The Cincinnati Reds saw four players make their big league debut in 2020. Tejay Antone, Tyler Stephenson, José García, and Shogo Akiyama made their major league debuts last season. All but Akiyama were somewhat unexpected. Which three prospects may make a surprise debut during the 2021 season?
Heading into last season, it was easy to predict that Akiyama would be making his major league debut. After a successful career overseas, there was little doubt that the Japanese outfielder was going to find his way onto the big stage. The same could be said for Nick Senzel in 2019.
Looking at the Reds top prospects this go-around, it wouldn’t be very outrageous to claim that Nick Lodolo or Jonathan India would make it to The Show in 2021. Lodolo, an advanced college arm, was selected in the first-round of the 2019 MLB Draft with the idea that he’d rocket through the minor leagues.
As for India, the young infielder flashed all kinds of potential while playing for the Florida Gators during his college career, but has yet to live up to the hype of being the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. That said, India will, at the very least, begin the 2021 season at Triple-A Louisville and may receive a call-up if he performs well for the Bats.
Tejay Antone was a relative unknown in the Reds farm system until 2019 and the right-hander made his major league debut last season. Antone will enter spring training with a real shot at being the team’s fifth starter in 2021. So, which one of Cincinnati’s young prospects is most likely to follow in the footsteps of Antone?