3 Reds who should already be in the 2023 Rookie of the Year conversation

Cincinnati Reds infielder Spencer Steer
Cincinnati Reds infielder Spencer Steer / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Reds SS Matt McLain should already be in the 2023 NL Rookie of the Year conversation.

With all the buzz surrounding top prospect Elly De La Cruz and the addition of young players like Edwin Arroyo, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Noelvi Marte, former first-round pick Matt McLain seems to get lost in the shuffle.

The former UCLA Bruins fell into the laps of the Cincinnati Reds during the 2021 MLB Draft and has steadily worked his way up the minor league ladder. McLain will be a non-roster invitee once spring training begins and will likely be given a chance to win the starting shortstop job.

There's also the chance that McLain sees time in center field once Cactus League play begins. With so many shortstops in the Reds farm system, it's high-time one of them starting shagging balls in the outfield.

McLain played center field in college, but has remained on the infield dirt since being selected by Cincinnati with the 17th pick back in 2021. McLain's batting average (.232) took a hit last year, but the 23-year-old still maintained a very high on-base percentage (.363) and smacked 17 home runs in 103 games with Double-A Chattanooga last season.

Matt McLain may have the best chance, of any of the Reds non-roster invitees, to sneak his way onto the Opening Day roster. McLain's high baseball IQ and defensive versatility could see him find his way into the conversation to become the 2023 National League Rookie of the Year.

1 NRI prospect who'll make the Reds Opening Day roster. dark. Next