Evaluating the Reds first base options for the 2022 season

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) reacts as he runs the bases.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) reacts as he runs the bases. / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue to evaluate the Cincinnati Reds offseason roster, we know that Joey Votto will undoubtedly begin next season at first base for the Redlegs. But what does the depth at the position look like behind Votto?

Votto experienced a renaissance season in 2021, racking up 36 round trippers and 99 RBIs. Last season was the former MVP's best since 2017. Had Votto not missed a month with a broken thumb, the odds are good that at 38 years old the six-time All-Star would have set a career-high for home runs and maybe even RBIs.

After Joey Votto, who else do the Reds have at first base?

Joey Votto has long since been a durable player, but at age 38 you have to figure that the Canadian born first baseman will need a few more days off to help maintain his high level of play on the field. Last season, Votto appeared in 129 games with 124 starts at first base.

Votto will be the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starter at first base next season, but the team is incredibly thin behind the future Hall of Famer. Looking at the roster, the Reds have a handful of players who can field first base, but who's most likely to give Votto a day off next season?

One of the first players I'd look to is Kyle Farmer. Yes, last year's shortstop will certainly be given the opportunity to maintain the position he earned in 2021. However, with the young and talented Jose Barrero making strides, Farmer may be relegated back to a utility role.

Joining Farmer could be three-time All-Star Mike Moustakas. The former third baseman, turned second baseman, turned third baseman again, struggled to stay healthy in 2021. Honestly, Moose has been nothing but a giant disappointment since signing his four-year/$64M contract prior to the 2020 season.

It'll be interesting to see how many innings Tyler Stephenson logs at first base in 2022. A catcher by trade, Stephenson snagged 17 starts at first base last season. However, with Tucker Barnhart off the Motor City, it's likely the lion's share of Stephenson's starts will come behind the dish.

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The Reds also signed Jake Bauers to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. Max Schrock saw time at first base in 2021 as well. So, while Joey Votto will surely be the Cincinnati Reds everyday first baseman in 2022, a few a players might find themselves logging valuable time at the position as well.