How does Michael Siani fit into the Reds plans in 2023?

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Michael Siani.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Michael Siani. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Siani made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds last season, but that was not part of the plan.

Last season, Siani had a cup of coffee with Cincinnati after Nick Senzel's 2022 campaign came to an end after crashing into the center field wall with just a couple of weeks remaining. Senzel fractured his toe and Siani was selected to the 40-man roster.

After being promoted to Triple-A Louisville for just eight games, the Reds tabbed Siani to take Senzel's roster spot. Cincinnati was going to add the outfielder to the 40-man roster a few weeks later anyway in order to protect him from last year's Rule 5 Draft.

How does Michael Siani fits into the Reds plans in 2023?

Michael Siani will almost assuredly begin the 2023 at Triple-A Louisville. While the centerfielder possesses elite speed and major league-caliber defensive abilities, his bat, however, has consistently lagged behind his glove as every level of the minor leagues.

But the past two seasons in the minors has seen Siani improve his on-base skills. Last season specifically, Siani boasted a 12.1% walk-rate and 16.9% strikeout-rate (according to FanGraphs) while playing in 121 games at Double-A Chattanooga. Siani slashed .252/.351/.404 and stole 49 bases.

If Siani is given more time to develop in the minors this season, he could be a weapon at the major league level in the near future. While fans oftentimes become quite eager to see highly-regarded prospects make their way to the big leagues as fast as possible, the Reds should continue to bring Siani along slowly.

Center field has been such a black hole for the Cincinnati Reds since Billy Hamilton was non-tendered in 2018. Michael Siani possesses a very similar skill set, but if the Reds continue to be patient, perhaps the 23-year-old will be more than just a Gold Glove-caliber defender.

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