With an arm that touched 96 mph on a throw from right field and a bat that crushed a 117 mph rocket in Arizona Fall League play, it’s undeniable that Cincinnati Reds prospect Rece Hinds has some truly elite aspects of his game. There’s glorious upside, really, and it’s that optimism that fueled you to vote him as the #16 prospect in the team’s system in this, the 2023 Red Reporter Community Prospect Rankings.
Of course, it’s the strikeouts that saw him slide to #16, too. They’re there. They’re copious. If they don’t dry up, they’re going to be a problem. The hope, however, is that the talent that Hinds possesses will help him begin to chip away at the Ks, and if he can manage that, there are ample other tools in his game that will carry him to eventual big league success.
On to the voting for spot #17!
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.
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.
Lyon Richardson, RHP - 23 years old
2022 at a glance: Richardson missed all of the 2022 regular season while recovering from Tommy John surgery
Pros: A fastball that reaches the upper 90s with a slider/curve/change secondary mix
Cons: Has he ever really been healthy as a pro?
Here’s a way I made myself feel old: despite it seeming like I’ve written about Lyon Richardson forever, he was born in January of 2000. He’s still barely 23 years old.
The former 2nd round pick has thrown a grand total of 76 IP since the end of the 2019 season, however, with Covid first shutting things down for him before a 2021 season with decreased velocity eventually revealed the need for Tommy John surgery. That knifing left him on the sidelines for all of 2022, though as Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs noted, Richardson returned for instructional league play at the end of 2022 with velocity that was better than it’s ever been before.
Richardson checked in 21st on last year’s list, doing so before the influx of lots of other talented arms, but if he’s a) truly back and b) perhaps better than ever, that’s a large amount of arm talent in a guy on whom the Reds have been very, very high for quite some time. Ranking him here is by no means because of what he’s done on the diamond of late, but on what the renewed, healthy version of him might well begin to do when pitchers and catchers report in just a couple of weeks.
Victor Acosta, SS - 19 years old
2022 at a glance: .237/.348/.360 with 2 HR in 165 PA in Arizona Complex League (ACL) play split between the Cincinnati Reds organization and San Diego Padres organization
Pros: Solid walk rates, rangy infielder with plus run and plus glove ability, plus arm, developing switch-hitter
Cons: Production took a significant step back from his 2021 work in the Dominican Summer League
Victor Acosta went from being a prized signing of the Padres during the 2021 international signing period to the player sent to the Reds in exchange for Brandon Drury’s breakout last summer. It was something of a high price to pay for the Padres given Drury’s longer track record, but they were clearly in ‘win now’ mode last year and made the move.
For the Reds, it adds a piece that’s still very far off, but who has shown glimpses of being an infield stalwart for years to come. The glove is still very much ahead of the bat, but Acosta has shown acumen to suggest he’ll end up a switch-hitter with good plate recognition in due course. That he won’t turn 19 years old until this summer is both a good thing in terms of ignoring his current iffy stats and also in terms of setting your expectations for far, far down the road.
Plenty of tools possessed, plenty of patience needed.
Bryce Hubbart, LHP - 22 years old
2022 at a glance: 3 H, ER, 6 BB, 12 K in 7.1 IP split between Arizona Complex League (ACL) and Daytona Tortugas (Florida State League)
Pros: Whippy fastball that has touched 97 mph; four-pitch arsenal featuring potential 70 grade curveball; excellent results in Cape Cod League play in 2021 (against wood bat competition)
Cons: Still developing effective change-up; delivery described in ways varying from ‘funky’ to ‘wonky’
Hubbart, the Reds 3rd round pick out of Florida State University, truly burst onto the national scene with his Cape Cod League work during the summer of 2021 in which he earned All Star status. His velocity spiked into the upper 90s, his curveball kept wood-bat hitters completely off-piste, and he finished 31.1 IP with a minuscule 0.87 ERA and 0.71 WHIP - all while fanning 45 against just 8 walks. While he inevitably regressed a bit during his final season in Tallahassee, he pitched well enough there to show he’s clearly ready for next-level work.
Listed at just 6’1” and 181 lbs, he’s going to likely need to fill out a bit to withstand the rigors of starting pitching on a full pro-league slate, and do so without losing velocity or letting his delivery get in his way. We’ve not yet seen that from him - he hasn’t failed at it, he’s just not yet had the chance - but the hope is that his ability to get the most out of his offerings will outweigh his lack of a truly elite ceiling. If so, he could be the next in a solid line of lefties to emerge from the Reds system of late.
Who is the #17 prospect in the Cincinnati Reds system?
This poll is closed
Jay Allen II