The Cincinnati Reds have four players in ESPN’s Top 100 prospect list that was released this morning. Kiley McDaniel, the author of the list, ranks all four of those players within the Top 50. Another prospect just missed the list.
Elly De La Cruz picked up another Top 10 ranking (more on this later). McDaniel ranked him 9th on the list, noting in his write up that “we’re already into all-time territory of the best tools anyone has ever seen”. That’s some kind of praise for a guy who has never played in the big leagues, but De La Cruz is certainly a different kind of athlete, too. He hit .304/.359/.586 between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga with 47 steals, 31 doubles, 9 triples, and 28 home runs. He won the Triple Crown on the Reds farm system thanks to those numbers.
The next prospect on the list is another shortstop. Edwin Arroyo cracks the list at #40 overall. The switch-hitter was known for his defense coming into the 2022 season, but then he went out and hit .293/.366/.460 in 2022 as an 18-year-old in Single-A while splitting his time between Modesto and Daytona. That line came along with 25 doubles, 10 triples, 14 home runs, and 27 stolen bases. Still known for his defense by most accounts, McDaniel believes he can remain at shortstop but isn’t the defender others do.
Just four spots down the list is Noelvi Marte. He, like Arroyo, is a shortstop and came over in the same trade at the deadline with the Seattle Mariners. Unlike Arroyo, Marte is known more for his bat and the potential with it. Last season he hit .279/.371/.458 while showing off above-average raw power and a potential to hit for a high average. While there are some questions about where he will wind up defensively, he’s got all of the tools to play third base in the future where his bat profiles well and his arm should still stand out.
The final Red on the list is Cam Collier. The 2022 1st round pick came in at #50 overall. He hit .333/.419/.537 at Chipola Junior College in what would have been his junior year of high school had he not graduated two years early to enroll. Once he signed he played in nine games at the complex in Arizona for the Reds rookie level team and hit .370/.514/.630 with more walks than strikeouts. McDaniel seems to love his bat and raves about his arm strength, too.
While the rankings ended at 100, McDaniel listed the rest of the players who he would have given a 50 FV grade to – which equates to being a league average starting player. There were 29 players on this list. Spencer Steer was the only Cincinnati prospect that was listed here. In the minor leagues he hit a combined .274/.364/.515 between a stop in Double-A Wichita, and stops in two different Triple-A cities before spending September in Cincinnati with the Reds. He hit .211/.306/.326 in his 108 plate appearances in the big leagues last season.
The Final Rankings
With ESPN’s Top 100 list now being here, we’ve seen all of the lists from credible sources (in my opinion). Here’s how the Reds players stacked up:
|Baseball America||Baseball Prospectus||MLB Pipeline||The Athletic||ESPN|
|Elly De La Cruz||8||5||10||4||9|