The Cincinnati Reds have added three players to the 40-man roster today, protecting all three minor league players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. With the addition of outfielders Rece Hinds and Jacob Hurtubise, as well as right-handed pitcher Christian Roa, the Reds 40-man roster is now full.

Within the last week we took a look at which players the team could potentially add to the roster today. Rece Hinds was the one guy who seemed like an absolute lock, but also felt that Jacob Hurtubise was very likely to be protected as well. Christian Roa was among the three pitchers we listed who seemed like they had a chance to be added.

Hinds was going to be added to the Reds 40-man roster unless he decided to retire or he was traded away before today. The club’s 12th rated prospect, Hinds has plenty of tools – including the best power in the system and one of the strongest outfield arms. He’s also a plus runner. In his transition to the outfield two seasons ago, he’s made the transition well and is already a solid right fielder with a chance to be better than that with a little more experience out there.

As we noted with Hinds last week, he started out slow in Double-A this season, but towards the end of May he made both a mental and mechanical adjustment at the plate and took off. From May 26th through the end of the year he hit .303/.375/.617. Hinds tied for the organizational lead with 23 home runs and he led the farm system with 98 runs batted in. He also had 29 doubles, 6 triples, and he stole 20 bases for the Lookouts this season.

Jacob Hurtubise was patrolling the outfield with Hinds for a while in 2023 down in Chattanooga. It was a breakout season for Hurtubise, who is now the team’s 24th rated prospect, in 2023 as he hit seven times as many home runs this past year as he had hit in his entire life – at any level. Take that for what it’s worth, though, as he had only hit one home run in his entire life prior to 2023 and that home run came in the final game of the 2022 season. His seven homers this season were easily a career best and came along with 11 doubles and 10 triples.

Power is most certainly the worst of the tools that Hurtubise brings to the table. He doesn’t hit the ball all that hard. But what he does do is control the strikezone very well, make plenty of contact, and walk nearly as often as he strikes out – and actually walked more than he struck out in 2023. All of that stuff led to the Army graduate hitting .330/.479/.483 between his time spent with Chattanooga (318 plate appearances) and Triple-A Louisville (137 plate appearances).

Speed is the best of the tools that Hurtubise has and he uses it well. In 2023 he stole 45 bases during the regular season. And in the outfield he uses it to play a quality centerfield. He can also cover you in both left and right field if needed, though his defense profiles best in center and left.

With the addition of Christian Roa the Reds were likely looking at the possibility of another team selecting him in the Rule 5 draft. Roa has plenty of stuff to work with and it helped him strike out 170 batters in just 120.1 innings in 2023 while splitting time in Double-A and Triple-A. But his lack of control also led to him walking 91 batters and posting an ERA of 5.16 in his 28 games.

The 2nd round pick from 2020’s draft, Roa is not going to remain a starting pitcher without drastically reducing the number of walks he’s had as a professional. But he’s also the kind of pitcher who fits a profile that many good relievers have – a guy who had plenty of stuff, some control concerns, and were a minor league starting pitcher. Plenty of guys like that wind up transitioning into the bullpen as big leaguers and with shorter outings and usually a focus on fewer pitchers, can make things work better than they did as a starter.

Cincinnati may not be willing to give up on him as a starting pitcher just yet. They may need the additional depth in Louisville in case a call up or three is needed, but Roa will turn 25 during the first week of the season, and without a step forward as a starting pitcher the move to a potential relief role probably isn’t that far off.

30 Responses

  1. Ken

    Thank you for a comprehensive view of the 3 Reds prospects. You certainly painted a positive picture of what they can become.

  2. 2020ball

    40 is finally full, as it should be.

  3. Melvin

    These could be knocking on the ML door relatively soon.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    Ok good. Now, we can expect several DFAs along the offseason in order to open spots for FAs and trades, is it right?

    • RedsGettingBetter

      And non-tenders of course…

      • JayTheRed

        When is non-tender deadline again?

  5. Mark Moore

    I’m still wondering if/when we see some action with Senzel and Barrero. A trade would beat a non-tender, but the glut of guys with a similar profile would seem to indicate something’s got to give.

