Midseason Player Grades For Cincinnati Reds

Midseason Player Grades For Cincinnati Reds

Nick Pedone
3 years ago
4 min read
Midseason Player Grades For Cincinnati Reds

When I was in college, midterms were a critical point of each class. It gave you an idea of where you stood and how you’d likely finish the year out. Now that we’re at the midpoint of the 2021 season, it’s time to hand out grades to the main starters based off their performance in the first half. 

In order to do this, let’s examine their offensive production, defensive ability and how many games they’ve played in. 

Tucker Barnhart

The catcher is one of the most important roles on the baseball diamond. It’s also an incredibly physically demanding one. Often, minor league catchers who have high upside with a bat are moved to another position in order to get their bat in the lineup more regularly. Because of this, many MLB catchers are below average hitters.

Over the course of the season, Tucker’s performance has been strong. He has played in 67 games and has a slash line of .267/.346/.411. That’s roughly league average productivity. His glove has also been elite, putting him in discussions for a third gold glove award. Because his defense is so strong and his bat isn’t hurting the Reds, Tucker’s getting a solid grade for the season. 


Tyler Stephenson

Tyler Stephenson has been the other side of the catching coin for the Reds. He’s also played some first base while Joey Votto was on the injured list. Over the course of the season, he’s played in 72 games and has a slash line of .282/.381/.426. He’s roughly 10% better than the average MLB hitter which is huge for a catcher. He’s also played solid defense behind the plate. 


Joey Votto

Ahhh. Joseph Daniel Votto. The player that Cincinnati loves to hate on because of his contract. The future Hall-of-Famer may not be having an All-Star year, but he’s certainly not having a bad one either. He spent some time on the injured list, resulting in less playing time of 61 games. During those 61 games, he’s hit .257/.347/.463. While Votto’s bat hasn’t hurt the Reds, you’d typically like to see more production from a first baseman. He’s been an above average hitter, but he’s not the MVP candidate he once was. 

Grade: B- 

Jonathan India

India has been my favorite player of the year so far. He plays with flair and has great hair. His success as the starting second baseman has been a huge win for the Reds. Imagine, if you will, what the Reds would be doing without India’s bat in the lineup? With Moustakas and Senzel hurt, there’s no realistic player to replace him in the lineup. This is a very different team without him. Over the course of his rookie campaign, he’s hit .275/.397/407 and has played in 79 games. For his ability to stay on the field and his contributions to the Reds this season, he deserves a bit of extra credit. 

Grade: A-  

Kyle Farmer

I feel bad for Kyle Farmer. He’s a very valuable player for a team to have on their bench, but due to player injuries, he’s been forced to start. He can play almost every position on the diamond and has even been a plus defender at shortstop. His bat has been a black hole, though. Playing in 85 games, he’s hit a paltry .220/.290/.336. That’s not going to cut it for a team that’s contending for a division title. He gets points for his defense, but it doesn’t look good overall. 

Grade: D  

Eugenio Suarez

I felt bad for Kyle Farmer, but I feel frustrated with Suarez. He’s clearly playing his heart out, but the results on the field aren’t there. He’s been awful defensively at short, and his bat has been a liability as well. If the Reds want to contend for the postseason, they are going to need Suarez to start playing to the back of his baseball card. Playing in 86 games, Suarez has hit .175/.256/.372. 

Bad defense. Bad hitting. Bad grade. 

Grade: F  

Jesse Winker

Much of the Reds 2021 success has been attributed to two players. One of them is Jesse Winker. Holy cow, what a stud this guy is. Making his first All-Star game this year, Winker has been everything Cincinnati has hoped for and more. His defense, while not a strength, isn’t a liability for the team, and his bat has been absolutely incredible. Playing in 82 games, Winker has hit .301/.382/.539. At this point in the season, the only question is how many MVP votes he’ll receive by the end of the year. 

Grade: A 

Tyler Naquin

Tyler Naquin was added to the Reds roster not long before the season began. The plan was for him to be a plus bat off the bench, but injuries to Nick Senzel have created more opportunities for him to play. He came out of the gates hot but has since cooled off significantly. Playing in 79 games, he’s hit .242/.310/.440. His bat has some power, but he lacks on base skills. He’s also not a strong defender in the outfield.  

Grade: C 

Nick Casatellanos

Jesse Winker is half of the equation for the Reds success so
far. Castellanos is the other guy. Also making his first All-Star game
appearance this year, Castellanos has been a force at the plate. Playing in 84
games, he’s hit .331 (first in MLB)/.384/.585. Similarly to Winker, he has a
legitimate chance of winning league MVP. 

Grade: A  

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