Why the Reds should wait until next season to promote Spencer Steer to the major leagues

Cincinnati Reds prospect Spencer Steer
Cincinnati Reds prospect Spencer Steer / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

Spencer Steer has been one of the more talked about Cincinnati Reds prospects over the last week-plus. Steer was acquired from the Minnesota Twins as part of the return for former pitcher Tyler Mahle.

Steer, along with Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Steve Hajjar were dealt to the Reds. In exchange, Cincinnati shipped Mahle to the Twin Cities as Minnesota is trying to prepare for a deep run in October.

When Mike Moustakas hit the IL recently, several fans throughout Reds Country were clamoring for Spencer Steer to make his major league debut. It's understandable that some within the fanbase would feel that way as the 24-year-old is hitting .268/.362/.439 in his 10 games since joining the Reds organization. But fans should probably hit the pause button for now.

Should the Reds wait until 2023 before adding Spencer Steer to the roster?

The 2022 season is all about developing players, right? So naturally it makes sense that the Cincinnati faithful want to see as many young prospects get their feet wet in the major leagues as possible. The logic is certainly there, but the way the Reds roster is currently constructed causes some major issues.

If Spencer Steer were to make his major league debut this season, he'd need to be a regular in the Reds lineup. David Bell has already shifted Kyle Farmer from shortstop to third base in order to get Jose Barrero's bat in the everyday lineup. It's hard to see Bell benching Farmer all together in order to give Steer a chance against big league pitchers.

Farmer is considered a leader on this year's Reds team, which is why the veteran took it so hard when he was replaced at shortstop by Barrero. David Bell would risk losing the clubhouse for the remainder of this season if the decision was made to replace Farmer with Steer. That's a conversation for the offseason.

The Reds also have the veteran bat of Donovan Solano, who's been one of the best hitters in the Cincinnati lineup over the last few weeks. Had Farmer or Solano been dealt at the trade deadline, of course it would make sense to elevate Steer to the major leagues. There's very little the former third-round pick needs to prove in the minors.

But unless the Cincinnati Reds have an opening in the lineup where Spencer Steer can receive regular playing time, it would be foolish to give him a shot in the big leagues. Steer may get his chance when September call-ups come around, but until that time, fans should expect the University of Oregon product to keep getting reps in Triple-A.