The Cincinnati Reds have landed two players in the top 20, and four players in the top 100 prospect list that was released this morning by The Athletic’s Keith Law.

Elly De La Cruz earned his highest ranking so far this offseason, coming in as the #4 overall prospect in baseball. The shortstop is coming off of a season where he hit .304/.359/.586 with 47 stolen bases, 31 doubles, 9 triples, and 28 home runs. He did that while splitting his season between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga as a 20-year-old. Law notes that if he can make some improvements with his pitch recognition and swing selection that he might end up being the best player in baseball.

Here’s a video of a 491-foot home run from Elly De La Cruz during the second half of the season.

The next Reds prospect on the list was third baseman Cam Collier. Law had him rated as the #2 prospect in the draft this past summer and it seems that nothing has changed his opinion on the now 18-year-old as he rated him 17th overall. Collier graduated high school after his sophomore year and enrolled at Chipola Junior College – one of the top JUCO programs in the country – and went out and hit .333/.419/.537 as a 17-year-old. He fell to the 18th overall pick in the draft and signed with Cincinnati for an overslot bonus. After signing he only played in nine games (the draft is very late in the season now, so draft picks don’t get to play much following the draft), but went out and hit .370/.514/.630 with more walks and strikeouts.

Noelvi Marte is next on the list and he finds himself just inside the Top 50, coming in as the #49 prospect in the game. Acquired at the trade deadline from Seattle, Marte spent his 2022 season at the High-A level between the two organizations. He hit .279/.371/.458 with 19 home runs, 23 doubles, and added in 23 stolen bases. Law does think that Marte is going to wind up playing third base, instead of shortstop where he’s played for his entire career, but that his bat works for the position and that his defense should be fine at the hot corner once he gets some more experience there.

The final Cincinnati prospect on the list came over with Marte in the same deal from the Mariners. Shortstop Edwin Arroyo showed up at #58 overall. He played the 2022 season as an 18-year-old in Single-A, splitting his season between Modesto and then Daytona once he arrived into the Reds organization. He hit .293/.366/.480 with 14 home runs, 10 triples, and 25 doubles last year to go along with 27 steals. Known more for his defense, Law notes that Arroyo has All-Star upside.

With all of the trades that Cincinnati has made over the last 12 months there has been a big infusion of talent on the farm for the Reds. That’s what you would expect when trading high quality, proven big league talent for minor league players. With that said, only two prospects from all of the trades made this list and both came over in the same trade for one player – Luis Castillo. With that said, Spencer Steer has shown up on other Top 100 lists, as has Connor Phillips. And Christian Encarnacion-Strand put up numbers at the plate that rival those of Elly De La Cruz, just without the steals or defensive upside.

24 Responses

  1. Moon

    I was at the game where Cruz hit that homerun. It was in Madison, AL against the Trash Pandas. Cruz had a great game and literally looked like a man among boys. He is going to be a good one.

    • Jim Walker

      We all hope you are exponentially correct about EDLC!

    • Doug Gray

      I still remember watching it live (on the milbtv feed) and going back and watching it a few times on replay trying to figure out where the heck it landed. Just an absolute blast.

  2. Fanman

    Reminds me of a switch hitting Eric Davis

    • David

      Yes, that, and is something like Josh Hamilton, too. Josh just had an electric bat…a lot of bat speed. The ball just jumped off his bat.
      Eric also had just tremendous bat speed, getting to the ball.

      Just immense talent in that young man, Elly De La Cruz.

  3. Melvin

    I’m excited about seeing EDLC. We can only hope the team is sold BEFORE Big Bob & Son say, “Trade him. We’re not going to pay him”.

  4. Votto4life

    I am excited about EDLC too. I can’t wait to see him in Cincinnati WHEN he is ready. EDLC needs to drastically cut down on his strike outs. Whiffing over 30% of the time in AA, tells me he is no where near ready for the major leagues.

    • JB

      If he whiffs once every three at bats and still hits .300 and OPS of 900 and steals 40 bases, I won’t care.

      • Votto4life

        If he is Whiffing 30% in A-AA, He will be whiffing close to 50% in the majors. Everyone player is Babe Ruth, until they see a major league slider.

  5. Old-school

    Read the article by Law

    He said he values ceilings over floors

    The term “if he maintains conditioning “ was used twice on Marte and said zero chance he stays at shortstop and could be average 3b or corner OF but hes filling out his frame.

    Why not move him now for ST to corner OF and get him in with nutritionists and trainers.

    • Harry Stoner

      They should have a plan in place before Bell starts jockeying him around in different positions while he’s simultaneously adjusting to advanced pitching.

      ‘Average 3rd baseman’ doesn’t sound too promising.

      • Doug Gray

        Defensively. Average defensively.

    • Doug Gray

      Why would you move him to the outfield when he could play third?

      • Old-school

        Because they have no outfielders who can hit or have a good arm and they have high drafts picks and trade prospects who can play infield

        Cam Collier Spencer Steer Mclain and of course….EDLC

      • Doug Gray

        Marte has zero at-bats above A-ball. Plenty of time to see what happens with the guys in front of him.

      • Harry Stoner

        Isn’t C E-S slated for eventual 3B consideration, too?

        Then there’s Steer, and 3-4 other SSs piling up.

      • Doug Gray

        Until one of them locks the spot down, I’m not moving any of them to the outfield.

      • MBS

        It’s practical to have the SS’s split significant starts at other positions, as they will not all end up as SS’s on the Reds. I do agree with @Doug, why wouldn’t the split for Marte be SS / 3B? EDLC should be SS / CF or RF, and McLain SS / 2B and CF. I view McLain as a possible India replacement if the Reds trade him, and I view that as likely in the next 2 seasons. I could also see McLain as the Reds most versatile player, the Super Sub playing almost everyday all over the field.

      • Old-school

        Im just going by what Law said. Law said Marte has zero chance to stay at SS. His frame is getting bigger and conditioning is needed going forward.

  6. MBS

    It would be nice to see these guys coming up staggered EDLC at some point in 23, Marte at some point in 24, Arroyo at some point in 25, and Collier at some point in 26. I wouldn’t hold back or accelerate the arrivals, but those seem like likely starts, and it would spread talent over a longer period. It would make it easier for the organization to extend players if they don’t need to extend 2 or 3 at the same time.

  7. Redsvol

    Good look to have 4 in the top 60 of Keith Law’s list. Keith is tough on his rankings. I think he is very biased toward the big markets but that is just opinion.

    This didn’t even include many of the players picked up in the trades that are highly thought of but just don’t have super high ceilings. In addition we will have 4 picks in the top 90 this upcoming draft.

    • DaveCT

      Keith has traditionally been tough on Reds prospects.

      • Mark Moore

        Keith traditionally writes about the Reds in an adversarial tone (at least that’s how I read his stuff about our team).

  8. Old-school

    Kiley McDaniel at ESPN has his top 100 out and Reds get 4 in the top 50 with EDLC # 9, Arroyo late 30’s, Marte mid 40’s and Collier #50. Steer wasnt in the top 100 but was included in a remaining list of prospects in the FV 50 category- future value average MLB player.

    EDLC was a 60 FV with concerns about Chase rate and hitting but unheard of FV 70/70/70 in the speed/arm/power categories in one player.