Usually a list that comes out a bit earlier in the spring, but with the owners having locked out the players the crew at MLB.com couldn’t publish a list full of players on the 40-man roster so they had to wait until there was baseball. Late on Thursday night was the time that they chose to unveil the new Top 100 Prospects list. Cincinnati had four players on the list.

Hunter Greene was the highest rated Cincinnati Reds prospect. The right-handed pitcher came in at #22 on the list. He’s coming off of a season where he posted a 3.30 ERA in 21 starts between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville. In his 106.1 innings he allowed just 86 hits, 13 home runs, walked 39 batters, and racked up 139 strikeouts. Added to the 40-man roster in November, Greene is currently in big league camp with the Reds and is scheduled to pitch on Monday.

Nick Lodolo, the 2019 1st round pick by the Reds, comes in at #42 on the list. The left-handed starter battled a blister issue during the 2021 season and lost nearly six weeks before returning in limited action. He would also battle a shoulder strain that cost him the final month of the year. When he was on the mound he was rather dominant, posting a 2.31 ERA in 50.2 innings – mostly in Double-A Chattanooga with the Lookouts, though he threw 6.2 innings in three starts with Triple-A Louisville.In big league camp as a non-roster invitee, Lodolo will start the Reds spring opener on Friday afternoon.

Elly De La Cruz claimed the #76 spot on the list. The switch-hitting shortstop exploded onto the prospect scene last summer, first with the ACL Reds where he only spent two weeks before joining the Low-A Daytona Tortugas. Between his two stops he hit .296/.336/.539 with 18 doubles, 9 triples, 8 home runs, and 10 steals in 61 games played.

Matt McLain, the Reds 2021 1st round draft pick, rounds out the list for Cincinnati as the #87 prospect on the list. The shortstop played in 31 games last season, 29 of them coming with the High-A Dayton Dragons. He posted a .283/.389/.462 line in 126 plate appearances with 8 doubles, a triple, 3 homers, and 10 steals. Last week after the lockout was lifted the Reds gave McLain an invitation to big league camp as a non-roster invitee.

23 Responses

  1. Matt

    I know one of the things we all want to see is if Greene breaks camp with the big league club or not. And I’ve gone back and forth whether I think he will or if the Reds will play service games or not. But I think what I’ve settled on is that: if he is one of the top 5 starters in the ST games, he will break camp with the club. BUT, the Reds will play some kind of middle (or end) of season service game, and cover it up (possibly rightfully so) as limiting innings. Greene didn’t pitch at all in 2019, and then only threw however many innings at the alt site in 2020. Then 106 last year puts him at what for this year? Maybe 140?

    Kinda the same idea for Lodolo. He had 114 between college and pro in 2019. Then whatever at the alt site, then 50 last year. Should we expect a full starter’s work load from him, even if he’s healthy all year?

    • Matt

      Then again, Greene made 21 starts last year and average 5 IP/start. 150 innings would be 30 starts with 5 IP/start. Which doesn’t sound as awful when stated like that.

      I can still see them signing another starter though so that they can “limit Greene and Lodolo’s innings” at the beginning of the year. Castillo, Mahle, Vlad, Minor, other.

      • MBS

        I’d keep Greene, Lodolo, and Williamson in AAA to start the year. I don’t know a lot about Williamson, but Greene didn’t look very good in AAA last year and, Lodolo had such a short season. Let them push their way into the rotation.

        I’d bring Ashcraft up to the pen. I hope he can fill the role Antone had last season. At the very least he’d be a good arm to add into the mix.

        I also want to see if Gutierrez and Sanmartin are really starters, or if they should be moved to the pen, both did really well with their opportunities last year.

