The Cincinnati Reds had a whole slew of rookies in 2023. Some of them performed better than others, but by-and-large they all performed well. And this week three of them were named by Baseball America to their All-Rookie team for 2023.
Matt McLain got the nod at second base, Spencer Steer was named to the squad as the designated hitter, and Andrew Abbott made the team as a starting pitcher.
McLain did not spend the entire season at second base, but he did spend 37 games there (53 at shortstop, and four more as the designated hitter). An oblique injury cost him the final month+ of the season. And he wasn’t called up until mid-May. That meant he didn’t get anywhere near a full season of big league playing time. Despite the fact that he wound up with under 100 games played he had 3.7 WAR. McLain provided value in all aspects of the game. He hit .290/.357/.507, showing off an ability to hit for both average and power. He also stole 14 bases and was good on the bases in non-steal situations. The infielder also showed off positive defense value up the middle.
Spencer Steer, unlike McLain, was with the big league club from day one. He actually spent a part of 2022 with the Reds – playing in 28 games down the stretch. In 2023 he played in 156 games for Cincinnati and hit .271/.356/.464 with 37 doubles, 3 triples, 23 home runs, 86 RBI, and he went 15-for-18 in stolen base attempts. While he was named as the DH on this particular list, that was more just a way to get him recognized and onto the team. Steer only had six games as the designated hitter for the Reds in 2023. He played a bit of everywhere, getting 45+ games (some partial as he switched positions during the game) at first base, third base, and left field. He would also see action at both second base and in right field.
Andrew Abbott didn’t even start the 2023 season in Triple-A. The lefty was assigned to Double-A Chattanooga when the year began, but he didn’t stay there very long. After just three starts with Chattanooga he moved up to Louisville and made seven more starts. At the beginning of June he was called up to Cincinnati and he never looked back. The left-handed starter made 21 starts for the Reds and posted a 3.87 ERA in 109.1 innings pitched. During that time he walked 44 batters and he 120 strikeouts. Abbott had a 2.7 WAR