Reds: 3 little known players who’ll make a big impact in 2021

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Max Schrock (32) dives, but is unable to catch up to a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Max Schrock (32) dives, but is unable to catch up to a ground ball. /
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Carson Fulmer #51 of the Chicago White Sox pitches. Fulmer recently joined the Reds.
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 29: Carson Fulmer #51 of the Chicago White Sox pitches. Fulmer was picked up by the Reds this spring. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Everyone in the city of Cincinnati has heard of Joey Votto. Casual fans have heard the names Eugenio Suarez and Amir Garrett. But has everyone throughout Reds Country heard of Cionel Perez? How about Brandon Bailey? While not every player that makes the Cincinnati Reds roster is household name, that doesn’t mean they won’t contribute.

Last season, Tejay Antone rose from relative obscurity to a key piece of the Cincinnati bullpen. The right-hander is in the mix to be the team’s fifth starter this season, but was a relative unknown heading into 2020.

How about Aristides Aquino? While he didn’t make his 2019 debut until August, The Punisher wasted little time making sure that the baseball world knew who he was. Aquino blasted 14 home runs during his first month in the big leagues and looks to be in line to make this year’s roster out fo Goodyear.

So who makes the leap from obscurity to fame in 2021? Will it be a young rookie who we haven’t heard of yet? Maybe a grizzled veteran who seizes an opportunity. No matter what, it’s bound to happen. Who are three unknown players likely to make a big impact in 2021?

Carson Fulmer, Reds right-handed pitcher

Carson Fulmer, a former first round pick, was designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates and claimed by the Cincinnati Reds a little over a week ago. Though he hasn’t appeared in a game for the Reds this winter, the coaching staff is really high on the former Vanderbilt Commodore.

Fulmer was taken with the eighth overall selection in the 2015 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox and made his big league debut in 2016. Over the past five years, Fulmer has been sent down to the minors and brought back up to the majors more times than he’d like to count. Fulmer’s major league career consists of just 105 innings of work.

There is reason for optimism, however, as Fulmer is a former Top 100 prospect who possesses an electric fastball who’s spin-rate, according to Baseball Savant, is in the 91st percentile. Fulmer is highly competitive and out of minor-league options. Look for him to stick on the 26-man roster out of camp, and become a fixture in the Reds’ bullpen this season.