Two months into the season, the Cincinnati Reds have had a number of surprise players in 2023. Most of those players are on the offensive side of the team. With the baseball calendar flipping to June, it means the All-Star voting will soon begin to open up.
The argument could be made for a handful of Reds players to be on the National League All-Star team roster.
A lot of those players would be first-time All-Stars (Only Joey Votto and Wil Myers have previously played in the Midsummer Classic). Of all the Reds players who are playing well this season, how many were at the very least somewhat expected to have a big year?
TJ Friedl is a potential Reds All-Star that no one is talking about.
There's one player to this point in the season who stands out as a strong candidate to make the 2023 NL All-Star team. TJ Friedl has a solid chance at making the trip to Seattle this summer.
Friedl found his way into the starting outfield position due in large part to Nick Senzel beginning the year on the Lnjured List. Friedl has taken full advantage of the playing time. Despite landing on the IL himself this past month, the 27-year-old has put himself at the top of the center field category.
NL Rank among CF
Through 155 plate appearances, according to FanGraphs, Friedl currently ranks first among all National League centerfielders in batting average, slugging percentage, and weighted on-base average.
Friedl's 2023 season has been a pleasant surprise. There's no way the Cincinnati Reds could have predicted this type of performance from a player who, before this season, had a total of 294 plate appearances in the big leagues. The sample size is big enough to cancel out the fluke questions or wonder if this is just the result of a hot streak.
Friedl's performance, as illustrated above, is among the best in the National League. Will his lack of name-recognition prevent him from cracking the All Star team roster?
If anything has been certain the past few years, Cincinnati Reds fans are loyal when it comes to voting for their guys. The fans will certainly do their part, so it's up to TJ Friedl to continue his monster season.