Baseball America has released their 2022 Top 100 Prospects list today and there are four Cincinnati Reds prospects on the list. Cincinnati kept it simple with their four as they landed two pitchers and two shortstops on the list.

Shortstop Jose Barrero topped the list for the Reds, coming in at #33 overall on the list. He split his minor league season between Double-A Chattanooga with the Lookouts and Triple-A Louisville with the Bats. Between his two stops he hit .303/.380/.539 with 19 doubles, a triple, 19 home runs, and he had 16 stolen bases. He would also participate in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend where he drew a walk and hit a monster home run. Later in the season he would be called up to Cincinnati for the final two months of the year and would play sparingly, hitting .200/.286/.320 while spending more time in the outfield than at shortstop for the big league club.

Hunter Greene wasn’t far behind Barrero on the list as the right-handed starter clocked in at #35 overall. Like Barrero, he split his time in the minors in 2021 between Double-A and Triple-A. He would make seven starts for Chattanooga and post a 1.98 ERA in 41.0 innings with 14 walks and 60 strikeouts. Cincinnati then sent him to Triple-A for the rest of the season. He had some hiccups along the way there, but the then 21-year-old was the youngest player in the league for most of the season and racked up 79 strikeouts with 25 walks in 65.1 innings while posting a 4.13 ERA. Overall he threw 106.1 innings with a 3.30 ERA and 139 strikeouts.

Another Red followed Greene on the list as left-handed starter Nick Lodolo came in at #36 on the Baseball America list. He began the year in Chattanooga as well and he was utterly dominant when he was on the mound, but unfortunately an issue with blisters on his pitching hand limited him for nearly a month and a half during the year. The lefty posted a 1.84 ERA in 44.0 innings spread out over 10 starts with 9 walks and 68 strikeouts. He would make a brief appearance in Louisville later in the season where he made three starts for the Bats, striking out 10 batters in 6.2 innings while allowing four runs. Between the two stops the 23-year-old had a 2.31 ERA with 11 walks and 78 strikeouts before he was shut down for the final month.

Elly De La Cruz burst onto the prospect scene this summer and he went from a relatively unknown player to basically the Doge Coin meme of the dog riding the rocket to the moon. De La Cruz jumped from not being rated among the Reds top 30 prospects entering the year to being rated 77th overall in baseball when the season ended. The switch-hitter began the year in Goodyear at the complex level with the ACL Reds, but was quickly promoted to Daytona after posting an OPS over 1.200 in the first two weeks there. He finished the season with 50 games in Low-A with the Tortugas where he hit .269/.305/.477. The 19-year-old had 35 extra-base hits in just 61 games during the year.

26 Responses

  1. LDS

    Four is a good start but that count really needs to go up. If a team isn’t buying talent on the FA market, isn’t trading for talent, and not retaining affordable players that are decent, then development is the last option, and they need more candidates on the list.

    • Doc

      Count the blessings. There are 30 teams so the average per team is less than four. I don’t know how likely it is that the Reds’ fifth best prospect is better than the fourth best on half of the league or more.

  2. CI3J

    Someone needs to show this list to David Bell.

    • MuddyCleats

      Yes, but bringing them up too soon and having them struggle helps no one either.

      Let’s hope the top 3 make it easy on Bell / Reds by showing out in ST! IF there is a ST that is? If not, I believe they’ll have no problems playing in Minors and that’s what you want – for these guys to play and develop. I think all 3 will spend a significant amount of time in the ML this season!

      Da Le Cruz is a pleasant surprise. I look forward to seeing him play this year. I’d guess he’ll start in Daytona or Dayton and see Chattanooga at some pt ?

      • JoshG

        And yet had two guys in the top 5 for rookie of the year… including the winner .. hmm
        I’m not a David Bell fan But if they are truly ready, they’ll play

  3. Optimist

    Interesting – I thought the pitchers would be a bit higher, and De La Cruz a bit lower. For someone with 2 years already in MLB Barrero seems about right. This is very good, and if they have another 3 or 4 ranked 100-150, and repeat this showing it next year they will really be accomplishing something.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    McLain is underated… Maybe if he had been taken by NYY or LAD would made the list…I don’t know

  5. Mark Moore

    Part of me is drooling with anticipation at Greene and Lodolo in the same rotation in Cincy. For now, I’d be happy to follow their progress in L’ville if the lunkheads “negotiating” quash the season (or at least delay it).

    I’m with others about not rushing these guys. Some very valuable weapons, so let’s not blow it with them.

    • Ryan

      Ah yes to channel Lance McAllister, the latest minor league savior heroes

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        To channel me – never channel Lance.

  6. RedBB

    Wow…very surprised to see Elly on the list. Kudos to him

  7. votto4life

    Jose Barrero listed as the 33rd best prospect is baseball, despite some on here who
    keep calling him a bust.

    • David

      I don’t think he could possibly be a bust yet. Remembering Davey Concepcion barely hit over 0.200 in ’71 and ’72. At the very end of ’72, he switched to a lighter bat (I guess Sparky and Klu had been after him to change), and then there was the great first half of 73, before he broke his ankle.
      Barrero looks like a great young talent. He just needs the actual at bats and being in the field to prove it.
      I don’t think Lodolo pitched enough innings in the minors last year to really be ready for the Majors. Greene might be close to being ready, but they guy is only 21. I don’t want him up here not physically ready, and see another arm injury wrecking a potential great young pitcher, and nobody here wants that.

      • Old Big Ed

        Greene turned 22 in August, but you are otherwise on point. He pitched 106 innings last year, plus he was in “spring” training through April, so he likely isn’t going to be throwing much more than 140 innings this year.

        On the other hand, I don’t see much point in wasting a lot of those innings in AAA. To me, Greene doesn’t have much more to learn from facing AAA hitters, and the best place for him to get better is Cincinnati.

        Lodolo is in a bit of the same boat, except that his innings limit will be closer to 120 innings, and he likely needs a month or so of that to be in AAA. Lodolo turns 24 in early February.

        I guess that the most the Reds can realistically hope is that between the two of them, they will fill the innings equivalent of one slot in the rotation. And avoid injury.

    • 2020ball

      He’s not a bust, but he’s shown literally nothing in the majors so far. Blowing that sentence out of proportion seems actually more ridiculous than someone saying he’s a bust.

  8. Frankie Tomatoes

    To channel me, never channel Lance.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      This was meant to be a reply.

  9. LDS

    I saw a list of Reds ST invitees yesterday that included Ashcraft and Lodolo but not Greene. He’s not on the current 40 man roster. Any significance?

    • Old Big Ed

      Greene is on the 40-man. Some sites may not have it yet, but he had to be promoted to avoid be exposed to the Rule 5 draft.

      • LDS

        Makes sense. Some sites are definitely behind the times then. Thanks.

  10. 2020ball

    I’m not, he’s got the potential to play himself onto the list this year for sure though.

  11. Redsvol

    just graduated India, Stephenson, Santillian, Gutierrez and San Martin onto the major league roster with what should be considered excellent results for rookies. Having 4 still on a respectable top 100 list is very good. If we can get McClain and Hendricks to have a good year the farm would look incredible.

    • 2020ball

      Hendricks seems a long way out to me, where as McClain feels like he could be a fast riser. Hopefully Hendricks finds his stroke a little more this year, to me (without having watched him) it seems he struggles with some consistency with his mechanics and an uppercut swing. He unfortunately has some bust potential to him, hoping to see an improvement this year.

      • 2020ball

        I’m hoping Allen continues his fast rise mostly.