Rece Hinds was a third baseman for the first three years of his professional career. He wasn’t on the field much in his first season, playing in just three games before a quad injury cost him over two months on the injured list. In 2020 he spent time at the Cincinnati Reds alternate site, and then in 2021 he played about half of a season – missing the other half after tearing meniscus in his knee (he played both before and after the injury, missing time in the middle of the year). But this spring when he arrived to spring training the Reds had a new idea they wanted to try out – Rece Hinds, the outfielder.
The idea worked out because the move has moved from trying it out in spring training to it’s happening in the regular season with Hinds set to begin the year in the High-A Dayton Dragons outfield.
“Honestly, I love it out there,” Hinds said about the move to the outfield. “It’s a lot more relaxing than on the infield, not as much pressure, a lot easier being on the grass and on a softer surface. Other than that, I love it.”
Remaining on the field would be a great thing for Rece Hinds. Last season he crushed the ball, hitting .252/.319/.515 in Daytona with 10 home runs, 10 doubles, and 2 triples in just 43 games played. He had another 7 extra-base hits in 11 games of rehab with the Arizona Complex League Reds.
We need to also be sure to put that power output into context. The Florida State League, or as it was known in 2021 – The Low-A Southeast – is the toughest league in all of minor league baseball to hit for power in. The league had a slugging percentage of .370. Only one team slugged over .400 in the entire league – Tampa, who slugged and incredible .454.
The Midwest League has also been a league that’s favored pitching for most of it’s existence, but it’s been more friendly to hitters than the Florida State League has been. It will be interesting to see how the power from Hinds translates this season in a league where the ball does fly a little bit better.