Today was the deadline to add minor league players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 draft. The Cincinnati Reds added five prospects, headlined by #1 overall prospect in the organization Hunter Greene. Along with Greene, the team also added pitchers Alexis Diaz, Daniel Duarte, James Marinan, and outfielder Allan Cerda.

The top prospect in the organization being added was never in question. Hunter Greene was an easy choice. General manager Nick Krall mentioned it last week that the team would be adding him – though no one actually needed his words to know it was going to happen. The other four players had at least some questions about whether they would be added or not. Let’s take a quick look at each of the prospects.

Hunter Greene

Right-Handed Pitcher | 22-years-old | #1 Prospect

2021 Teams: AA Chattanooga, AAA Louisville


The #2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Hunter Greene has as much upside as any pitcher the organization has had, maybe ever. He’s touched 105 MPH and routinely sits at 100 throughout his starts. In 2021 he posted a 3.30 ERA between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville where he threw 106.1 innings, allowed 86 hits, 13 home runs, walked just 39 batters, and he struck out 139.

Quick Scouting Report

He throws the fastest fastball in professional baseball. Greene also mixes in a plus slider, a cutter, and a change up. The cutter was new in 2021, and the change up made some improvements but still is something that he needs to continue to make strides with. For the most part, Greene throws strikes. His command within the zone will need to improve if he’s going to reach his ceiling, but as one of the youngest players in all of Double-A and Triple-A this past season he showed a good ability to pound the strikezone.

Allan Cerda

Outfielder | 21-years-old | #20 Prospect

2021 Teams: A Daytona, A+ Dayton


Signed as an international free agent in 2017, Allan Cerda has worked his way up through the Dominican Summer League, Greeneville, and this past season both Daytona and Dayton. In 2021 he hit 22 doubles, 5 triples, and 17 home runs in 87 games played. He can handle center just fine in the outfield, but if needed he’s got the arm to play in right field (and obviously in left). There’s some swing-and-miss in his game, but he made more contact in 2021 than he did in rookie ball in 2019 – so there were some improvements as he posted a .250/.361/.523 line on the season.

Quick Scouting Report

He’s a good defender who can handle all three outfield spots. He’s got above-average power potential, above-average speed – though he does need to improve his stolen base ratio (he’s 7 for 19 in his career).

Alexis Diaz

Right-handed Reliever | 25-years-old | Unranked

2021 Team: AA Chattanooga


The Reds selected Alexis Diaz in the 12th round of the 2015 draft out of Puerto Rico’s Juan Jose Maunez High School. He missed the 2016 season and then spent the next two years in rookie ball. In the 2019 season he made his full-season debut in Dayton where his peripherals were strong, but his ERA was 5.18. After everyone missed the 2020 season he jumped up to the Double-A level where he posted a 3.83 ERA with Chattanooga in 42.1 innings with 30 hits allowed, just two homers given up, 20 walks, and he struck out 70 batters.

Quick Scouting Report

His fastball works in the mid-90’s and he can and does touch the upper 90’s. His fastball also shows above-average spin rates. Diaz also mixes in an above-average slider that features high spin rates, too. There’s also a solid change up that he will mix in that works in the mid-to-upper 80’s.

Daniel Duarte

Right-handed Reliever | 24-years-old | Unranked

2021 Teams: A+ Dayton, AA Chattanooga, AAA Louisville


Daniel Duarte had signed with the Reds organization as a minor league free agent in February of 2020. But in June, with no season taking place, the Reds released him. He didn’t get a contract in 2021 from an affiliated team until late June when the Reds signed him again. They quickly moved him from Goodyear where he threw one “warm up” game before moving him to Dayton for two weeks before he left to go play for Mexico in the Summer Olympics. He returned a month later and joined Chattanooga where he spent the next month before finishing up in Triple-A for the last two weeks of his season. Between all of his stops he posted a 4.56 ERA in 23.2 innings while giving up 21 hits, three home runs, 12 walks, and he struck out 32.

Quick Scouting Report

Duarte throws his fastball in the 94-96 MPH range and will touch higher on occasion. He also mixes in a solid breaking ball in the low-80’s. He’s thrown strikes throughout his career.

