Kyle Farmer is a fine ballplayer, but can't be the Reds starting shortstop going forward

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) throws.
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) throws. / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Farmer was upset about moving from shortstop to third base, and understandably so. The 31-year-old had filled in admirably as the Cincinnati Reds shortstop over the past year-plus.

But Farmer had to see the writing on the wall, right? Had it not been for a wrist injury to Jose Barrero this spring, there's a chance Farmer might not have even been the team's Opening Day shortstop.

According to Farmer, via, the decision caught him off guard. That seems odd seeing as how Barrero has been groomed for the past two seasons to be the Reds next shortstop, Cincinnati drafted a shortstop in the first-round of last year's draft, and the team just acquired three top-level shortstop prospects at this year's trade deadline.

Kyle Farmer is a fine ballplayer, but he can't be the Reds SS heading into 2023.

It's very easy to see why fans throughout Reds Country love to cheer on Kyle Farmer. He's easy to root for. Farmer is a former eighth-round draft pick who came up as a catcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, survived being non-tendered in 2020, and has turned himself into a serviceable major league player.

Farmer plays the game with grit and determination. He was just nominated to be the Cincinnati Reds' representative for this year's Heart and Hustle Award. According to, this esteemed award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. That describes Kyle Farmer to a tee.

But just because a player is beloved by the fans and his teammates doesn't mean that he should be taking opportunities away from younger players who are ready to make their mark in the major leagues. Whether you agree with the decision or not, it's time for the Reds to figure out if Jose Barrero can sink or swim.

You can point to Barrero's .209 batting average in Triple-A this season, or his 37.6% strikeout-rate, or the fact that he's not hit well when he's had opportunities in the past, but all of those are irrelevant. Barrero has done everything the Reds have asked of him and it's time to see if, at 24 years old, he can play at the big league level.

Jose Barrero needs to be given every opportunity to be the Reds starting SS.

Jose Barrero should be given every opportunity over the next two months to prove that he has the chops to perform at the highest level. For all those who want Kyle Farmer to be the starting shortstop, let's not forget his eight-game hitless streak back in late-April through early-May. But the team stuck with him and allowed him to work through it. Barrero needs to be given the same chance.

For his career, Farmer has slashed .253/.313/.390 and this season, the infielder is hitting .251/.324/.371. For those who want to point to Farmer's defense, according to FanGraphs, he has -1 defensive runs saved while playing shortstop this season and per Baseball Savant, -4 outs above average. The only Reds player with worse defensive numbers this season is Joey Votto.

If Jose Barrero fails, then Matt McLain is right on his heels. If McLain does not impress, the Reds have Elly De La Cruz flying up through the farm system. If the Reds move De La Cruz to third base, then Noelvi Marte will eventually be the team's starting shortstop. That's not even taking into consideration Edwin Arroyo and Victor Acosta.

The Cincinnati Reds have too many shortstops in the pipeline to just sit on their hands during the second half of a lost season. Kyle Farmer is the type of player that every manager wants on their team, but he can no longer be the Cincinnati Reds starting shortstop.

Next. 2 Reds prospects who'll debut before the end of 2022. dark