Reds news: First-round pick Austin Hendrick headed to alternate site

Austin Hendrick will join a few other first-round picks at the Reds alternate site.

The Cincinnati Reds added 2020 first-round pick Austin Hendrick to the team’s 60-man player pool. Hendrick reported to the Reds alternate site at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio and will begin workouts with his new teammates.

Don’t read too much into this; Austin Hendrick is not going to be called up to the big leagues or be part of the Reds playoff roster (should the team qualify). However, it is nice to see the Cincinnati front office utilize their alternate training site as a way to help bring their young prospects along.

Hendrick is not the only first-round pick currently working out at Prasco Park. Former No. 2 overall pick Hunter Greene and last year’s first-round selection, Nick Lodolo, have been at the alternate site for some time now.

The Reds 2018 first-round pick, Jonathan India, has been at Prasco Park since the season began. Another former first-round selection, Tyler Stephenson, made his major league debut this season and is currently on the team’s 28-man roster.

Hendrick is the No. 3 overall prospect in the Cincinnati Reds farm system according to MLB Pipeline. The left-handed high school slugger from Pittsburgh was taken with the 12th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.

Taking Hendrick so high was due, in part, to 19-year-old’s power. It was thought that Austin Hendrick possessed the most power among prep players, and perhaps, of any player in the draft. Cincinnati’s farm system is severely lacking in this department, though the 2019 selections of Rece Hinds and Tyler Callihan certainly boosted that area of weakness.

Don’t expect Hendrick, Hinds or Callihan, or even Greene to make their major league debuts anytime soon. Of the former first-rounders currently at Prasco Park, only Lodolo seems likely to make an appearance in 2020, though that is unlikely as well.

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The coronavirus pandemic shutdown minor league baseball this season, but that hasn’t stopped the Cincinnati Reds and other clubs from helping their young prospects gain invaluable experience. Hendrick will get to take batting practice against the likes of Greene, Lodolo, Ryan Hendrix, and Tony Santillan.