James Marinan

Right-handed Pitcher | 23-years-old | Unranked

2021 Teams: A Daytona, A+ Dayton


The Cincinnati Reds picked up James Marinan in a July 2018 trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for Dylan Floro and Zach Neal. He’s worked his way through rookie ball and spent time in A-ball in each of his last two seasons (2019 and 2021). The season was not a great one for Marinan in 2021. In his first 10 games of the season he posted an ERA of 6.58 and didn’t average 4.0 innings a start. But he closed out the season strong, making three appearances in Low-A Daytona and two with High-A Dayton that saw him allow just two runs in 25.0 innings (0.72 ERA) while giving up just 12 hits, 11 walks, and striking out 28. Overall on the season he posted a 4.31 ERA in 64.2 innings with 41 walks and 63 strikeouts.

Quick Scouting Report

Consistency has been an issue for James Marinan in his career, and it was still that way in 2021. The Reds liked the strides he made as the season progressed, though. By the end of the year he was sitting in the 95-96 MPH range and hitting 98 with his fastball. He also shows a good breaking ball with spin rates that get into the 3000 RPM range. There’s also a change up that he will show at times.

What does this all mean?

All of these players are now on the 40-man roster. That means that starting in 2022 if the Reds want to send them to the minor leagues that they will have to use an option. They will all have options available for the 2022, 2023, and 2024 seasons before needing to stick on the big league roster in 2025 (unless they do not use an option in one of the previous seasons).

28 Responses

  1. Michael B. Green

    You called it for many of these players, Doug. Good insight.

  2. Colorado Red

    Looks like they also protected
    Daniel Duarte.

  3. DaveCT

    Duarte seems like a high(er) floor type of guy that might be able to help the big club sooner than someone like Eduardo Salazar, who based on his consistency I thought might get one of the roster spots. Diaz may fit that profile to some degree, too. Marinan is the higher ceiling arm in the group. Got it. Otherwise, it looks like Cerda > Cedrolla and Mount (agree on both). Ok. Seems pretty good to me.

  4. SultanofSwaff

    Certainly seems like the organization is making a more decisive commitment to young pitching……meaning, don’t expect any splashy free agent signings. Low probability they double down on last year’s handful of bounceback candidate signings.

  5. CallowayPost

    One position player kinda raises an eyebrow for me.

    So they now have a full 40-Man roster…either they have no interest in signing FA, or four of these guys lose an option.

    But at 40, not only does it leave no room for FA’s, but does that also mean they have no interest in claiming anyone in the R5 draft?

    Doesn’t seem like their usual MO.

    • redsfan4040

      For a FA they could DFA someone. They can also clear spots by non tendering player(s) by the Dec 1 deadline. Or bring in guys on minor league deals with the plan to select their contract when they’re able to place Antone on the 60 day IL (thus opening a roster spot).

      As for a R5 selection, I think they just need room on draft day, so, room can be made between now and Dec 9.

      Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

      • CallowayPost

        Thanks for the enlightenment. I’ve never fully understood the R5 draft, and transactions that take place, other than the player has to remain on the team, traded for, or sent back.

        The R5 draft, personally, is like the Quantam Physics of the baseball world.

        The advanced metrics are on Mars.

  6. redsfan4040

    I let out a verbal “huh?” when I saw Duarte’s name in the Reds’ tweet about adding players.

    Where do the 5 of these project to start the 2022 season? I’m guessing
    Greene: MLB or AAA
    Diaz and Duarte: AAA
    Cerda or Marinan: AA or A+ <–both got a brief taste of A+ ball

  7. Rick Pearson

    What about Nick lodolo was he already on the team they’ve got to protect him don’t they?

  8. SteveO

    With Miley and Barnhart on other teams now, salaries that would have gone to them, cover all the arb eligible players. It does seem strange that the Reds didn’t leave any open roster slots to possibly get a rule 5 pick. Maybe there is a player or 2 that they may not tender to open up a roster spot(s). Garrett and Hoffman the only ones that come to mind, but I think the Reds go ahead with them for 2022.
    A Gray, Castillo, Winker or Mahle trade would open up a spot(s). Will be interesting to see if we lose anyone.

