Earlier this week we took a look at the pitchers in the organization that the Cincinnati Reds could potentially protect from the Rule 5 draft next week. Today we’ll be turning around and looking at the position players that the team may add to the 40-man roster to protect from other teams selecting them.

Players eligible for the Rule 5 draft this year would be anyone signed to a professional contract in 2019 or earlier, or anyone who signed a professional contract in 2020 who was 19-years-old or older at the time that they signed. A player who is not on the 40-man roster by Tuesday at 6pm ET and meets the above criteria will be eligible to be selected by another team. That player must remain on the active big league roster for the 2024 season or be offered back to their original club. The Rule 5 draft will take place on the final day of the winter meetings on December 6th.

Much like the group of pitchers, the group of position players that seem like there’s a chance someone could select or that the Reds could decide to protect.

Rece Hinds – Outfielder

Originally selected in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft, the start of the career for Rece Hinds almost couldn’t have gone worse. He played in just three games before a quad injury cost him the rest of his first season. Then 2020 happened and the season was cancelled, though Cincinnati did bring him to Prasco Park to participate so he didn’t basically miss two entire seasons in a row.

Hinds worked his way up to Double-A Chattanooga since and he spent his entire 2023 season with the Lookouts. He began the year in a big slump, but a mechanical adjustment and a different approach led to him hitting .303/.375/.617 from May 26th through the end of the season. He tied for the organizational lead with 23 home runs, and he added in 29 doubles and six triples to go along with 98 runs batted in and 20 stolen bases.

Why he could be selected

He’s got tons of tools. Hinds can run, has a cannon for an arm, plus-plus raw power (and plenty of in-game power), and he’s found success in Double-A. His adjustments made in early 2023 showed that he’s capable of making changes when needed and from that point forward he was dominant at one of the upper levels of the minors.

Why he may not be selected

This is an easy situation: The only way a team doesn’t select him is if the Reds protect him. And there is no chance that the Reds don’t protect him by adding him to the 40-man roster within the next few days.



Jacob Hurtubise – Outfielder

Cincinnati picked up Jacob Hurtubise out of Army as a free agent in 2020. He may have been selected in the draft had it been a normal year, but 2020 saw the draft cut down to just five rounds instead of 20 and left many college players to sign as undrafted free agents.

Hurtubise, like Hinds, worked his way up to Double-A Chattanooga in 2023. And he had a big first half of the season, hitting .306/.453/.492 with nearly as many walks as he had strikeouts. Cincinnati then moved him up to Triple-A where he played in 36 games and he hit even better. Hurtubise hit .390/.537/.460 for Louisville with 29 walks and just 14 strikeouts. Between his two stops he hit .330/.479/.483 and stole 45 bases to go along with 11 doubles, 10 triples, and 7 home runs.

Why he could be selected

He’s likely big league ready today. He headed to Triple-A, and while the sample size was just a month-and-a-half, he hit .390 and walked more than twice as often as he struck out. Hurtubise is capable of playing center field as well as the corners (though he’s better suited for left than for right). And if he’s on the bench, he can provide a team with an option as a pinch hitter when you need someone to bunt, make contact, or as a pinch runner when you need speed or a stolen base.

Why he may not be selected

In one of the crazier things I’ve seen in covering minor league baseball for most of the last two decades is the fact that Jacob Hurtubise has never homered in his life, at any level, before he was drafted, or in his first year as a professional, or in his second year as a professional…. until the final game of that season. This past year he added to that one career homer by hitting six more over the fence, and picking up another one on an inside-the-park homer. His power was up in a big way, but he still doesn’t have much power at all and his exit velocity numbers are are the very bottom tier. That could keep some teams away despite his upper level of the minors production.



Tyler Callihan – 2nd Base

Cincinnati’s 3rd round pick from the 2019 draft out of high school, Tyler Callihan reached Double-A late in the 2023 season. While he hasn’t been a bad hitter throughout his minor league career, he hasn’t really put together a good offensive season yet, either. In 2023 he spent 109 games in High-A Dayton where he hit .236/.312/.373. But he was promoted to Chattanooga late in the year and hit .310/.396/.460 in 22 games, showing an improved walk rate and an improved rate of contact.

Why he could be selected

Injuries have held him back a little bit as he missed most of 2021 and about two months in 2022. Reports have tended to like his hitting potential and if a team who saw him later in the season when he was hitting well in Double-A, they may believe he’s on the verge of unlocking some of what the scouting reports have said could be in there.

Why he may not be selected

He will turn 24 in June and he’s got a career OPS of .724 and only has about a month of time above A-ball. You’ve got to put a lot of faith in that one month in Double-A to select him and think he’s going to stick on the big league roster as a guy who is pretty much just a second baseman.



