As was said two weeks ago when Baseball America released their Top 100 list, it’s prospect list season. On Monday it was Keith Law over at The Athletic with the latest Top 100 list to hit the internet. Law ranked three Cincinnati Reds prospects inside his Top 100 – but we do need to note that on his list Jose Barrero was not eligible, while he has been for other lists based around how they calculate eligibility.
At the top of the list for the Reds is right-handed pitcher Hunter Greene. He came in ranked at #12 on the list, which is up from where he was at last year when Law had him rated 28th overall. Greene made seven starts in Double-A Chattanooga and then made 14 more in Triple-A Louisville in the 2021 season. Between the two stops he posted a 3.30 ERA in 106.1 innings where he allowed 86 hits – 13 of which were home runs – and walked just 39 batters and picked up 139 strikeouts along the way.
Next up from the Reds organization was shortstop Elly De La Cruz. The infielder came in as the 69th overall prospect on the list. Not only was De La Cruz the breakout prospect for Cincinnati this year, he was probably the biggest break out prospect in all of baseball in the 2021 season. He has the tools to be a superstar, but there remains a much lower floor thanks to his pitch recognition/plate discipline that showed up in Low-A where he had just 10 walks to go against 65 strikeouts in 50 games. Still, a shortstop that had 18 doubles, 9 triples, and 8 home runs in 61 total games on the season to go along with above-average to plus tools across the board is going to get anyone excited.
The last Reds prospect to make the list may surprise you a little bit (but more on that later). Shortstop Matt McLain came in at #72 on the list. The 1st round draft pick from 2021 spent most of the year as a professional with the Dayton Dragons, though he did get his feet wet in Goodyear in a 2-game showing with the complex level team before moving up to High-A. With a late draft date and the gap in time between the end of the college season and the draft, guys just don’t play as much after the draft anymore. McLain only played in 31 games, but hit .283/.389/.462 in that time with 17 walks, 10 steals, and 24 strikeouts.
What’s a bit surprising is that left-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo isn’t on the list. Now, every prospect evaluator doesn’t have to be in agreement on things. And truthfully, the gap between the guy rated 50th and 125th is very, very small. In many organizations that means that one guy would be the 2nd rated guy and the other is the 3rd rated guy. Still, Lodolo has had a good showing on other lists. Baseball America had him at #36 and Baseball Prospectus had him at #42. In the chat following the release of the list Law cited the shoulder injury at the end of the season and his change up as reasons he left him off of the list.