We can all just forget that pitchers and catchers were supposed to begin reporting for spring training today, right? Ok, so maybe you can’t. But maybe a prospect list that has some nice things to say about some future Cincinnati Reds players will help you out just a little bit. Over at ESPN (ESPN+ subscription required to see the list), Kiley McDaniel release his 2022 MLB Top 100 Prospects list.

Hunter Greene is the top prospect from the Reds organization on the list. The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher came in at #23 on the list. In the 2021 season he posted a 3.30 ERA between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville where he made 21 starts that spanned 106.1 innings where he walked 39 batters and struck out 139 while being among the youngest pitchers in both leagues. McDaniel lists his “Type” as “Rocket-armed potential frontline starter.

You have to move down the list over 50 spots to find the next Reds prospect. Nick Lodolo cracked the list at #79 for McDaniel. The tall lefty, like Greene, saw action in both Double-A with the Lookouts and Triple-A with the Bats in 2021. But unlike Greene, Lodolo was sidelined twice during the year with a blister issue and then a shoulder issue – which has cleared up and he’s ready to go. That led to the 2019 1st round pick and 1st pitcher taken in that draft to throwing just 50.2 innings last year. When he was on the mound he was dominant, posting a 2.31 ERA with 11 walks and 78 strikeouts.

Rounding out the list for both the Reds representatives as well as the list as a whole, shortstop Elly De La Cruz came in at the #100 spot. Perhaps the biggest breakout player in all of the minor leagues, De La Cruz went from not being ranked in the Reds top 25 prospects when the year began to being a top 100 prospect in the entire game thanks to big time tools that wowed scouts as well as plenty of on-field success in his first year in the US. He began the year in Goodyear but after two weeks was promoted to Low-A Daytona. In his 61 combined games last season he hit .296/.336/.539 with 35 extra-base hits and 10 steals while playing shortstop and third base. McDaniel notes the extreme possibilities here, saying that in a year De La Cruz will likely either be a top 25 prospect or a guy who is the 25th rated prospect in the Reds organization due to his plate approach not being strong enough without improvement to handle more advanced pitching.

Depending on which prospect list you are looking at you will either see or not see Jose Barrero on it. The lists without him are using a different criteria for prospect eligibility. It would appear that ESPN is not listing him as eligible, while places like Baseball America do have him as eligible. When it comes to farm system rankings that factor is pretty large, as Barrero has been a top 50 prospect on the lists in which he was eligible.

13 Responses

  1. CI3J

    The Reds have got loads of young talent. The question is, can that young talent all figure it out at roughly the same time and, if they do, will the front office be willing to pay to fill the remaining holes?

    That’s how the Reds went on their last mini-streak of success about a decade ago. The pieces are in place for something similar to happen now, but we’ll have to see how it plays out.

  2. redsfan4040

    So what is it about Ashcraft and McLain that keeps them off lists like this? Is it me overvaluing my favorite team’s prospects, or are there red flags about their projection that drops them down?

    • MBS

      I have no idea the answer to this question, but was any prospect taken after McLain in last years draft a top 100 prospect on multiple lists? I’d guess if he has a nice year this year he could make more lists. I don’t know how prevalent this is, but you hear a lot about Ashcraft as a bullpen arm, maybe there are some red flags that we are both missing.

    • MK

      On Ashcraft it could be the same thing that took him out of the earliest rounds of the draft including his history of hip injuries.

      McLain might be that pre-draft he was listed at 5’11” but found in real life was more like 5’7″.

    • Stock

      Ashcraft needs a third pitch from what I have read. This screams bullpen arm unless his two primary pitches are extremely good or his control is extremely good.

      He started the year off fantastic. But once he made it around AA teams seem to have figured him out. His ERA the last 8 starts was 4.70.

      That said I have Ashcraft as my #9 prospect. Therefore, my opinion of him is not as high as many of the viewers here. But I guess you could also argue that my opinion of Allen, McLain, Bonnin and Hendrick is just much higher than others (especially Allen and Bonnin).

  3. Tom Reeves

    I hate to be mean but the Reds are 3% (3/100) of the top 100 prospects and are 3% (1/30) of the teams in the major league.

    • David

      You’re mean. 🙂

      I kind of have my doubts about Lodolo. He may not rise as fast as some people think. He had shoulder issues last year and then the recurrent blisters on his fingers.
      Sometimes I think these rating lists are just looking at their pedigree, ie, draft position and seeing if they have not been seriously injured (for example, pitchers and TJ surgery). Greene had TJ surgery and seems to have come back and still throwing hard. That’s another thing; he throws hard. That’s a ratings plus, but might not translate into actual ML success. Greene struggled at AAA, and whether his velocity fell off a little, or that AAA hitters adjusted better than AA hitters.
      Senzel was another super prospect, and now the reality is he is not that great and keeps getting hurt.
      Stevenson and India were highly regarded prospects, and seem to be working out.

      • Optimist

        TBH – Senzel as a prospect seems to match Senzel in MLB – it’s a top 100 list, and only 10-15 likely become all-stars, and 2-3 at most MVPs. A “highly regarded prospect” becoming a fine MLB regular is perfectly acceptable. Aside from career altering injuries, that shouldn’t affect a prospect rating too much – perhaps delay it, but ultimately performance will show through or not. Greene and Lodolo should do just that, barring further injuries, while De La Cruz, as the McDaniel comment indicates, is more all or nothing.

        As Doug note, Barrero would have added more juice to this, and I suspect McLain missed simply due to lack of stats/playing time. He should join De La Cruz in midsummer’s list, and next years. It will be a very good sign if the Reds add another 2 or 3 and keep the pace going. Really need 3-5 per year with this status.

    • Mark Moore

      So 30 teams with 3 each on the list is 90 … the math seems to work out for me. Plus it’s all subjective in the end.

  4. MK

    On Ashcraft it could be the same thing that took him out of the earliest rounds of the draft including his history of hip injuries.

    McLain might be that pre-draft he was listed at 5’11” but found in real life was more like 5’7″.

  5. Stock

    Maybe I am being overly optimistic but I think that a year from now Allen, Bonnin, McLain and Boyle will be top 100 prospects. Hendrick has a shot.

    Dark horses: Jose Torres, Rece Hinds, Carlos Jorge, Leonardo Balcazar, Tyler Callihan, Thomas Farr and Ricardo Cabrera

  6. ATG6

    Greene should be in the top 5 on everyone’s prospect list.
    You can teach a guy to throw a better slider or a better curveball.
    You can’t teach a guy to throw 103 mph.