2 Reds players who proved their spring training was a fluke and 1 whose was legit

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Reds shortstop Jose Barrero proved his spring training was a fluke.

During spring training, Jose Barrero was given an opportunity to secure the starting shortstop job for the Cincinnati Reds. He played well enough to get the Opening Day nod, and while Barrero has played better than he did in 2022, that was an incredibly low bar.

During Cactus League play, Barrero was one of Cincinnati's better performers. The 24-year-old hit. 311/.380/.556 with four doubles, two tripes, a home run, and 10 RBIs. But, as we've seen, that momentum did not carry over to the regular season.

Barrero has outperformed his 2022 numbers by a lot. But after hitting just .152 in 48 games near the tail-end of last season, just cutting down on his 40-plus percent strikeout-rate was bound to boost his batting average by a few points.

But a .632 OPS is nowhere near the .936 OPS that Barrero put up during spring training. Yes, Barrero is extremely athletic, but so are the other two shortstops who've been promoted in recent weeks.

The presence of Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain, combined with Jose Barrero's sub-par performance have seen the once highly-touted prospect moved into a reserve role and switch positions from shortstop to the outfield. Barrero's spring success was definitely a fluke.