    • Jim Walker

      Perhaps the Reds are operating on the suspicion, likelihood or knowledge that the lockout is going to happen on Dec 1; and, it will end up being a couple of months or more instead of a couple of weeks until the Rule 5 Draft actually happens? No need to cut an asset loose until they know what goes down with the settlement.

      For that matter, is the tender deadline really going to happen on Dec 1? Has it been confirmed by MLB? I have not seen that it has. In 24 hour time keeping 23:59:59 is the former day while 00:00:00 belongs with the new day. So, legally when is “midnight Dec 1” for the purposes of the CBA?

      • Old-school

        I looked at mlb off season calendar

        My interpretation was tenders for arbitration had to be offered by midnight dec 1 and CBA expires 1159 pm dec 1 23 hours later.

        Not sure it matters. Krall indicated reds are tendering Garrett and probably everyone . He even sadly mentioned my prior sarcastic notion that Jeff Hoffman might be in the mix as a starter

        Long cold december and january for us Reds fans

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      At least Hoffman is not tendered and Gray is traded.

  9. SteveO

    Austin Cox, a LHP that the Royals didn’t protect would have been a good addition. Will begin 2022 season at age 25 and projected to be at AAA. Starter now, but could fill a role in the bullpen for the Reds in 2022 I thought. Penny pinching Reds can save approximately 1.5-1.7M by non tendering Garrett and adding Cox on rookie contract.

  10. Ryan

    I agree Old School my heart isn’t beating any faster from these roster moves

  11. SteveO

    Austin Cox, who the Royals did not protect would have been a good choice. LHP in age 25 season for 2022. Projected at AAA. Penny pinching Reds could save 1.5M by non tendering Garrett and putting Cox in the bullpen at rookie minimum salary. Kyle Zimmer, if he passes waivers and chooses FA, looks like a prime target the Reds would go after. Reds like former 1st rounders on minor league deals. Scott Moss in the same boat for possible return to the Reds org. Moss 4th rounder though, so might not be on the radar.

    • SteveO

      My bad, don’t think Moss can opt for FA.

  12. Michael B. Green

    Kyle Zimmer is someone that CIN may want to target for sure.

    • Jim Walker

      Frazier #5 overall pick in 2013 and Zimmer #5 overall pick in 2012. What could possibly go wrrroonnggg? (Asking for Nick Senzel #2 overall in 2016).

  13. RedsGettingBetter

    I didn’t expect Daniel Duarte went to be protected. Otherwise I expected they protect Drew Mount or Ed Salazar.
    Clint Frazier was no protected by Yankees reportedly via tweet.. I remember Frazier being a trade cheap wanted constantly from some fans when rumors of trading Castillo arised…

    • JB

      Hope the Reds take a flier on Frazier. His career seems to mirror Senzel as Frazier has had injuries . Concussions have led to vertigo last year which shut him down for the season. Reds aren’t going to sign big time Free Agents so they might as well sign some Fraziers and see which one sticks.

      • BK

        I would be willing to see the Reds give him a shot, too.

    • MBS

      Frazier could be the 22 “Naquin”, definitely worth a shot. The internal OF replacements are 1+ years away. Hopefully Cedrola doesn’t get picked up in the rule 5, he could be a short term solution if injuries arise. We don’t have a lot of quality defenders, and he makes contact.

  14. Mark

    The Reds definitely need to look at Frazier and any good left handed reliever so we can release/trade Garrett.

  15. CI3J

    I just hope Greene doesn’t get Chapman-ed. Just because a guy throws triple digits doesn’t mean you have to make him the closer. And conspicuously, the Reds need a closer right now…..

    • David

      I could be TOTALLY wrong about this, but I think that Chapman did not want to be a starter, because he did not want to put in the work for the result (being a starter). I think Dusty (being close to the team and players) knew this, and never tried to force the issue with Chapman and his coaching staff. The Front Office pushed this for a while, but Dusty knew better (not trying to be sarcastic here).
      Chapman had amazing natural talent, and was also quite an amazing overall athlete. But I don’t think he had the focus to be a starter. He could be a super reliever, with some work and his natural ability.
      Greene, on the other hand, has a great work ethic, and WANTS to be a starter. He is (from what I have read) very focused, pretty smart and very driven to make the most of his talent.