3. Tejay Antone, Reds right-handed pitcher
Tejay Antone will be one of the most interesting players to follow this spring. Will Antone work his way into the starting rotation or will he find a home in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen in 2021? Either way, I expect Antone to shine during the upcoming season, so much so, that the right-hander will land a spot in the starting rotation heading into the 2022 season.
Antone was relative unknown among Reds fans last season, but his 13 appearances, including four starts, helped the Texas native showcase his talent. Ranked among the Top 30 prospects within the Cincinnati farm system heading into last season, Antone asserted himself early and often, finding success as both a starter and reliever.
Antone’s main competition this spring are right-handed pitchers José De León, Michael Lorenzen, and Jeff Hoffman. In the end, I expect Lorenzen to win out, but Antone’s first showing this spring was nothing short of fantastic. Antone was lighting up the radar with pitches touching 99-MPH on Wednesday night and struck out five batters.
Tejay Antone is fun to watch on the mound. The 27-year-old works quickly and effectively, something that is sure to keep the infield defenders on the their toes. If Antone breaks camp as a member of the Reds starting rotation this spring, obviously that gives him a leg up heading into 2022. But, even if he doesn’t make the cut in 2021, he’ll be in-line for a starting job next spring.