The Cincinnati Reds have gotten off to a hot start, but there’s always competition for roster spots at the major league level. While the minor league season has yet to get underway, these three players will likely be so impressive that Nick Krall and the Cincinnati front office will have no choice but to promote them to the big leagues.
Whether it’s injury or poor play, we know that the roster David Bell started with to begin the 2021 season will not be the one he finishes the year with. We’ve already seen Cam Bedrosian get the boot, and there’s a few other players who’ve underperformed to this point.
The Reds have also incurred a slew of injuries to begin get season. We’ve seen Jesse Winker and Mike Moustakas miss time early, and Shogo Akiyama began the 2021 season on the injured list. Alex Blandino, Aristides Aquino, and Michael Lorenzen are all on the injured list as well.
You never know how things are going to shake out over a 162-game season, but the talent Cincinnati has in its minor leagues is tough to ignore. So which three players might the Reds turn to before the All-Star break?
1. Ryan Hendrix, Reds relief pitcher
Ryan Hendrix has been one of the more talked about prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization for some time now. The right-hander is currently on the 40-man roster and will likely begin the 2021 season at Triple-A Louisville. It’s not a question of if Hendrix will make his big league debut, but when.
Young relief pitchers inevitably find their way onto the active roster at some point during the season, and Hendrix is the most likely of the Reds’ top pitching prospects to do so. Hendrix has an electric fastball that he can flat-out blow by opposing hitters.
Hendrix also has an above-average swing-and-miss pitch; his breaking ball, that has helped him to a 12.9 strikeout per nine innings ratio. With Cam Bedrosian already being released, the Reds from office is showing a willingness to move on if certain players don’t perform. If one of the Cincinnati relievers falters, Hendrix will be there to pick up the pieces.