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2024 Community Prospect Rankings: Ty Floyd is the #12 prospect in the Reds system!

The former LSU hurler should be a fast-mover within the Reds system beginning this year.

2023 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

Ty Floyd fanned 17 members of the University of Florida baseball program late last spring, and he parlayed that into being the second player selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2024 Major League Baseball Draft. Not bad, especially when you consider Florida has churned out hitters like Jonathan India, Pete Alonso, Mike Zunino, and Harrison Bader in recent years.

I can’t wait to see how Floyd’s arsenal plays as a professional. His rising fastball gives me big time Tyler Mahle vibes, and that would be quite the player to have in the Cincinnati Reds system going forward.

Floyd was just voted as the #12 prospect in this year’s rankings, and congrats to him. On to the voting for lucky spot #13!

Rece Hinds, OF - 23 years old

2023 at a glance: .269/.330/.536 with 23 HR, 20 SB in 461 PA with the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA Southern League)

Pros: Immense power with max exit velocities; plus athlete with powerful arm that profiles as a RF prototype

Cons: Plenty of swing and miss to his game (32.8% K-rate in 2023); persistent injuries over the last few years, particularly to his legs

The Reds selected Hinds in the 2nd round of the 2019 MLB Draft and promptly served him up a large bonus to get him to forgo his commitment to LSU, a collegiate baseball powerhouse. That’s a pertinent point regarding Hinds, as he’s been on the radar of the best of the best baseball organizations for quite some time, his raw talent and legendary power having preceded him for years.

Due to injuries, position switches, the lost 2020 MiLB season due to the pandemic, and plying his trade at multiple levels during each of his first two years of time, it seems as if he’d struggled to get settled and perform to his reputation entering 2023. That seemingly diminished his star, as did a slow start to the year (just a .643 OPS through Chattanooga’s first 42 G). From June 1st through his final game of the season, however, he flipped a switch and absolutely blistered the baseball, swatting 18 homers, 3 triples, and 19 doubles over his final 69 G, a .993 OPS that featured an elevated walk-rate in that time, too.

If that’s at all the player he’s evolved into, the Reds have someone truly special on their hands, and perhaps it’s telling that they didn’t spend big on a right-handed power bat for the OF mix this winter, either. Hinds will be the big bat in the AAA Louisville order to begin the 2024 season, and if anyone at the big league level experiences a hiccup/injury to begin the year, he’ll be the one they turn to.

Lyon Richardson, RHP - 24 years old

2023 at a glance: 3.50 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 100/38 K/BB in 69.1 IP split between Daytona Tortugas (Class-A Florida State League), Chattanooga Lookouts (AA Southern League), and Louisville Bats (AAA International League); 16 ER allowed in 16.2 IP with the Cincinnati Reds

Pros: Fastball that reaches 98 mph mixed with hard slider and developing slow curve; elite swing and miss potential

Cons: Pitch counts and IP limits in 2023 as he returned from Tommy John surgery; shelled in initial cup of coffee at big league level

We’ve seemingly been writing about Richardson forever, the former 2nd round pick having long carried a reputation as a flamethrower who’ll eventually impact the Reds. Tommy John surgery shelved him for all of 2022 after he was roughed up in a 2021 season in which he experienced diminished velocity, and he fell down the top prospect lists as he became something of an afterthought.

He was back in 2023, however, and the stuff he made his name with was, too. He did not pitch deep into games while being held back in his first year back on the mound, but what he showed in short outings looked familiar - an electric fastball and swing and miss stuff that looks like a sure-fire big leaguer. That didn’t translate in his cup of coffee, though, but after a winter finally spent healthy (instead of rehabbing) the hope is that his stamina and endurance will return to match his stuff entering 2024. If so, he’ll firmly be in the mix for IP of some variety with Cincinnati, with the kind of stuff that could lead to some instant success for them.