      • MuddyCleats

        Ashcroft, Lodolo and Greene were all shut down last season for one reason or another. Couple that w/ week position player team in Cincy, and I don’t see a need to rush any of them. This Reds team is NOT built to win any time soon!!
        Watched Greene pitch twice last year, once in AA and once n AAA. Kid stayed at 100+ mph well into the 6th/7th frame both times. Also watched Ashcroft pitch a great game in AA. Both throw hard, but can they learn to PITCH @ the ML level?? Can they get ML hitters out w/out their best Fastball??? Lodolo looks to be a little more complete due to his wipeout slider? However, I haven’t seen any of them PITCH w/ a change-up which they will need at the MLB level. Greene seemed to struggle some w/ runners on base or when he gave up a hit or two. Proved to me there is still some maturing to do which is why keeping a guy like Sonny or Wade around to help the young guys would have been smart IMO. I make sure all 3 get some ML innings w/out compromising their future. If one or more of them “show out” and prove they R ready, consider promotion based on where the team is at

      • MBS

        I’m with you, I like it when a player pushes their way onto a MLB roster. I don’t like giving them a spot out of ST. Bring ‘em up hot, and actually play them, (Bell are you listening) so they can continue their hot streak into their promotion.

    • Shawn

      I’m not sure that if they keep him back it could be called manipulating service time. There are legit reasons to consider it. Short spring training, needs to work on his change up, how many innings is he going to be allowed tho throw this season? Reds are not going to be competitive, why would you rush him?

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    Graham Ashcraft is underrated. I wonder if new adquisitions Brandon Williamson and Chase Petty were ranked …

    • Bdh

      Pretty sure Williamson was ranked something like 83 and 61 by baseball america and fangraphs.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Well ,but MLB left them aside…we’ll see…

  3. Jonathan Linn

    i would love to see Greene and Lodolo piggy back as a #5 Starter. Greene goes 5, Lodolo picks it up and finishes the game or something like that.

  4. Jonathan Linn

    any chance one of these guys could be the PTBN in the Winker Trade?

    3 Julio Rodríguez
    11 Noelvi Marte
    32 George Kirby
    82 Emerson Hancock
    93 Harry Ford
    98 Matt Brash

    • Tom

      They already “won” the trade from the baseball trade calculator standpoint, so getting another prospect that is in the top 100 for MLB.com would be amazing but unlikely IMO.

  5. RedBB

    Brandon Williamson should be on that list IMO. Baseball America had him on their list and I consider them the best ranking service by far.

  6. Tom

    If you’re looking at it from the Reds’ front office POV, they are almost “aligned” for “sustainable” success.

    If they keep Castillo and Mahle until the trade deadline or even through the 2022 year, one of those pitchers, preferably Mahle for me, could be traded for a similar return to what they got from Seattle.

    Another big IF coming your way…

    IF prospects stay healthy and perform as anticipated, the 2023 rotation shapes up nicely:

    Castillo #1
    Greene solid #3
    Lodolo solid #3/4
    Williamson or Ashcraft solid #4/5
    Minor? solid 5

    Backup / pushed to pen
    Dunn
    Gutierrez
    Sanmartin

    I definitely feel like it’s 2015/2016 again and I’m filling out a similar rotation as Stephenson, Reed, Travieso, Howard, Disco, Davis, Garrett, Romano. So this is as much HOPE as it is PLAN, but it does appear the Reds have planned for something “special” as soon as 2023.

    All that’s left is to play the games and see what happens.

    • MuddyCleats

      I think many undervalue Gutierrez. No doubt, he hasn’t received the ink others have, but this kid competes. Moreover, he’s not just another thrower; he pitches and get’s guys out doing it. I think a big part of his success is HIS ability to read the hitters and then make adjustments

      • Tom

        Him holding onto the 4th or 5th spot would be great for the org and overall pretty surprising, although that thought doesn’t lend him enough credit for where he’s gotten so far. Apparently he found a greater focus a year or two ago. Let’s hope he continues to build on that.

      • MBS

        I’m a big fan of Gutierrez, I’d like to see him come out in 22 and compete again like he did last year. He tailed off at the end, which brings up a question. Was it fatigue, or did the league adjust? Probably a bit of both, but we will learn a lot about him this year.

  7. kevinz

    Like See De la Cruz improve his BB to KK rates.
    If see jump in that.
    Feel better about him.
    Plz just good health for Nick and Hunter.
    Should be Fine other wise.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, if EDLC can draw some more walks he’s going to be an absolute superstar.

      • kevinz

        Yup Agree Doug, he has everything else going for him.