Sunday, March 9, 2014

Five Reds players who are getting it done at the plate this spring

Neftali Soto 1 234x300 Update from Reds camp in Goodyear, Ariz.

Entering Sunday, the Reds ranked sixth in Major League Baseball in runs scored (57) through 12 games of spring training. That's somewhat hard to believe considering they rank 25th in batting average (.237) and 27th in on-base percentage (.307). But those latter rankings aren't due to poor output from the following five players. In fact, this handful of guys are essentially leading the way offensively right now.

Neftali Soto: The 25-year-old is pushing for a roster spot this spring despite the odds being stacked against him. Thus far, Soto has hit .450 (9-20) with one home run, two RBI, and a team-leading five doubles. If he continues to rake, Cincinnati may have no choice but to promote him sometime during 2014.

Skip Schumaker: This ex-Cardinal is adjusting well to his new team as evidenced by his .533 average (8-15) and .579 on-base percentage. Schumaker has tallied three RBI and scored four runs this spring. But it's what he's doing inside the clubhouse from a leadership standpoint that really makes him valuable.

Roger Bernadina: If Jack Hannahan isn't ready by Opening Day, Bernadina could increase his chances of making the team by nabbing the last roster spot as a non-roster invite. He's hitting .500 (6-12) with a .684 on-base percentage and a team-leading seven runs scored entering Sunday. Bernadina could also serve as a nice backup plan if Billy Hamilton struggles this season.

Chris Heisey: The versatile outfielder has smashed a team-high three homers and driven in six RBI en route to posting a .316 clip (6-19). He's still not drawing very many walks (0) in proportion to striking out (4), but it's nice to see Heisey showing off his power in Goodyear.

Jay Bruce: It's hard to go wrong with a .526 on-base percentage. That's precisely what Bruce has through 19 plate appearances. Bruce also has a homer, three RBI, and a double.

Honorable Mentions: Billy Hamilton (.450 OBP, 6/6 SBs, 6 RS) and Zack Cozart (.353 BA, 3 RBI, 4 RS)

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