The Cincinnati Reds have landed two players in the top 20, and four players in the top 100 prospect list that was released this morning by The Athletic’s Keith Law.
Elly De La Cruz earned his highest ranking so far this offseason, coming in as the #4 overall prospect in baseball. The shortstop is coming off of a season where he hit .304/.359/.586 with 47 stolen bases, 31 doubles, 9 triples, and 28 home runs. He did that while splitting his season between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga as a 20-year-old. Law notes that if he can make some improvements with his pitch recognition and swing selection that he might end up being the best player in baseball.
Here’s a video of a 491-foot home run from Elly De La Cruz during the second half of the season.
The next Reds prospect on the list was third baseman Cam Collier. Law had him rated as the #2 prospect in the draft this past summer and it seems that nothing has changed his opinion on the now 18-year-old as he rated him 17th overall. Collier graduated high school after his sophomore year and enrolled at Chipola Junior College – one of the top JUCO programs in the country – and went out and hit .333/.419/.537 as a 17-year-old. He fell to the 18th overall pick in the draft and signed with Cincinnati for an overslot bonus. After signing he only played in nine games (the draft is very late in the season now, so draft picks don’t get to play much following the draft), but went out and hit .370/.514/.630 with more walks and strikeouts.
Noelvi Marte is next on the list and he finds himself just inside the Top 50, coming in as the #49 prospect in the game. Acquired at the trade deadline from Seattle, Marte spent his 2022 season at the High-A level between the two organizations. He hit .279/.371/.458 with 19 home runs, 23 doubles, and added in 23 stolen bases. Law does think that Marte is going to wind up playing third base, instead of shortstop where he’s played for his entire career, but that his bat works for the position and that his defense should be fine at the hot corner once he gets some more experience there.
The final Cincinnati prospect on the list came over with Marte in the same deal from the Mariners. Shortstop Edwin Arroyo showed up at #58 overall. He played the 2022 season as an 18-year-old in Single-A, splitting his season between Modesto and then Daytona once he arrived into the Reds organization. He hit .293/.366/.480 with 14 home runs, 10 triples, and 25 doubles last year to go along with 27 steals. Known more for his defense, Law notes that Arroyo has All-Star upside.
With all of the trades that Cincinnati has made over the last 12 months there has been a big infusion of talent on the farm for the Reds. That’s what you would expect when trading high quality, proven big league talent for minor league players. With that said, only two prospects from all of the trades made this list and both came over in the same trade for one player – Luis Castillo. With that said, Spencer Steer has shown up on other Top 100 lists, as has Connor Phillips. And Christian Encarnacion-Strand put up numbers at the plate that rival those of Elly De La Cruz, just without the steals or defensive upside.