Tyler Stephenson won the YouTube Player of the Game Award after the Cincinnati Reds 14-11 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday afternoon at Great American Ball Park. If Stephenson keeps hitting like he has to begin the 2022 season, he'll be well on his way to more hardware.
Stephenson was not behind the dish yesterday, but rather occupying the role of the Reds designated hitter. That proved to be a wise decision on the part of Cincinnati manager David Bell as Stephenson went 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
When you put Tyler Stephenson's numbers against the other catchers in the game, he's at or near the top in almost every meaningful offensive category.
Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson is playing at All-Star level.
Keep in mind that Tyler Stephenson was on the 7-day IL earlier this season after sustaining a concussion following a collision at the plate with San Diego Padres first baseman Luke Voit.
Stephenson has played in 20 games this season. He's currently hitting .322/.397/.559. Both his batting average and slugging percentage are tops in the league for a catcher with a minimum of 50 at-bats.
Stephenson's 17 RBIs leads all catchers in the National League and puts him in a tie with Oakland Athletics' backstop Sean Murphy for the most runs batted in by a catcher in all of baseball. Murphy has nearly double the number of at-bats (112).
On the defensive side of things, Tyler Stephenson has gunned down five would-be base stealers, putting him in a tie with perennial All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and last year's Gold Glove Award-winning catcher Jacob Stallings.
The Cincinnati Reds traded Tucker Barnhart this past offseason knowing that they were ready to hand the keys over to Tyler Stephenson. Last year's rookie has become a leader in the clubhouse and on the field.
The Reds horrendous start will likely see just one player find his way onto the National League All-Star roster, and right now, that player is Tyler Stephenson.