We are wrapping up the 2023 Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List today. Each day this week we unveil ed five new spots on the list as we worked our way through the Top 25 Prospects heading into the 2023 season. If you were supporting the site on Patreon you would have gotten the entire Top 25 list last week and had early access to this, and plenty of other benefits for your patronage. Click here to see what all you can get for helping keep the site alive and kicking via support through Patreon.
A reminder that these write ups will not feature full scouting reports. Those will be included with the Season Reviews, which will start next week – first working my way through the Top 25 prospects before then branching out into another 25-50 interesting prospects through the remainder of the offseason.
*To be eligible for the list a player must have 2023 Rookie of the Year eligibility (Fewer than 130 at bats in the big leagues, fewer than 50 innings pitched, or less than 45 days on the active MLB roster)*
All ages listed are as of April 1st, 2023
1. Elly De La Cruz | SS | Age: 21
2022 Teams: Dayton Dragons, Chattanooga Lookouts | Acquired: International FA 2018 | Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 200 lbs
What to like: Nearly everything. When it comes to tools he’s unmatched in the organization and nearly unmatched in all of professional baseball. He’s got multiple plus-plus tools. The switch-hitter is a highlight film to himself, showing off 491-foot home runs as well as the ability to use his speed to gain extra-bases on nearly any kind of hit.
What he must work on: With his size, some suggest he may be taller than the listed 6′ 5″, he’s almost always going to swing and miss somewhat. Still, you would like to see his strikeout rate come down from where it’s been. He’s just 20-years-old and he’s skyrocketed through the system, and you can see him making the adjustments if you watch him every day – but this is the biggest area.
2. Cam Collier | 3B | Age: 18
2022 Teams: ACL Reds | Acquired: 1st Round, 2022 Draft | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 210 lbs
What to like: There’s not much professional track record to look at here, but in 2022 you have to like everything that Cam Collier did. In what would have been his junior year of high school had he not graduated early to enroll at Chipola Junior College, Collier hit .333/.419/.537 with 25 walks and 33 strikeouts while playing at one of the top junior college programs in the country. After signing he hit .370/.514/.630 with more walks than strikeouts in his nine games played for the ACL Reds. And he’s still two weeks away from his 18th birthday. At the plate he shows everything you want to see in a hitter – power, the ability to hit for average, and a strong understanding of the strikezone.
What he must work on: At this point you have to say it’s more about just getting experience on the field. He’s the youngest player on the list. With that said, defense is his weakest area and it’s one that he’ll need to stay on top of to remain at third base.
3. Noelvi Marte | SS | Age: 21
2022 Teams: Everett Aquasox, Dayton Dragons | Acquired: International FA 2018 (Mariners), Trade (July 2022) | Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 181 lbs
What to like: Marte is known more for his bat than for his glove, but that speaks more to how good his bat can be than anything about his defense. While he’s playing third base in the AFL currently, he can play shortstop right now. At the plate he shows above-average raw power, a good understanding of the strikezone, and he’s performed well.
What he must work on: When the season began there were concerns that Marte wasn’t quite in the same shape as he was the previous season. Baseball America hinted at this at the trade deadline, but also noted that he took care of that as the season progressed. Out in the AFL he’s put up above-average sprint speeds in the few games where that’s been tracked. Staying in shape moving forward could be the biggest area to keep up on as not only will it increase his chances of remaining at shortstop, but also his value on the bases and potentially at the plate.
4. Edwin Arroyo | SS | Age: 19
2022 Teams: Modesto Nuts, Daytona Tortugas | Acquired: 2nd Round, 2021 Draft (Mariners), Trade (July 2022) | Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 175 lbs
What to like: Known as a defensive first player entering the 2022 season, Arroyo came out hitting. The then 18-year-old hit .293/.366/.480 with 27 steals between his three stops on the season. A potentially plus defensive shortstop who can also hit leaves a whole lot to like.
What he must work on: The California League isn’t quite as hitter friendly as it used to be due to the loss of some teams, but it’s still hitter friendly overall. Arroyo performed well in the league at the plate, but he did show some struggles after the trade to Cincinnati and moving to the very pitcher friendly Florida State League with Daytona. There’s no reason to believe his breakout was due entirely to the league he was playing in, but another strong showing in 2023 would really go a long way towards truly cementing his top prospect status.
5. Spencer Steer | INF | Age: 25
2022 Teams: Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints, Louisville Bats, Cincinnati Reds | Acquired: 3rd Round, 2019 Draft (Twins), Trade (August 2022) | Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 185 lbs
What to like: There’s a lot of defensive versatility from Steer, who had experience at shortstop, second base, third base, first base, and right field this past season. While he’s not likely going to be an every day shortstop, he can be your back up option there while being more of an every day player at the other spots. While his big league debut didn’t go great at the plate he hit fairly well in the minor leagues between Double-A and Triple-A and projects as at least a solid hitter in the big leagues.
What he must work on: He has crushed left-handed pitching in his career in the minor leagues, hitting .313/.408/.585 over the last two seasons. While he hasn’t been bad against right-handed pitching in the minors, he’s had far more struggles against them – hitting .237/.328/.442 against them over the last two seasons. His walk rate is good (10.2%) and his strikeout rate has been fine (21.9%), but the hits just haven’t come through nearly as often.
And with there, here’s the entire Top 25 (you can see all of the write ups here)
|1||Elly De La Cruz||SS|
|13||Jay Allen II||OF|