How many starts per week can we expect from Reds infielder Kyle Farmer?

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) is unable to reach a ground ball hit.
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) is unable to reach a ground ball hit. / Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer outperformed everyone's expectations last season except for his own. I legitimately think Farmer saw himself as the team's everyday shortstop, and he went out and proved it. But, with Jose Barrero now primed to be an everyday starter for the Reds in 2022, how many starts can we expect from Farmer next season?

On raw ability, Barrero should be the Reds choice to be the starting shortstop in 2022. That's not meant as a slight to Farmer who showed last season that he can perform at a high level when given the opportunity. Farmer's veteran leadership, experience, and dogged determination are qualities that you just can't measure.

But, when it comes to athletic ability, arm strength, power, and other attributes that scouts and general managers look for, Barrero has Farmer beat. Barrero got a couple of looks last season, but Reds skipper David Bell was not going to replace the veteran with a rookie at that stage of the season with his team still in contention.

How many starts will the Reds give Kyle Farmer in 2022?

I would not be surprised if Kyle Farmer was given the reigns as the Cincinnati Reds starting shortstop to begin the 2022 season. That said, I could easily see Jose Barrero getting the lion's share of starts at shortstop as well. If all things are equal during spring training (whenever that starts), the Reds should hand the position over to Barrero.

Now, just because Farmer loses his starting spot doesn't mean the 31-year-old won't see a great deal of time in the lineup. In fact, I think we'll see Farmer in the field for three to four starts per week. Farmer is arguably the Reds most versatile player and has lined up at catcher, first base, second base, shortstop, third base, and left field since arriving in Cincinnati back in 2019.

I don't expect we'll see Farmer don the tools of ignorance and give Tyler Stephenson a break behind the plate, but I wouldn't rule it out either. However, the likely addition of the designated hitter will allow David Bell to consistently shuffle his lineup and we should expect to see Farmer line up all over the diamond next season.

Kyle Farmer is the Reds most versatile player.

When Joey Votto, who'll be 38 years old next season, needs a day off, Kyle Farmer is the team's best option to take reps at first base. When reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jonathan India needs a breather, Farmer is Cincinnati's best option to take over the keystone. If Barrero is struggling mightily against his first real taste of major league pitching, Farmer has proven he can handle duties at shortstop.

Then there's the matter of third base. While Mike Moustakas and Eugenio Suárez are likely to duke it out during spring training for the right to be the team's starter at the hot corner, Kyle Farmer is unquestionably the Reds best defensive third baseman.

If the Reds are able to trade one of the duo of Moose or Geno once the lockout is over, look for Farmer to be the team's starting third baseman while the veteran who remains could occupy the role of designated hitter.

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Just because Jose Barrero is the Cincinnati Reds shortstop of the future doesn't mean that Kyle Farmer will be forgotten. While his role may be different in next season, I still expect Farmer to get a handful of starts each week during 2022.