It is that time of year again. Today we kick off the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects List. Each day this week we will unveil five new spots on the list as we work our way through the Top 25 Prospects heading into the 2024 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.
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 2024 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, 2024
21. Jay Allen II | OF | Age: 21
2023 Team: Dayton Dragons | Acquired: 1st Round, 2021 Draft | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 190 lbs. | B/T: R/R
What to like: He’s incredibly athletic and has the tools to be a well-rounded player who can contribute in all aspects of the game.
What he needs to improve on: Not a lot has changed here since the start of the season because Allen II missed nearly all of 2023. He injured his thumb in the third game of the year and missed the next three months. After spending a month back with Dayton he suffered another injury and missed the final six weeks, playing in just 25 games all year. He’s got to find more consistency. Allen II has struggled to hit for average or power since leaving the complex league. After returning to the lineup in July he struck out 35 times in 95 plate appearances.
(461-foot homer, 109 MPH off the bat)
22. Esmith Pineda | OF | Age: 19
2023 Team: ACL Reds | Acquired: International FA 2022 | Height: 5′ 10″ | Weight: 183 lbs. | B/T: R/R
What to like: He’s got plenty of power potential, and while the home runs didn’t come in 2023, he piled up plenty of extra-base hits in 2023. Going along with that he also hit for some average and got on base at a good clip.
What he needs to improve on: The biggest thing would probably be the defense. He made seven errors on the year and that led to an .877 fielding percentage in 2023 while in right field. That said, as I type this he’s still 18-years-old and needs to improve across the board – just like every other teenager.
23. Sheng-En Lin | Age: 18
2023 Team: ACL Reds | Acquired: International FA 2023 | Height: 5′ 11 | Weight: 185 lbs. B/T: L/R
What to like: There’s tons of athleticism here. More teams seemed to favor Sheng-En Lin as a pitcher, where he had touched 99 MPH with his fastball and had multiple offerings. The Reds saw a strong positional prospect, too, with plus-plus speed and plenty of potential at the plate.
What he needs to improve on: Everything, really. He was 17-years-old during the 2023 season and he didn’t play much after signing. From a position standpoint, he doesn’t really have one at this point. That’s not to say it’s due to a lack of ability/skills/tools, but more that the club is trying him in a few spots to see which one could be the best fit for him down the line. In his eight games he did play, he saw time in center and at shortstop.
24. Jacob Hurtubise | OF | Age: 26
2023 Teams: Chattanooga Lookouts, Louisville Bats | Acquired: NDFA 2020 | Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 180 lbs. | B/T: L/R
What to like: One of the fastest players in the organization, Hurtubise has always been strong on the bases and he’s drawn walks, but in 2023 he began to show far more power than he ever had before.
What he needs to improve on: While he showed far more power than ever, he still doesn’t have much useful power. It’s just that he previously had zero power.
25. Jose Acuna | RHP | Age: 21
2023 Team: Dayton Dragons | Acquired: Trade (Mets, 2021 – International FA 2019) | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 213 lbs. | B/T: R/R
What to like: There’s no big weakness in his repertoire – throwing multiple solid-average to slightly better pitches.
What he needs to improve on: While there’s no big weakness for Acuna, there’s not a big strength either. None of his pitches really stand out at this point and his control merely solid.