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.