With the 49th overall selection in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Cincinnati Reds selected high school SS Rece Hinds, a product of IMG Academy in Florida. And, in doing so, the Reds added a 6’4” tower of raw power who might just feature the single most thump potential of any player in this draft.
Of course, when initial comparisons are made to Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, you know that while the power there is incredibly real, there’s a lot of potential swing and miss in Hinds’ game, as well. That certainly appears to be the main concern with him at this juncture, as is whether the current SS - who projects as an iffy stick at 3B as he continues to grow and fill out - can find a position on the diamond to field adeptly enough to be a big leaguer. Each concern is discussed briefly in MLB.com’s pre-draft scouting video on Hinds.
The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans noted shortly after the pick that while Hinds is listed as a SS at the moment, the Reds do see him as a corner guy for the future, potentially even as just a 1B.
What will certainly be interesting is how much it will take to convince Hinds to sign and balk at his college commitment to powerhouse LSU, especially since the early rumors are that the Reds 1st round pick - TCU LHP Nick Lodolo - will require the full slot amount to sign. When the Reds have swung big to sign high school products with secondary picks in recent years - think Taylor Trammell in 2016, or Mike Siani last year - they were able to do so in large part because the college players they chose in the 1st round were able to be signed to significantly under-slot deals, but that’s not the case this season. Of course, the Reds could still go over-slot for Hinds and then backfill the rest of their picks in the first 10 rounds with players they hope to sign for well under-slot deals, but that obviously would make this draft class extremely top-heavy, which is never good for farm depth.
For more on the Niceville, FL product, you can check out his player profile from Perfect Game, which puts some numbers to just how powerful Hinds is.
Here’s more video of Hinds from 2080 Baseball, as well: