When I last updated the Cincinnati Reds prospect list, the process began in the final week of June and was published in early July. It’s been six weeks since I started that process, but a whole lot has changed in that time frame. The 2022 Major League Baseball draft took place. And the Reds made a whole bunch of trades to bring in nearly 30 new players to the organization. Toss in that there’s been more and new information on the players that were already in the system and there’s a surprising amount of movement on the rankings front.
1. Elly De La Cruz | SS
The most exciting prospect in all of minor league baseball, Elly De La Cruz is a highlight waiting to happen, and it often does. He’s a 5-tool player in every sense of the word. The switch-hitter is hitting .303/.356/.606 with 20 doubles, 7 triples, 24 home runs, and 34 stolen bases in his time between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga.
2. Cam Collier | 3B
The Reds 1st round pick less than a month ago, Cam Collier spent what should have been his junior season of high school playing baseball at Chipola Junior College where he hit .333/.419/.537 as a 17-year-old with 25 walks and 33 strikeouts. The combination of tools and production at his age at the top juco program in the country gives him the number two spot on this list.
3. Noelvi Marte | SS
Acquired at the trade deadline from Seattle, Noelvi Marte was generally viewed as the top prospect acquired in all of the deals (though a few felt Edwin Arroyo was). The 20-year-old has spent his season playing in High-A Everett and Dayton and he’s hit .272/.356/.464 with 19 doubles, 17 home runs, and he’s stolen 14 bases this season in 90 games played.
4. Edwin Arroyo | SS
Acquired in the trade with Seattle along with Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo was the Mariners 2nd round pick last summer and he’s come out and hit the cover off of the ball in 2022. Splitting his season at three stops this year, though 87 of his 92 games have come in Modesto in the California League, he’s hit a combined .307/.381/.499 with 20 doubles, 7 triples, 13 home runs, and he’s stolen 25 bases. Toss in that he’s a strong defender at shortstop and you can see why some evaluators had him as the top prospect acquired by the Reds at the trade deadline.
5. Spencer Steer | 2B/3B/SS
Another trade acquisition by the Reds at the deadline, Spencer Steer came over from the Minnesota Twins in the deal for Tyler Mahle. He’s seen time between Double-A and Triple-A, making three stops this season between the two organizations. In 86 games the infielder has hit .271/.363/.522 with 23 doubles, 2 triples, and 20 home runs.
6. Matt McLain | SS/2B
Last year’s 1st round draft pick, Matt McLain has spent his entire season in Double-A with Chattanooga. He has struggled to hit for an average this season, but he’s done everything else well. In his 70 games he’s hitting .231/.349/.465 with 13 doubles, 3 triples, 14 home runs, and 17 stolen bases in 18 attempts.
7. Connor Phillips | RHP
The 21-year-old right-handed starter came over in the spring in a trade with the Mariners. After dominating in High-A Dayton he has had some struggles in Double-A Chattanooga in six starts. Between the two stops he’s posted a 3.87 ERA in 83.2 innings with 51 walks and 115 strikeouts. His control has been an issue at the Double-A level as he’s walked 19 batters for the Lookouts in just 19.2 innings.
8. Sal Stewart | 3B
Cincinnati’s compensation pick in the 1st round (32nd overall) for losing Nick Castellanos in free agency. Stewart may have been the best hitter among all of the high schoolers in the draft. He projects to hit for both average and power in the future, with the lone question being whether or not he will eventually have to move to first base.
9. Brandon Williamson | LHP
Stop me if you have read this before, but here’s another prospect acquired from the Seattle Mariners. Williamson came over in the spring in the trade that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Pacific Northwest. The lefty made 14 starts in Double-A Chattanooga before moving up to Triple-A Louisville. He’s taken a bit of a step backwards this season, posting a 4.13 ERA between the two stops. He’s walked 55 batters in 93.2 innings this season after walking just 33 last year in 98.1 innings. The lefty is still missing bats, but his stuff hasn’t been consistent, nor has the control.
10. Jay Allen II | OF
Last year’s 30th overall pick, Jay Allen II has battled inconsistency this season. He’s gotten on base often, and he’s been strong on the bases as he has stolen 28 bases in 68 games, but he’s struggled to hit for average or show much pop this season as he’s posted a .226/.361/.327 line. The 19-year-old has been a good defender in center, and there’s plenty of reason to think his bat will pick up, but there have been struggles in 2022 after a strong start to his career in 2021.
11. Chase Petty | RHP
Petty was acquired in a trade during the spring with Minnesota that sent Sonny Gray to join the Twins. The 26th overall pick in 2021 began the year in Daytona where he threw 65.0 innings before being promoted last week to High-A Dayton. Between the two stops he’s posted a 3.95 ERA in 73.0 innings with 27 walks and 65 strikeouts.
12. Rece Hinds | OF
To say that Rece Hinds had a disastrous start to the year would be an understatement. He hit .138 with 33 strikeouts in 66 plate appearances in April. He turned things around over the next two months, hitting .284/.351/.470 and also showing an improvement in the outfield – a move he made this spring after playing third base for the early parts of his career. Unfortunately in late June he suffered a broken hamate bone and has been on the injured list for the last seven weeks.
13. Ricardo Cabrera | SS
Cincinnati’s top international signing from January, Ricardo Cabrera was the highest rated non-Cuban international signing the organization has had in two decades. The 17-year-old struggled out of the gate, hitting just .120 in 17 games in June. He rebounded in a big way during July, hitting .319/.417/.514 in 85 games while dramatically cutting down his strikeout rate and showing improvements in the field, too.
14. Levi Stoudt | RHP
Another former Seattle Mariners prospect, Levi Stoudt came over at the trade deadline. The right-handed starter has made 19 starts between Double-A Arkansas (18) and Chattanooga (1). He’s been a bit inconsistent, posting a 4.99 ERA in 92.0 innings where he’s allowed 94 hits – 13 of which are homers – while walking 22 and striking out 88.
15. Andrew Abbott | LHP
Last season’s 2nd round pick by the Reds, Andrew Abbott began the year in High-A Dayton. After giving up two runs in five games and striking out 40 batters he was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. He’s battled some consistency with the Lookouts, posting a 5.46 ERA there in 62.2 innings where he’s walked 29 batters and struck out 78.
16. Victor Acosta | SS
One of the top international prospects in the 2021 class, Victor Acosta signed with the Padres. He was acquired from them at the trade deadline in the deal that sent Brandon Drury out west. The 18-year-old has spent his season out in Arizona at the complex level rookie league for the Padres where he’s hit .243/.346/.360 in 32 games.
17. Christian Encarnacion-Strand | 3B/1B
The Reds acquired Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the trade at the deadline with the Twins that sent Tyler Mahle to Minnesota. He’s crushed the ball this season at his stops between High-A Cedar Rapids, Double-A Wichita, and Double-A Chattanooga. Between those three teams he’s hit .304/.379/.613 with 25 doubles, 4 triples, and 26 home runs. He’s really struggled defensively at third, posting an .880 fielding percentage there in 68 games there as a professional. At first base he’s only made 17 starts, but he’s performed better there.
18. Allan Cerda | OF
One of the better defensive outfielders in the organization, Allan Cerda is a bit of an enigma. He’s got plus power potential, can run, can field, and he’s got a big time arm. He also walks a lot, giving him a strong on-base percentage. But he struggles to make contact, and as a result he’s struggled to hit for average. In 93 games this season between Dayton and Chattanooga he’s hitting .214, but the walks and power give him a .363 on-base percentage and a .473 slugging percentage.
19. Joe Boyle | RHP
Joe Boyle’s stats this season are almost comical in some areas. He’s made 17 starts for High-A Dayton and posted a 2.17 ERA. He’s given up 25 hits in 74.2 innings. No, that’s not a typo. He’s also struck out 122 batters. Boyle has shown improvements in his control and consistency, but he’s still got a long way to go in both areas. The big right-hander has walked 59 batters this season. When he’s on, he’s unhittable and batters have no chance. But when he’s off – well, he’s still pretty unhittable, but batters will find themselves at first base via a base on balls.
20. Carlos Jorge | 2B/SS
One of the top signings on the international side for the Reds in 2021, Carlos Jorge has hit .316/.428/.559 in 80 games over the last two seasons between the Dominican Summer League Reds and the Arizona Complex League Reds. He’s also stolen 47 bases in that span. Jorge’s still early in his career, but he’s showing a good array of both tools and skills on the field.
21. Leonardo Balcazar | SS
Another signing by the Reds in the 2021 international signing class, Leonardo Balcazar has hit well in his parts of two seasons since he began his career. Last year he posted an .882 OPS in the Dominican Summer League in 29 games. This season he’s hitting .319/.418/.504 out in Arizona in the complex league while getting a bulk of the starts at shortstop for the team. He will need to become more consistent defensively as he continues his development as he’s made 10 errors in 27 games.
22. Steven Hajjar | LHP
Another prospect that came over at the trade deadline, Steven Hajjar was the Twins 2nd round pick last summer. He began the year in the Low-A Florida State League, and then he missed just over a month with an injury before returning to the mound in mid-July before being traded at the deadline. Cincinnati sent him to their High-A affiliate in Dayton after his acquisition. He’s thrown 46.2 innings where he’s walked 27 batters and struck out 74 while posting an ERA of 3.08. The stuff is there, but he’s got to find more consistency with throwing strikes as he continues to develop.
23. Christian Roa | RHP
Cincinnati’s 2nd round pick from 2020, Christian Roa has battled consistency and some health in his career. This season he missed the first five weeks but has made 13 starts since returning to the mound. He’s improved his velocity this season, which is good. But he’s also been very inconsistent with his control as he’s walked 37 batters to go along with 65 strikeouts in his 54.1 innings.
24. Alex McGarry | 1B
It’s been a breakout season for Alex McGarry. He began the season in High-A Dayton, but after hitting 11 home runs in 41 games he was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. He didn’t slow down in the power department at all as he’s added 13 more homers in 45 games with the Lookouts. Between his two stops he’s hitting .270/.319/.557 with 24 home runs, 3 triples, and 18 doubles. He’s also stolen 13 bases
25. Michael Siani | OF
Probably the best defensive outfielder in the organization, Michael Siani can flat out go get the ball in center. He’s got a strong arm to back up the glove, too. In 2022 he’s taken a step forward at the plate as well. Siani has spent all season in Double-A Chattanooga where he’s hitting .249/.355/.383 with 55 walks,, 14 doubles, and 8 home runs – all career bests. He’s also tripled 5 times and he’s stolen 41 bases.