3 players who will sneak onto the Reds Opening Day roster by the skin of their teeth

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Justin Dunn
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Justin Dunn / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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2. Jose Barrero will sneak onto the Reds Opening Day roster by the skin of his teeth.

If there's one player who needs to have a successful spring training, it's Jose Barrero. A top prospect in the Cincinnati Reds back in 2021, Barrero underwent wrist surgery last spring and his performance appeared to suffer because of it.

While many will argue that Barrero is not a major league-ready shortstop, he's done about everything asked of him in the minors and it's time for the 24-year-old to either sink or swim. After crushing opposing pitchers at both Double-A and Triple-A in 2021, Barrero looked like a shell of himself in both the minors and the major leagues last season.

Barrero was flailing his bat at anything that was remotely close to the plate last season. Barrero posted an unbelievable strikeout-rate of 43.7% while only drawing a walk in 5.2% of his plate appearances.

With so many young shortstops coming up through the Reds farm system and only one minor league option remaining, 2023 will be a make-or-break season for Jose Barrero.

The Cincinnati Reds have already brought in longtime Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman to compete with Barrero this spring. It's most likely that Cincinnati will give Barrero one last chance to make an impact on the big league roster, but he'll have top prospect Elly De La Cruz breathing down his neck.