Nick Senzel is currently recovering from a November toe surgery that had him still in a boot during RedsFest. Nick Senzel, mind you, is supposed to be the CF for the Cincinnati Reds, something that’s officially in-doubt with Opening Day inching ever closer.
Mike Siani is undoubtedly the most talented defensive CF the Reds have at any level, and after developing a bit more pop during the 2022 season, he made his big league debut. With the kind of speed capable of changing games on the bases and a cup of big league coffee under his belt, there’s a very real chance that the stars align for him to be the Cincinnati Reds CF come Opening Day, too. Maybe then we’ll find out if he prefers to go by Michael or Mike!
Siani’s gradual rise through the Reds minor league ranks and bevy of skills landed him at #13 on this year’s Community Prospect Rankings as voted on by you, dear readers. On to the voting for spot #14!
Carlos Jorge, 2B/SS - 19 years old
2022 at a glance: .261/.405/.529 in 154 PA with the Reds Arizona Complex League (ACL)
Pros: “bodybuilder’s physique,’ per FanGraphs; power driven by athleticism despite short build; good walk rate
Cons: Some swing and miss issues; lack of true defensive position at this point
After ripping his way through the Dominican Summer League in 2021, Jorge kept right on mashing in Goodyear in 2022, too. He has coaxed 49 walks through his first 342 PA as a pro in the Reds system, though his K-rate did spike to 26.6% there last season. If he can corral that, though, he’s got the kind of hit tool that could carry him to the bigs.
Of course, where he’ll play might be the issue. There are some worries that his lack of defensive prowess could see him moved to a corner outfield spot, and given his stature (listed at 5’9”, likely shorter than that) that draws into question whether he can pack enough pop to be an effective force there. For now, though, his power looks like it should hopefully continue to play, though he’ll face a stout test in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League for his next stop in Daytona.
Ricardo Cabrera, SS - 18 years old
2022 at a glance: .253/.363/.380 in 180 PA with the Dominican Summer League Reds
Pros: Chance to be a five-tool player, plus contact skills, emerging power, ability to stick at shortstop
Cons: He just turned 18 years old, and we’ve not seen him play in the states just yet
Signed for $2.7 million during last year’s international signing window, Cabrera was pretty universally considered to be one of the top players in his class. Owning the ability to use all fields with his bat and generate projectable pop already, his offense sure looked the part - and his .363 OBP in DSL play suggests he’s got a good eye at the plate, too.
Pair that with good movement on the infield, a plus glove, and a solid arm, and the Reds might have another young shortstop on their hands along with [/checks notes] the other 27 talented young shortstops on their hands.
Of course, we’re still a ways away from finding out just how projectable any of this is in the states, as he’s yet to even tackle Arizona Complex League play. There’s the chance he could skip that and head straight to Daytona in the Florida State League, of course, but I’d wager that’ll be more a late-2022 target than one to look for in April. Once he gets that platform to further show us how he stacks up against his peers, however, there are a good number of scouts to expect him to excel there quickly.
Jay Allen II, OF - 20 years old
2022 at a glance: .225/.347/.324 with 3 HR, 43 SB in 383 PA split between Daytona Tortugas (Class-A Florida State League) and Dayton Dragons (High-A Midwest League)
Pros: 13.4% walk rate with Daytona; elite base-stealer (43 SB in just 91 total games); ability to play CF
Cons: Lack of pop
Allen hit the ground running in 2021 after being selected by the Reds with the 30th overall pick in that year’s draft, slugging .557 with a .440 OBP in a small-sample of work with the ACL Reds. While the walking ability stuck around in his first trip through full-season ball in 2022, however, the punch in his bat completely dried up.
Thing is, his power reportedly exists - it’s just that he had a difficult time putting that to work in-game during 2022. The hope is that since the bulk of his efforts last year came in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, we might get the chance to see it play a bit more as he advances. That’s the hope, at least.
Of course, it’s extremely worth noting that Allen was just 19 years old during his 2022 season, much, much younger than the averages in the leagues in which he plied his trade. There’s still a ton of time for him to figure out how to put his power into play in-game, even if it comes at a development rate that’s a bit less aggressive than the one the Reds put him on during last season. The tools there, after all, are aplenty.
Joe Boyle, RHP - 23 years old
2022 at a glance: 2.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 13.7 K/9, 7.5 BB/9, 4.1 H/9 in 100.2 IP split between Dayton Dragons (High-A Midwest League) and Chattanooga Lookouts (AA Southern League)
Pros: Triple-digit fastball with ride paired with above-average slider is a nightmare combo for hitters, especially when coming from his 6’7” frame
Cons: Where it goes, we just don’t know...
Boyle made starts in 22 of his 23 appearances during the 2022 season, though he pitched on a strict enough pitch-count to keep his overall IP to right at 100. In those 100 IP was a mix of brilliance (153 K) and absurdity (84 BB, 17 WP), though he did allow only 6 homers in that time, too.
The fact is, he’s just about as imposing as a pitcher can get, with his long, powerful frame bearing down on hitters even before he unleashes his fastball/slider devastation. The control, while a bit comical, is actually significantly improved from his days as Notre Dame’s closer, and if the Reds can just continue to harness his stuff even marginally year over year once more, Boyle could figure into the big league mix somehow as early as 2023.
He’s likely destined to be a reliever without a significant third pitch development, but after being stretched out a bit, the idea of him as a multi-inning option in the bullpen is incredibly intriguing in a Tejay Antone sort of way.
Rece Hinds, OF - 22 years old
2022 at a glance: .233/.304/.428 with 12 HR, 15 SB in 322 PA split between Dayton Dragons (High-A Midwest League) and Chattanooga Lookouts (AA Southern League
Pros: Power. Power. The kind of power that needed to be said twice and emboldened. His exit velocities are some of the best in all of baseball at any level. He’s also got plenty of arm to profile as a pretty prototypical RF.
Cons: An alarming amount of swing and miss, as he struck out at a 38.8% clip during the 2022 season. Perhaps I should have emboldened that, too.
Hinds, the 2nd round pick of the Reds from back in 2019, is the kind of slugger you can simply marvel at in the right circumstances. Batting practice, for instance, or when you see a highlight video - he owns the kinds of ‘peaks’ in his game that would stand out among any crowd of players, big leaguers included.
It’s that upside and promise that has him continually ranked among the best prospects in the system despite his flaws, as he has the kind of talents no coach can teach. It’ll come down to whether or not those flaws can be coached out of his game, however, and making enough contact will be first among those. As things stand right now, he chases far too many pitches, and working that out of his game without completely overhauling his approach at the expense of his power will be the task at hand for the coaches with AA Chattanooga to begin 2023.
Rece just turned 22 in September, so there’s still ample time for him to figure it out. If he does, I fear for 3Bs across the league when he starts turning on inside pitches and launching them at 120 mph.
Who is the #14 prospect in the Cincinnati Reds system?
This poll is closed
Jay Allen II