    • Mark Moore

      Deadline is this Friday at 6:00 PM US CST.

  6. Colorado Red

    cal quantrill has been DFA’d by Clev. Had a really bad year, but could be a cheap pickup. Have to trade something, won’t make it to the Reds.

    • JB

      Had a decent December. 10 runs in 32.2 innings. Like to see the Reds make a trade. If they aren’t keeping Senzel , then maybe trade him for Quantrill.

  7. Hotto4Votto

    Understand why they protected Roa, but personally have never been a believer that he’d put it together, and his journey through the minor leagues has not changed that opinion.

    Wonder if Hurtubise makes Bubba Thompson redundant on the roster.

    Excited to see what Hinds can do next season, should be in AAA.

    • Redsgettingbetter

      Hinds and Dunn an intriguing dúo to keep an eye on, likely at triple-A next year

      • MBS

        He’s not on the 40 man yet, but I see Dunn making it to the Reds 1st out of that AA OF trio last year of Hinds, Hurtubise, and Dunn.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Probably a mix of Hopkins, Hurtubise, Hinds, and Dunn in the AAA OF. Should be a pretty stout group.

    • Doc

      Could pretty much substitute Boyle for Roa in all the comments and write ups. All the same things were being said about Boyle. How did Boyle do once he was traded?

      • BK

        They had similar control issues, but I’m not sure how similar they are as pitchers. Also, I hope Boyle does well for the A’s. I really do. Boyle had a good six weeks with his new team, and his improvement started immediately. Perhaps the trade served as a bit of a wake-up call for him, or maybe he just had a nice run to close out the season. He still has much to prove to stick as a professional pitcher. Fortunately for him, he’s with an organization that can afford to give him a long opportunity.

  8. Optimist

    This seems very by the books for the Reds, particularly the pitching choice. Acuna was the other option, but much lower chance he’ll be selected, and even lesser chance he’d last all season on someone’s 26-man.

    Roa only a very mild surprise – but in a good sense. Is it expected he gets 3 months as a starter in AAA, and then they work him into the relief role?

  9. Votto4life

    I realize that Jose Barrero is not highly valued around here, but I still think he has the talent to be a productive player. If not offensively, at least as a glove first infielder.

    If the Reds send Barrero packing, I sure hope they receive something of value in return. I feel like he could become a pretty decent player. Maybe not as a starter, but certainly as a utility player. Jose’s bomb at Fenway last summer was a thing of beauty.

    • MBS

      Barrero clearly has the talent. He’s out of options, so is he one of the best 13 guys? I think he is #13 as the 40 man roster is currently constructed, because of his upside, and versatility.

      • west larry

        Agreed. I hope Bell is instructed to give Barrero 20 at bats a week, at least until the all star break, to determine if Barrero can hit major league pitching.

      • Hotto4Votto

        It’s a lot easier to keep Barrero if India is traded. Makes Barrero the clear back up at SS/2B and most likely CF as well. Plenty of opportunity for him, but the time to take advantage of the opportunities is now.

      • BK

        @WestLarry, I hope Bell is instructed to focus on winning games.

    • David

      I can understand if the Reds have “given up” on Barrero, but he does have some ML trade value with someone.

      I would not just let him walk as a free agent. Christian Roa is pretty much a stiff as a pitcher, although, again, someone would have probably grabbed him (good luck!). I would have kept Barrero on the 40 man over Roa.

  10. Jim t

    If Barrera would stop chasing sliders of the plate he could improve his stock with the team.

    • Old Big Ed

      Barrero has 8 BBs and 8 SOs in 52 PAs in the Dominican winter league, so he appears to be focusing on just that. He is also playing more games in CF than anywhere else.

      • ted

        That would be fantastic if his strikeout/walk ratio was anywhere close to that over 500 at bats. I too believe he is very talented and needs to be kept around. If he truly is focusing on pitch selection then I read that as him being coachable. I for one can extend a much longer rope to someone who is humbled and willing to listen and work towards getting better.

  11. Max

    The two outfielders are fine but piycher is a STRETCH because his ERA ha always been HIGH!!!!