3 under-the-radar Reds players off to a good start in 2023

Cincinnati Reds left fielder Stuart Fairchild
Cincinnati Reds left fielder Stuart Fairchild / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Reds have gotten off to a better start than most experts and fans assumed they would have. In fact, were it not for some late-game collapses this Reds team could actually have a winning record.

This year's team, if nothing else, has been fun to watch. Manager David Bell has a group of gritty, hard-nosed players who are running the bases well, playing solid defense, and getting quality pitching from most of their starters.

But while the likes of Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson, and Nick Lodolo have been playing up to expectations, there've been a few Reds players who've had some unexpected contributions thus far. Which three under-the-radar Reds players have gotten off to a good start in 2023?

1. Reds LHP Alex Young has gotten off to a good start in 2023.

The Cincinnati Reds entered the offseason with but one left-handed reliever on the 40-man roster. After spring training was complete, Alex Young emerged as another left-handed option for David Bell to turn to out of the bullpen.

Young has not disappointed since coming to the Reds. Young's 1.42 ERA is the lowest among all pitchers on Cincnnati's staff. The southpaw has eight punch outs in 6.1 innings of work while issuing just one walk.

While Reiver Sanmartin had been the Reds primary left-handed relief pitcher, last year's rookie has been a bit erratic to begin the year. Sanmartin has appeared in five games, and while he was five strikeouts, Sanmartin has also issued three free passes.

Alex Young put up good numbers last season in San Francisco, but was strangely made available during the winter and signed to a minor-league deal. His under-the-radar performance may have gone unnoticed among a great deal of the fanbase, but the coaching staff has certainly been paying attention.

Bell seems to prefer Young at the moment when he's looking to exploit a left-on-left matchup. Obviously Young won't be able to pitch every day, but it appears at the moment as though Young will be getting the higher-leverage situations.