2 players the Reds mishandled and 1 who's on the right track

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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The Reds mishandled infielder Jose Barrero.

This one still has a chance to turn around, but the Cincinnati Reds did Jose Barrero no favors with how the club introduced him to the major leagues. Barrero made his MLB debut during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season after Cincinnati thought they were out of the playoff race.

The Reds 2020 squad was poised to compete for the division crown. After adding Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas, Wade Miley, and Shogo Akiyama to go alongside Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, and Jesse Winker the Reds looked like a team that could win the NL Central.

The coronavirus pandemic then rained on the Reds parade, put a stop to spring training, cut the 162-game season down to just a 60-game sprint, and increased the playoff pool to 16 teams. The Reds were basically out of contention midway through, and for lack of better words, threw in the towel.

Jose Barrero was called up to the big leagues and received some playing time at shortstop in place of Freddy Galvis. Remarkably, however, just a few games into Barrero's call-up, the Redlegs turned a corner and were back in the playoff hunt.

Barrero was quickly removed from the starting lineup as Cincinnati made its march toward the postseason. Barrero played in just 24 games after having never set foot on a Double-A or Triple-A field. Barrero, like most players who were skipped ahead by two levels of minor league baseball, looked lost and hit just .206 in 68 plate appearances.

The following season, Barrero was deployed to Double-A Chattanooga and after putting up good numbers for the Lookouts, received a promotion to Triple-A Louisville. In August, Barrero was called up to the big leagues once again. This time, rather than playing him exclusively at shortstop, the Reds decided to move Barrero around to second base and center field.

In 2022, Jose Barrero struggled mightily at the plate after offseason hamate surgery. His strikeout-rate was near 40-percent after a late-season call-up, and the shortstop looked lost at the plate.

The Cincinnati Reds, who now have more shortstops than they know what do with, have forced Barrero to split time between shortstop and center field. It's no wonder that Barrero has little success in the major leagues after watching how the Reds completely botched his development.