Brandon Drury has made the most of his opportunity during the first month of the 2022 season. I don't know that I'd use the word indispensable to describe Drury's standing with the team, but he's been the most consistent bat in the Cincinnati Reds lineup since Opening Day.
Drury wasn't supposed to be on the Reds Opening Day roster. But injuries to Jose Barrero, Donovan Solano, and Max Schrock forced David Bell's hand. Cincinnati's skipper needed a backup shortstop.
Drury, who signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, had his contract selected and actually started the first game of the year for the Reds. In fact, Drury homered against the Atlanta Braves on Opening Day, helping the Reds get the victory.
The team hasn't had much success since that Opening Day win over the defending champions, but that hasn't stopped Brandon Drury from becoming the best hitter in the Cincinnati Reds lineup.
Brandon Drury has solidified his roster spot with the Reds.
Currently, Brandon Drury is hitting .274/.325/.575 with a team-leading five home runs and 15 RBIs. Over Drury's last seven games, the 29-year-old is slashing .370/.400/.741.
Drury is also among the best in baseball in barrel-rate. According to Baseball Savant, Drury ranks among the top 5% in barrel-rate. He's also among the top 15% in average exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, and xSLG. Drury has a 145 OPS+ according to Baseball Reference and a wRC+ of 149 according to FanGraphs.
The question has to be asked; what becomes of Brandon Drury when Jonathan India, Jose Barrero, and Donovan Solano all return from the Injured List? My best guess would be that we'll Drury become more of a permanent presence as the Reds designated hitter or he'll get some starts in the outfield.
Drury played 56 innings in the outfield for the New York Mets last season, and has played over 900 innings there in the past. The problem is, Drury is not a great outfield defender and has -17 defensive runs saved over his career on the outfield grass.
It'll be David Bell's job to find a permanent place for Brandon Drury in the starting lineup. I don't think many fans expected Drury to be the one leading the Cincinnati Reds in so many different categories. We'll see how long he sustain this hot streak.