It’s been a tough go of it as a professional baseball player for Rece Hinds. After being drafted in the 2nd round back in the 2019 season he suffered a quad injury just three games into the season with then rookie-level affiliate Greeneville and missed the remaining 63 games of the season. After spending the 2020 season at the Cincinnati Reds alternate training site, the Reds sent Hines to Low-A Daytona where a knee injury caused the third baseman to miss another two months of the season. He played in just 43 games with the Tortugas (and another 11 games with the ACL Reds on a rehab assignment as he came off of the knee injury).

With early minor league camp getting underway for position players on Monday there was something a bit new on the table for Hinds. Cincinnati has decided to take a look at how he may be able to play in the outfield after never playing there in the past. Shawn Pender, the Reds vice president of player development told Mark Sheldon of that the position change wasn’t set in stone.

While Rece Hinds is known for his big time power more than anything else, he also has a big time arm. He’s had some struggles defensively at third base in the minors, posting an .890 fielding percentage there with 11 errors in just 43 games played. Moving him off of third base does make his arm a little less valuable, though if he winds up in right field the arm would still have plenty of value there.

Limiting MiLB rosters off the table for now

Last week it was reported that as a part of collective bargaining the owners wanted to have the power to control how many players were allowed to be in a farm system as a league wide mandate, possibly dropping the number below 150 players. The current number is 180 players – not including the Dominican Summer League. On Monday that offer was pulled off of the table.

Jeff Passan of ESPN noted that this doesn’t mean Major League Baseball won’t still attempt to do this in the future.

21 Responses

  1. LDS

    Early last season, the Reds were touted as having a surplus of outfielders. Now? So Hinds will join Senzel and Barrero as potential outfielders instead of playing their natural position?

    • MBS

      To be fair Doug just said he wasn’t any good at fielding his “natural” position. My only issue with him in the OF is his scouting report has him at a 45 on speed. If he can hit MLB pitching, he’s probably a DH.

      • Doug Gray

        I’ll argue that the 45 on that report is inaccurate. Thanks to the Hawkeye down in the Low-A Southeast we have actual speed metrics we can line up. Hinds fastest feet/second was 30. He reached 28+ another 11 times.

        To put into perspective where 30 feet per second ranks – I have data on 2962 running attempts from the league last year. 30 feet per second ranks 29th (tie). His top speed is actually pretty fast.

      • MBS

        That’s great news, that’s much faster than his rating indicates. Hopefully his defense is better in the OF than the hot corner. The Reds could use all the help they can get in the OF.

  2. Old Big Ed

    I am good with Rece Hinds in RF. The 3B to RF move is fairly common; Nick Castellanos came up as a third basemen. (And if you thought Castellanos is bad at RF, you should have seen him at 3B.)

    Meanwhile, I saw a photo from Goodyear yesterday, and Elly De La Cruz is a bit taller than the 6’4″ Hinds. When the Reds signed De La Cruz at age 16, he looked like a teenage Pokey Reese. Now he looks like the 6’5″ Usain Bolt, except with elite bat speed. He still needs a better feel for the strike zone, but he has an almost unlimited ceiling.

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree. Nice to see Cincy developing some speed and athleticism! It’s hard to manufacture runs and play great Def w/out it

  3. MuddyCleats

    I like the move. Kid has a big time bat, arm strength and good speed. Being in OF should allow him to use those skills to the max and relax more when @ AB. More than likely, Senzel moves back to the INF and Barrero seems on track to out grow SS position and become another OF? Question is, who’s going to hit – continue to develop.

  4. MK

    This move could stop a future position collision with Ivan Johnson who I could see ending at third.

  5. Optimist

    This is encouraging. He’s only 21, and last year, even with a bit of missed time, was finally productive after the initial injury and the lost COVID year. It’s the bat that will determine where he goes, so if he can produce in high A and perhaps a late season touch in AA, he should be set.

    Doug – will he start in Dayton, or is it back to Daytona to start the year?

    • DaveCT

      Agreed. His tools match well in RF, including his power and offensive upside. This will also allow Hinds to move as quickly as his bat develops, instead of potentially seeing his defense slow down his timetable.

    • Doug Gray

      I haven’t put together a full on depth chart yet, and really, a lot of things could depend on the big league situation, too. Locked out 40-man guys can’t play in the minors, which would push some guys up a level to fill out spots that are vacated by those players who can’t play. If I had to place money on it I would say Dayton.

      • Shawn

        2024 roster without adding anyone.

        C- Stephenson. -1st year arbitration
        C- Mark Kolozsvary or Matheu Nelson or Daniel Vellojin 600,000
        1B- Eugenio Suarez- 11,286,000 (last year of contract)
        2B Jonathan India- 1st year Arbitration
        SS- Jose Barrero- 1st year arbitration
        3B Matt McLean- 600,000
        OF- Alan Cerda- 600,000
        OF- Rece Hinds- 600,000
        OF- Nick Senzel- 3rd year arbitration
        BN- Alejo Lopez – 1st year arbitration
        BN- TJ Friedl – 1st year arbitration
        BN- Ivan Johnson- 600,000
        BN- Lorenzo Cedrola- 600,000

        SP- Hunter Greene- 600,000
        SP- Nick Lodolo- 600,000
        SP- Graham Ashcraft- 600,000
        SP- Christian Roa- 600,000
        SP- Santillan- 1st year arbitration

        RP- Duarte 600,000
        RP- Gutierrez- 1st year arbitration
        RP- SanMartin- 600,000
        RP- Antone- 2nd year arbitration
        RP- Simms- 3rd year arbitration
        RP- Hoffman- 3rd year arbitration
        RP- Warren- 600,000
        RP- Moreta- 600,000

  6. Hoyce

    Move hinds to 1B. Hopefully can replace votto in a few.
    Move De la Cruz to CF. At 6’5” and the speed and arm. He will be great out there
    And for the love of god. Leave Barrero at SS. And play him 100%of the time from day 1

      • Alan Horn

        Agree. It could change going forward but for now it is the way they should go.

    • MK

      might leave De La Cruz at shortstop. Barrero has nearly a year of service time already. he will be ready to make big money in arbitration or free agency and the Reds will trade him or let him walk at about same time de la Cruz is ready. Same with India so McLain can take over.

    • Droslovinia

      Brandon Larson was an amazing hitter in the minors. How did that work out again? What have we learned from that?

      • Shawn

        Votto was also an amazing hitter in the minors. What did we learn from that?

      • Doug Gray

        Brandon Larson was not an amazing hitter in the minors. After his age 25 season in the minors his career minor league OPS was .799.

        Now, when he turned 26 and was very old for any legitimate prospect, he finally figured out how to hit Triple-A pitching and crushed the ball for Louisville when he was 26, 27, and 28.

        What we learned here is that old dudes crushing the ball in the minors probably doesn’t mean much.

      • Optimist

        Gary Redus was “an amazing hitter in the minors”, perhaps the most amazing ever for one year, when he was also a few years older than the rest of the league. Larson was pretty good, eventually, and past his prime years at that.

        Redus has a fine, and largely forgotten, career. Larson, not at all.