The Rule 5 draft is coming up in about a month, as long as there is no lockout before the winter meetings. But teams don’t have that long to protect players from the draft itself. That deadline is up on November 19th – that’s this upcoming Friday for those of you who don’t have a calendar handy. There’s more than a few players up for selection if they are left unprotected. One of the top names on the list for the Cincinnati Reds is outfielder Allan Cerda, who also happens to be their 20th rated prospect.

The Case for Protection

In 2021 it was a breakout season for Allan Cerda. He’s flashed plenty of tools in the past, and in 2019 he showed some of them while playing in Greeneville at the rookie-level. He took things to another level in 2021 with Daytona and Dayton. In 87 games he hit 22 doubles, 5 triples, and had 17 home runs. He posted a .250/.361/.523 line while scoring 57 runs and driving in 55.

From a tools perspective, Allan Cerda’s got five of them that are average or better. He’s an above-average defender that can handle any of the three spots in the outfield, though almost all of his time as a professional has come in center (he only has eight starts in right field and has never started in left). His power potential is above-average and he really began to tap into it this season in games, too.

Teams take chances on high upside players in the Rule 5 draft, even if they are seemingly a little bit further away from the Major Leagues. Allan Cerda certainly has a high upside as a potential every day centerfielder who can bring value in both the field and at the plate.

The Case for leaving him exposed

Above we looked at why it would make sense for the Cincinnati Reds to add Allan Cerda to the 40-man roster and remove all doubt as to whether someone would take a chance on selecting him. But there are reasons that may leave doubt as to whether he would be selected, too.

While Cerda put together a very strong season in 2021, it came mostly in Low-A Daytona. He finished strong in High-A Dayton, but it was just 21 games played at the level. Sometimes guys put things together very quickly and can make that kind of jump in a short amount of time, but most players need to spend some time working a little bit at each level and picking up things along the way before they are ready to play in the big leagues.

In 2021 the outfielder made more contact than he had back in 2019 despite splitting his time at two levels higher than where he was. Still, the right-handed hitter struck out in 29% of his plate appearances between his two stops in A-ball. Teams may be wary about just how much contact he could make in 2022 against big leaguers based off of that.

What will happen?

If I had to bet money, and I do not, I’d guess that the Reds add Allan Cerda to the 40-man roster next week. While you can certainly make the argument that the odds probably aren’t great that he would be able to stick on a big league roster all year because the jump from A-ball to the big leagues is so large, he’s also exactly the kind of player a team would think about taking a chance on. There’s a lot of upside there. And more than a few teams could be willing to use him as a bench/utility guy while developing him in the background and picking and choosing spots to give him opportunities at the plate. Add in that rosters are also larger now than they used to be, and it makes it a bit easier to try and carry someone that you want to try to hide a little bit for developmental purposes.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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22 Responses

  1. LDS

    When you look at the Reds CF prospects and the current state of CF on the Reds, do they have a better candidate a couple of years down the road? I know Siani is allegedly a better defender but will he ever hit as well? Or is Siani ceiling more like Cesar Geronimo or maybe Billy Hamilton.

    • Alan Horn

      I tend to agree. No good OF prospects are near the majors in the organization right now.

    • Oldtimer

      Cesar Geronimo was a multi year Gold Glove winning, two time World Series champion, 8 year starter for the Reds, and Reds HOF member.

      I doubt Siani will reach those levels.

      • Gaffer

        Cesar also hit .300 in ‘76 back when average was still “ a thing
        ‘. Other than a brutal error against the A’s in the WS he was a very good player.

  2. Jim Walker

    You make a lot of sense Doug. But given the backwardness of the Reds organization, I would bet against them having to be burned at least a time or two before they figure out the new realities and adjust to them.

  3. donny

    I would say YES, because there is some value in a player with power who can play CF.

  4. Stock

    They need to add him for several reasons.

    1. They have spots on the 40 man available. In fact I think they have 5 spots available. Normally you create spots at the end of the year so you can acquire a FA. I don’t see the Reds making a splash in the FA market this year.

    2. By letting Miley and Barnhart go you sent a message that 2022 is not about winning. Therefore, this winter better be about 2025. Cerda is in the 2025 equation.

    3. Akil Baddoo. The Tigers picked up Baddoo in the rule 5 draft last winter and he went on to hit 13 HR and steal 18 bases with 461 PA. In 2018 he had 517 PA in A ball with an OPS of .770. In 2019 he had 131 PA in A+ ball and had an OPS of .683. Covid played a huge role in his having only 131 PA at A+ and none in AA. But it is not a risk worth taking.

  5. Mark

    CF prospect with 5 average to above average tools across the board are hard to find who would have been a junior in College in 2021. Must go on the 40 man roster. Another great job of scouting in the Dominican Republic by former Reds Dominican scout Richard Jimenez who also signed Elly De La Cruz and Moreta. Low cost signings along with Ely De La Cruz, Dauri Moreta and others. Player development Director Shawn Pender has a lot to do with the Reds resurgence in developing these younger prospects coming through the system. A background in player evaluation should be a prerequisite to being in charge of Player Development decisions. Shawn Pender has a vast experience as a scout for more than 25 years before accepting the Player Development Director position with the Reds a couple years ago.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    Maybe there will be more 40-man roster free spots in next weeks after the non-tender players deadline so it is reasonable to protect prospects with above-average upside as Cerda and others.

  7. Colorado Red


    On the other side, (may not know for a little bit yet).
    Do you see any candidates the Reds could select?
    Other high upside, big risk type guys.

  8. DaveCT

    I say protect him, as this will also create some likelihood he will called up in an emergency. I’d rather he being playing CF and striking out for us rather than someone else as he develops. His tools are just too good.

  9. Norwood Nate

    I say protect him. The Reds will have spots to fill and not too many other candidates with the upside of Cerda to protect. The risk of losing him, while maybe minimal, is not worth the the potential he shows for the future.

  10. MK

    Unfortunately MLB couldn’t get a pass like NCAA Seniors got of an extra year due to CoVid minor league shutdown.

    Got to protect Cerda. He is a guy that a team like the Rays would jump all over in the Rule 5.

    • Doug Gray

      I’m thrilled that the minor league guys get credit for the missed year.

  11. Michael B. Green

    I think Cerda is the type of player that gets selected in the R5 Draft and then returned. I think if CIN was going to look at adding him to the 40MR this December, they would have given at least some playing time in Spring Training and I don’t think he had even 1 PA.

    • Doug Gray

      Spring training was forever and a half ago. A lot of things changed since then. Also – minor league spring training did not run alongside big league spring training this year. It began in April.

      There was a “minor league camp” that ran in February and March. Think of that like big league camp. But with all of the restrictions teams had to limit the total number of players in camp. So in a normal year they would have the 40-man roster, then like 30 non-roster guys, this year they had a 40-man roster, 10-ish non-roster guys, and 20-ish “early minor league camp” guys.

      The actual minor league guys you normally see come over and make appearances a few times throughout the spring…. those guys didn’t exist this year. They were not in Goodyear until the big league crew left because there were restrictions in place on how many people could be at the facilities.

      • Michael B. Green

        Excellent point, our esteemed editor and all things Cinci. Kind of unchartered territory then for protecting players. I honestly think we might see CIN take someone to keep rather than taking someone to deal or return.

  12. Hoyce

    Doug. A while back I asked who ranked cerda in their top 100. It was “” at #98