If ever there were fans of a franchise that should embrace the novelty factor that is ‘ranking One True Prospect to Rule Them All,’ it’s the Cincinnati Reds. Just a decade and a half ago, both Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey garnered such praise from varying entities during their respective rises through the ranks, and while both turned out to be plenty fine ball players - one a 300+ homer hitter, the other the owner of a pair of no-hitters - I think we can look back at their time atop Top 100 lists with some serious revisionist history next to their peers.
Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto were right there next to them, after all.
For that very same reason, really, Reds fans have the burning desire to double-down, though. Though it’s far from the only reason for the doldrums facing the franchise, there’s a lingering sentiment that because those former future franchise icons didn’t hang pennants and cement themselves as legends that the Reds still haven’t won so much as a playoff series in pushing 28 years. The gulf between the high bar of expectations and the low floor of reality lingers greater because of both, and that’s left us pining for the Next Great Thing [TM] to truly, finally be The One.
In Elly De La Cruz we now place our hopes.
In Elly De La Cruz, ESPN.com’s Kiley McDaniel sees the top prospect in the game of baseball, a list that supercedes just the minors and includes a handful of the top draft-eligible college and high school players who will join the pro ranks in this upcoming summer’s MLB Draft.
McDaniel made that call this morning, officially.
Top 50 Prospects Update— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) May 24, 2023
Top 4 from the winter list graduated, so it’s time for a refresh.
- Slotted in the top draft prospects, illustrating how close the top five actually are
- Just missed, rising into the 50 FV tier, lower-ranked double tier jumps https://t.co/Yg90Yd5FP3
It’s an updated list that also saw Matt McLain rocket up into the Top 20 and saw Noelvi Marte maintain his place in the Top 50. Andrew Abbott also gets a mention as a prospect whose status has risen considerably, which is cool given the woes facing the current Cincinnati starting rotation. Cam Collier also just missed the cut despite this election season being the first in which he’s old enough to vote.
Congrats to Elly and the Reds’ De La Crew for being rock-solid in the eyes of ESPN.com’s chief prospect wonk!