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 infielder Matt McLain proved his spring training was a legit.

Matt McLain had an outstanding spring training in Goodyear this season. The former first-round pick played so well that several fans were clamoring for the Cincinnati Reds to include both McLain and Christian Encarnacion-Strand on the team's Opening Day roster.

Instead, both infield prospects, along with top prospect Elly De La Cruz, were shipped down to Triple-A Louisville in order to get a bit more seasoning. McLain and De La Cruz have since been called up and Encarnacion-Strand isn't far behind.

Matt McLain slashed .333/.556/.611 with three extra-base hits in 13 games. Encarnacion-Strand and Henry Ramos were the only other players who played at least 10 Cactus League games that had a higher OPS than McLain's 1.167.

McLain cruised through the competition down at Triple-A and made his way to The Show back in mid-May. Since his major-league debut, McLain has established himself as one of the best young players in the game.

McLain is receiving lots of love from the fans and is fourth in the All-Star voting among NL shortstops. McLain looks like a fixture in the Cincinnati Reds lineup for years to come, and he's proven that his spring numbers were legit.

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