Jose Barrero's struggles at the plate have been extremely disappointing. After hitting very well between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville-A last season, Barrero's bat has let him down in 2022.
After hitting .303 with 19 home runs in the minors last season, Barrero hit jus .209 at Triple-A Louisville earlier this season before making his way up to the big leagues in early-August.
The Cincinnati Reds finally gave Barrero a real chance to prove himself at the major league level, and about the only thing that he's proven is the ability to swing and miss at pitches outside the strike zone. Barrero has has 44.2% strikeout-rate in 147 plate appearances this season.
Jose Barrero will have to slug his way onto Reds 2023 Opening Day roster.
Will Jose Barrero be the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day shortstop next season? Heading into the dog days of summer, the answer would've been yes. But Barrero's struggles coupled with some recent developments put a big question mark surrounding his status heading into the 2023 season.
Kyler Farmer has gathered several starts at shortstop over the last few days and prior to being removed from the starting lineup due to an eye infection, rookie infielder Spencer Steer was to get his first start in the major leagues at shortstop.
The Reds have also sent two of their top shortstop prospects to the Arizona Fall League. Matt McLain and Noelvi Marte will be part of the Glendale Desert Dogs roster. The AFL has become a proving ground for several talented prospects in recent years. While Marte is still a couple years away from the major leagues, McLain could certainly make a play to be part of the Reds Opening Day roster.
The hamate injury that Jose Barrero suffered prior to the start of the 2022 season cannot be ignored. The surgery shelved the young shortstop for nearly two months and Barrero has not looked like himself since returning in late-May.
But that will no longer be an excuse once spring training begins in February next season. Barrero must use the offseason to retool his approach, gain confidence in his swing, and obtain a better recognition of the strike zone.
Jose Barrero has way too much talent to just be cast aside, but with the talent coming up through the pipeline, he may instead by passed by. If Barrero hopes to be part of the Cincinnati Reds 2023 Opening Day roster, he must show up ready to go next February in Goodyear, Arizona.