Cincinnati Reds prospect Bryce Bonnin has only pitched in two games for the Daytona Tortugas, but the right-hander is already gaining some high praise. In his debut for the Reds’ Low-A affiliate last week, Bonnin pitched five perfect innings.
Bonnin followed up his first game for the Tortugas with another solid outing, allowing just two runs on three hits through four innings of work. In his two starts, Bonnin has a 2.00 ERA through nine innings with 14 punch outs and only one walk.
Bryce Bonnin has a plus fastball and plus slider, who began his college career at the University of Arkansas before seeking an opportunity to start and transferring to Texas Tech University. Bonnin’s 4.72 ERA in two seasons in Lubbock weren’t overly impressive, but the Reds scouting staff saw enough to take a flyer on the Texas native in Round 3 of the 2020 MLB Draft.
Bryce Bonnin is one of the more exciting prospects in the Reds farm system.
One thing that Bryce Bonnin has done so far this season is locate the strike zone. A 3.3% walk-rate and 46.7% strikeout-rate basically hammer than point home. There was some reliever risk to Bonnin when the Reds selected the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder last summer, but the team seems willing to let him begin his professional career as a starter; and that’s a good thing.
We’ve seen the Reds, countless times in recent memory, convert would-be starters into relievers. Amir Garrett, Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias, and now Tony Santillan come to mind. That’s not a bad thing, as most of those hurlers proved that starting wasn’t their cup of tea.
However, in Bonnin’s case, seeing that Cincinnati’s staff is willing to give the right-hander a chance to start is welcome sign. Bonnin oftentimes throws across his body which led some scouts to see him as a reliever throughout last year’s draft process.
While that may still hold true, if the Cincinnati Reds’ minor league coaches can help Bonnin repeat his delivery effectively, he could find his way onto a major league roster as a starting pitcher. He’s already shown improvement this season with his ability to stay in the strike zone.
The key for Bryce Bonnin moving forward will be locating his fastball consistently and adding a third pitch that can be equally as effective as his slider. Bonnin has a curveball and changeup in his pitching repertoire. If one of those two pitches becomes a consistent third offering, the sky is the limit for the former Red Raider.