wizardry in the outfield, but his hitting needs to catch up to his defense if he's ever going to be an everyday player.

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