Cincinnati Reds: Keep an eye on last year’s draft pick Quin Cotton

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 21: A detailed view of the batting helmets of Phillip Ervin #27 and Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds in the dugout. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 21: A detailed view of the batting helmets of Phillip Ervin #27 and Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds in the dugout. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Most of the attention from the Cincinnati Reds 2019 draft was focused on Nick Lodolo and the two high school bats, but don’t sleep on eighth-rounder Quin Cotton.

The Cincinnati Reds traded away a lot of talented young prospects last offseason in an effort to get better. Though the team improved, the Reds still fell short of the postseason. In order to replenish the farm system, Cincinnati picked up the best pitcher in last year’s draft and two budding young hitters from the high school ranks. But, don’t sleep on Quin Cotton.

Nick Lodolo, last year’s first-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds, had a solid start to his professional career. A three-year starter at TCU, Lodolo’s college experience gave him an advanced approach on the mound, and will help him ascend quickly through the minor leagues. The same could be said for Cotton, who’s three-year stint at Grand Canyon University may have him on the fast-track to the majors.

Cotton, Cincinnati’s eighth-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, is now among the Top 30 prospects in the Reds farm system according to MLB Pipeline. Cotton played 61 games last season for the Billings Mustangs and was rookie-level Pioneer All-Star selection. Cotton slashed .283/.376/.409 in his first professional season.

Cotton has good speed that allowed him to man center field for the Mustangs last season, but the 21-year-old has the ability to play all over the outfield. He also has a keen eye at the plate, as evidenced by his 12.4% walk-rate with the Mustangs last season. Cotton drew 34 walks in 274 plate appearances and struck out just 49 times for a 0.69 walk to strikeout ratio.

MLB Pipeline estimates Cotton will make his major league debut in 2022, but if he continues to play the way he did in 2019, those estimates may be much too conservative. Cotton is likely to begin the 2020 season in Single-A Dayton, but his advanced hitting approach may see him reach the next level very quickly.

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Though the Cincinnati Reds farm system is littered with talented outfielders, there’s a lot to like about Quin Cotton. A career .925 OPS during his college career at Grand Canyon would indicate he has the chops to get it done at the dish, and here’s hoping we see even more improvement from Cotton’s game heading into 2020.