1 impressive stat from Matt McLain's performance in the Arizona Fall League

Cincinnati Reds infielder Matt McLain (93) instructs teammates.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Matt McLain (93) instructs teammates. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Arizona Fall League is in full swing. Several top prospects from all over baseball have made their way to the Copper State looking to to impress their respective front offices and coaching staffs.

The Cincinnati Reds sent infielders Matt McLain and Noelvi Marte, outfielder Rece Hinds, and four pitching prospects including Christian Roa out to the desert get in some extra work this fall.

McLain, Cincinnati's first-round draft pick in 2021, could be battling Jose Barrero and Kyle Farmer for a starting spot on the left side of the Reds infield in 2023. While success in the AFL does not necessarily guarantee playing time at the next level, it can't hurt McLain's chances during the upcoming spring training.

Matt McLain's on-base percentage in the Arizona Fall League is impressive.

Matt McLain was known as an advanced hitter coming out of UCLA in 2021. Surprisingly, the Bruins' shortstop fell all the way to the Cincinnati Reds with pick No. 17 in the MLB Draft.

McLain saw time at High-A Dayton after being drafted in 2021, and after posting an OPS of .811 and performing quite well during the Cactus League and spring training, Cincinnati sent the 23-year-old to Double-A Chattanooga to begin the 2022 season.

A wrist injury slowed McLain's progress, but overall the infielder slashed .232/.363/.453 with 17 home runs and 27stolen bases. That second number in the slash line is the one that sticks out the most. McLain posted an on-base percentage of .387 with High-A Dayton in 2021 and reached base over 36% of the time last season with the Lookouts.

Since arriving in Arizona, McLain has hit just .167 with just six hits in 11 games. But, remarkably McLain has a .388 on-base percentage thanks in large part to the 10 walks he's drawn in 49 plate appearances. McLain has nearly as many free passes as he does punch outs (12).

If Matt McLain can continue to have a keen eye at the plate, the former first-round could leapfrog former top prospect Jose Barrero and become the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starter at shortstop next season.

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