Entering Reds spring training, the competition for the final few spots on the active roster will be an interesting one. While the Cincinnati Reds have yet to address the glaring need at shortstop, the front office likely isn’t done adding pieces this offseason.
However, with Reds spring training set to kick off in Goodyear next week, time is running out to make any sort of flashy free agent signing or blockbuster trade. However, the Cincinnati front office could turn to some of their highly-touted prospects in order to bolster their roster. Which three prospects are most likely to make the Opening Day roster?
1. Nick Lodolo, Reds left-handed pitcher
Nick Lodolo is the Cincinnati Reds top prospect according to MLB Pipeline. The left-hander was the team’s first-round selection in 2019 and has only eight minor league appearances. The pandemic-shortened 2020 season saw Lodolo at the team’s alternate site in Mason, Ohio, but thee absence of a minor league season likely hurt Lodolo’s ascension through the farm system.
The Reds elected to take Lodolo with the seventh-overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. The southpaw is considered an advanced pitcher who has the potential to rocket through the minor leagues. While it was only the lower minor leagues, Lodolo didn’t issue a walk over his first 18-plus innings as a professional in 2019.
Nick Lodolo profiles as a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher, and with Cincinnati losing Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani to free agency, there is exists the possibility of an opening in the starting rotation. Lodolo will have to do battle with the likes of Michael Lorenzen, Wade Miley, and others in order to make the cut, but I’m not counting out the 23-year-old just yet.