Blake Dunn, OF - 25 years old

2023 at a glance: .312/.425/.522 with 23 HR, 54 SB in 559 PA split between the Dayton Dragons (High-A Midwest League) and the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA Southern League)

Pros: Plus speed that translates to both plus CF defense and baserunning; developing power; arm that touched 95 mph when a pitcher

Cons: Old for his levels in 2023, in part because he’s been banged up so much that he hadn’t had a chance to show off in a full season and advance earlier

Blake Dunn will turn 26 years old before the end of the 2024 season, and he’s still yet to make it to AAA. He came to the Reds as a 15th round pick who signed for basically the minimum amount he could at that point, what with his status as a college senior out of unheralded Western Michigan University not exactly a huge calling card (with apologies to alums Adam Rosales and Ball Four’s Jim Bouton).

Dunn logged a mere 31 PA in his first full season due to injury, and his second ‘full’ year in 2022 saw him post an excellent .435 OBP between Daytona and Dayton in just 141 PA before, again, injuries shut him down. When he finally stayed healthy enough to log serious PA in 2023, though, he hit the absolute snot out of the ball at both levels where he donned a uniform, pairing that elite zone management with plus pop, top-tier baserunning, and the kind of CF defense that might just carry him to the big leagues even if his bat, for whatever reason, falls off a cliff.

The knocks are easy: he’s old for his level and there simply has to be a reason why everyone else always overlooked him. Unless, of course, they aren’t so easy, and he’s a diamond in the rough who would have always shown out like he did in 2023 if he’d just managed to stay a little bit healthier. If it’s the latter, well, his right-handed bat might well force its way into the Cincinnati lineup at some point in 2024 as a player who bucked the odds and figured out how to make it as a pro just a little bit later than everyone else.

Sammy Stafura, SS - 19 years old

2023 at a glance: .071/.212/.191 with 1 HR, 0 SB in 53 PA with the Arizona Complex League (ACL) Reds; drafted in the 2nd round out of Panas HS (NY) in the 2023 MLB Draft

Pros: We don’t know!

Cons: We don’t know!

Both Devin Mesoraco and Austin Hendrick fall into a similar category as Stafura in that all three were drafted out of northern high schools with high draft picks. The wild card there, of course, is that the seasons are usually plagued by cold, dank weather, and it’s really hard to show out in those conditions - especially when the quality of competition up there isn’t as hyper-aggressive as it is in more temperate climates.

Contrary to the pros and cons listed above, we do know that Stafura is an excellent athlete with developing power, and a hit tool that looks like it should let him smack doubles all over the outfield. His defense is such that he’s projected to stick at SS, too, something that tends to keep guys with more question marks elsewhere higher on these kinds of list. What we also do know, however, is that his extremely small sample of pro ball last fall after being drafted was abysmal, and he’s got a lot to prove heading in to 2024.

For now, we’re trusting that the Reds know what they’ve got in Stafura, and hope that his upside track follows more of the Mesoraco path than that of Hendrick.

Leonardo Balcazar, SS - 19 years old

2023 at a glance: .324/.427/.471 with 1 HR, 2 SB in 81 PA for Daytona Tortugas (Class-A Florida State League)

Pros: Plus hit-tool with ability hit spray the ball to all fields; .392 OBP since signing with the Reds indicative of solid plate discipline

Cons: Tore ACL after just 18 G last season; glovework leaves a little to be desired at short despite good range and a solid arm

In just 380 PA since signing with the Reds, Balcazar sports a tidy .300/.392/.495 line with 11 HR and 23 SB, doing so while flashing enough defensively at short to suggest he’s got a chance of staying there - or at least in the middle infield - long term. He doesn’t project to have plus power, however, and if he’s forced to move down the defensive spectrum that could become a bigger issue.

He showed plus athleticism prior to his ACL injury, and all eyes will be on him in 2024 as he attempts to show that’s fully returned. Given that he injured the knee on the final day of April 2023, there’s a chance he could be eased back into games this upcoming season, so we may have to wait just a little bit longer to see just how well he has recovered.

Poll

Who is the #13 prospect in the Cincinnati Reds system?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Sammy Stafura
    (3 votes)
  • 8%
    Leo Balcazar
    (16 votes)
  • 35%
    Rece Hinds
    (67 votes)
  • 34%
    Blake Dunn
    (64 votes)
  • 19%
    Lyon Richardson
    (37 votes)
187 votes total Vote Now