17 Responses

  1. Optimist

    Unless there are some other surprises or shockers among other eligible players, these seem like easy decisions. Considering it’s harder to hide a position player on a roster all season, aside from catchers, or even worthwhile to do so, there are obvious choices here – keep Hinds and Hurtubise, let Callihan slide. Hinds with all the tools is close to making the jump anyway, and with a big start in AAA, he could be up later in 2024. Hurtubise could be up even earlier, and he’s a custom made 26th man in any case.

    Callihan is what, somewhere between the 15th or 20th option amongst organization middle infielders?

    • Melvin

      “so, there are obvious choices here – keep Hinds and Hurtubise, let Callihan slide”

      I concur.

    • DaveCT

      “Hurtubise (is) … a custom made 26th man in any case.”

      Agreed. As his floor. His ceiling may be (as someone mentioned) Steven Kwan. Or a Brett Butler left fielder, if teams go further in on speed.

  2. Laredo Slider

    Want the power/RBI capability of Hinds. Other 2 walk.

  3. LDS

    Hinds & Hurtubise, assuming the Reds are willing to play him without the power. Otherwise, he’s 26 by year’s end- let him go. Callihan? If selected, he’ll be back to the Reds soon enough.

  4. SultanofSwaff

    I’d protect Hurtibise and Hinds. Even if you assume a very low slugging % in the bigs (say, ~.330….but does that matter when you can swipe 50 bags??), Hurtibise could have a viable path to the bigs as a bench piece. Billy Hamilton had WAR OF 1.3, 3.1, 1.3 three consecutive years with the Reds when his OPS+ was 55, 77, and 66 so it can be done with just the speed and defense combination (and isn’t that part of the beauty of baseball?). I’d contend Hurtibise, with his equal BB/K rates has a more solid foundation to work with.

  5. BK

    As stated during the pitching discussion, Hinds is a lock. Because he’s already hit AAA and had success, Hurtubise should be added, too. Acuna is the last one I would consider; I lean against it as I don’t think he would stick with another team, but he could be selected.

    Barring an injury or trade, Hurtubise fits poorly on the Red’s roster as an LH hitter. However, his speed and defense could have value in filling in when an OF is on the IL. The power will have to improve for his ceiling to rise above fourth OF, but he does have a couple of standout skills to warrant a bench spot at some point in the future.

    • Optimist

      My favorite Hurtubise comparison is Steven Kwan, who has 1,200 ABs the past 2 seasons as a better than average LFer, though without much power. If Hurtubise can summon up anything above zero power, he may be an average MLBer. Easily a 4th or 5th OF sub with the defensive and speed attributes.

      A good spring and 2 months in AAA and he’s as ready as he can get.

      • BK

        A Kwan-like performance would be an outstanding outcome for Hurtubise. With the other Reds’ other starters, a player like Kwan would fit really well. One thing that helps Kwan is that he has very narrow splits, which is the other area to watch with Hurtubise aside from his power to determine if he has starting potential. Since Benson and Fraley are pretty well-rounded hitters against RHP, Hurtubise will likely need to offer an everyday option, like Kwan does, to dislodge one of them.

  6. RedBB




    • wkuchad

      What’s the 5% that thinks we won’t keep Hinds?

      • Doug Gray

        The Reds fold as a franchise? The sun explodes? The super volcano under Montana erupts and takes us all out?

      • old-school

        Hes traded to the Phillies who have Nick castellanos on the market.

      • James K

        Other possibilities: Between Now and Tuesday, the Reds sign the top 15 free agents, so there’s no room left on the Röster. Monday Night, all the front Office get roaring drunk and they are too hung over to do anything on Tuesday…

  7. MBS

    We’re one injury away from needing Hurtubise, so he’s in, and Hinds just has too much potential not to include. Callihan if we have the room, but honestly I’d protect Free over Callihan, but I hope we retain both.

  8. DaveCT

    Hinds, no question.

    Callihan, no (while I may be higher on him than others, he’s a least 1 to 1 1/2 years away *should he produce better.*). If we lose him, others will flood in behind him.

    Hurtubise, soft yes. If he’s not protected, he will be gone, and will have value as a 4/5th OF. If he is protected, he may well be blocked by Friedl, Benson and Fraley, as well as needed RH outfielders, Senzel, Fairchild, Hopkins, Dunn, etc, so he is a depth piece for 24. A depth piece and a piece waiting in the wings for a need above has value. However, if not actively contributing this year, moving him or another player above him as part of a trade to improve this year’s team becomes the main justification to protect him. Classic protect now, utilize later.

  9. Rick

    Hinds and Hurtubise are keepers.
    I like Hinds potential as a big power, big arm, corner OF’er. If he handles 3A well he’ll become a core player. We need the power & cannon.
    Hurtubise, good role player does does the fundamental things that we lack to often situationally, especially late game. Speed, OB %, speed, bunting, yeah.