On Monday I released the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect list (click here if you missed it) for the midseason mark. With an actual season happening this year, and the draft having taken place, it was the perfect time to get a full overhaul of what the farm system looked like. Today I wanted to look at the prospect who was the toughest to leave off of the list: Allan Cerda.
Right now we are seeing Allan Cerda play out of his mind. He went on the injured list on June 11th. He missed nearly an entire month, returning to the Daytona lineup on July 9th. He went zero for the week, going 0-17 in six games and he drew just two walks. But beginning July 17th he’s flipped the script and turned everything around. In the 12 games he’s played in that stretch he’s hitting .417/.560/.694 with nine walks, 11 strikeouts, four doubles, and two home runs.
The 21-year-old has a .229/.364/.459 line on the year with 24 walks and 58 strikeouts in 48 games. From a statistical standpoint he walks at a high rate, but he also strikes out at a high rate. There’s also plenty of pop in his bat.
From a scouting standpoint there’s a whole lot to like. The power is real and he’s got above-average to plus raw power. He’s got above-average speed. On defense he’s fully capable of playing centerfield, but he’s also got a plus arm that would work in right field if he had to slide over there for a stronger defender if needed.
We are talking about a 4-tool player with all four of those being above-average or better. The hit tool, though, is below-average. That’s a profile that can easily be one for an above-average big league player. You can dream on the tools for days watching Allan Cerda play if you catch him during the right time because it’s easy to see.
So what was it that kept him off of the list? For the most part it’s the inconsistency at the plate and the lack of hitting. The power’s shown up in both Greeneville back in 2019 and in Daytona this season. He’s he’s also hit .225 between those two stops. While we know that batting average isn’t nearly as important to offensive value as we once believed, there’s still plenty of value to it (it makes up a large majority of on-base percentage and a hit is still more valuable than a walk). And when we’re looking at guys in the low minors you really do want to see guys that can get hits against that caliber of pitcher because the pitchers just get better from there.
Still, it was very tough to leave him off of the list. All of the tools are there for a quality big leaguer. He’s very athletic. And you can really see him sticking out on the field among the competition at times. The consistency needs to get better at the plate, though, as he’ll go through long slumps and follow them up by a Barry Bonds impersonation at the plate for a few weeks.
We are still dealing with a relatively small sample size this season of just 48 games for Cerda. A strong remainder of the season could push him up the list and even just a little bit of improvement in the final month and a half would likely be enough to get him onto the Top 25 once again. For now, though, I’m looking to see a little more consistency and a few more hits that find the grass in Low-A.