Speed won't be enough to land this non-roster invitee on the Reds Opening Day roster

Cincinnati Reds infielder Richie Martin
Cincinnati Reds infielder Richie Martin / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds have several non-roster invitees who are striving to perform well enough during spring training to sneak onto the team's Opening Day roster.

Prospects like Christian Encarncacion-Strand and Matt McLain have played well thus far and will surely get a look. Veterans like Chad Pinder and Henry Ramos have been given an opportunity to secure a spot on the Opening Day roster as well.

But few folks have spoken about Richie Martin's performance this spring. In addition to hitting quite well, the Detroit native has shown speed on the base paths. Will that factor in to the Reds decision making this spring?

Speed could land Richie Martin on the Reds Opening Day roster.

Richie Martin was a first-round draft selection of the Oakland Athletics in 2015, but was left unprotected in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and was taken with the first pick by the Baltimore Orioles.

Martin made his debut in 2019, but injuries force him to miss all of the 2020 season. Though he played in 120 games for the O's during his rookie campaign, Martin only managed to play 50 more games at the big league level over the last three seasons. He elected free agency this past offseason and was signed to a minor league contract by the Cincinnati Reds in January.

Martin's best asset is his speed. The 28-year-old has used it, and the bigger bases, to his advantage this spring. Martin has swiped a team-leading four bases and has yet to be thrown out. Martin is also hitting very well with a .444 batting average and .583 on-base percentage.

Richie Martin has an uphill climb in order to make the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster. A middle infielder by trade, the Reds have tremendous depth at those positions. Even if Martin swiped two dozen bags this spring, it still wouldn't be enough to find his way onto the 26-man roster.

Martin could, however, accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Louisville. Though the Reds do have a lot of depth on the infield dirt, there is very little experience at shortstop outside of Kevin Newman. An injury early in the season, while the young prospects are still learning the ropes, may open the door for Martin to make it back to The Show.

Next. Ranking every prospect's chances to make the Reds roster. dark