Reds: 3 fast-rising minor leaguers who could be trade bait

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Alejo Lopez (98) fields a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Alejo Lopez (98) fields a ground ball. /
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Cincinnati Reds outfielder Alejo Lopez warms up.
Mar 2, 2021; Goodyear, Arizona, USA; Cincinnati Reds outfielder Alejo Lopez warms up. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Alejo Lopez, Reds minor league infielder

For the record, I absolutely love the way Alejo Lopez plays the game. The 25-year-old is a versatile infielder, but the Cincinnati Reds have a plethora of players who fit that description. If Cincinnati were ever going to promote the 25-year-old, there best opportunity was when Lucas Sims hit the IL, but instead, the Reds recalled Scott Heineman.

Lopez has already shown an ability to blitz through Double-A. In 25 games for the Chattanooga Lookouts, Lopez slashed .362/.437/.448 with nine doubles and 13 RBIs. A promotion to Triple-A was imminent, and with the Louisville Bats, Lopez is hitting .366/.448/.549 with nine doubles, two home runs, and 13 RBIs.

Now, there will be those who argue that Cincinnati would use that type of production at the major league level. I would agree, but Lopez will not break through into the starting lineup for the Reds. With Joey Votto, Jonathan India, Eugenio Suarez, and Kyle Farmer manning the infield, and star slugger Mike Moustakas soon to come off the IL, Lopez would be no more than a bench bat.

The Reds also have Max Schrock returning for the IL in the near future and Mike Freeman has been a steady hand off the bench. Alex Blandino should return to the Cincinnati lineup sometime next month as well. With so many redundant infielders, the Reds can afford to sacrifice Alejo Lopez if it means bringing back a reliever in return.