3 Reds who should already be in the 2023 Rookie of the Year conversation
By Drew Koch
Reds 3B Spencer Steer should already be in the 2023 NL Rookie of the Year conversation.
Spencer Steer has a golden opportunity with spring training just around the corner. Since the end of the 2022 season, the Cincinnati Reds have waved goodbye to Kyle Farmer, Mike Moustakas, and Matt Reynolds.
All three veterans would have surely seen time at the hot corner. And while Reynolds will return this spring as a non-roster invitee, his chances of making the team out of spring training will be very slim. Steer will likely be given every opportunity to secure the starting job at third base.
Steer has the makeup to be a very solid contributor on next year's team. The 25-year-old is extremely versatile, and even if Reds manager David Bell chooses to give a spot start at third base to Alejo Lopez or Nick Senzel, Steer could act as the team's designated hitter or play nearly any other infield position.
Steer had lacked the prototypical power that most teams covet from their starting third baseman, but last season saw that may not be the case. After posting a career slugging percentage of just .435 in at the University of Oregon, Steer's slugging percentage in three minor league seasons is sitting at .483 and he slugged .515 between Double-A and Triple-A last season.
That will be the key number to follow as Spencer Steer makes his case for the NL Rookie of the Year in 2023. If Steer is able to maintain a slugging percentage above .450 and rack up 15-plus home runs, he could make a strong push for to be the second Cincinnati Red in the last three seasons to win the award.