1 Reds player who was great in 2022 and will be even better in 2023

Cincinnati Reds reliever Alexis Diaz.
Cincinnati Reds reliever Alexis Diaz. / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Greatness a word that is probably a bit overused in sports, and definitely can't apply to many players on the 2022 Cincinnati Reds. But at least one player's performance this past season can probably be categorized as great.

While New York Mets' pictcher Edwin Diaz is well-recognized as the best closer in baseball his past season, his younger brother is no slouch. After watching Hunter Strickland flounder repeatedly in the ninth inning, Alexis Diaz used his rookie season to establish himself as the Reds' closer heading into the 2023 season.

Diaz was 7-3 with an ERA of 1.84 and led the Cincinnati Reds in bWAR (3.1). The right-hander struck out 83 batters in 63.2 innings of work and recorded 10 saves in 14 opportunities.

Reds reliever Alexis Diaz could be even better in 2023.

Baseball Savant has become a popular resource for those fans who love the new metrics used throughout the sport. One stop at Alexis Diaz's page will show you that the Cincinnati Reds' right-hander was utterly dominant in 2022.

Diaz was among the best in the game in terms of expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, strikeout-rate, whiff-rate, and fastball spin-rate. Diaz ranked in the 93rd percentile or higher in all five categories.

Now, there was one major area of concern where Diaz must show improvement heading into 2023 if he wants to make pivotal leap during his second year in the big leagues, and that's his walk-rate. Diaz walked nearly 13.0% of the batters he faced and must correct that heading into next season.

When it comes to pure stuff, Alexis Diaz has it. Does he have the mental makeup to be as good as his older brother? That's a question that could be answered as soon as next season. After getting his feet wet in that role during the latter half of 2022, one has to assume that Diaz will be the Cincinnati Reds closer from the start of the 2023 season.

The Diaz brothers are also said to be investigating a new walk-up song for Alexis in 2023. Edwin's entrance out of the Mets' bullpen was a tremendous way to get the home crowd hyped before the ninth inning. Perhaps they can find a new walk-up song for Alexis that will get the fans at Great American Ball Park out of their seats late in the game.

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