Reds prospects: Low-A affiliate, Daytona Tortugas, loaded with potent bats

Ivan Johnson trots to first after getting hit with the ball during Tortugas opener at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Ivan Johnson trots to first after getting hit with the ball during Tortugas opener at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. /

The overwhelming majority of Reds Country is glued to the television set every night, enjoying their team’s pursuit of a postseason berth. While the Queen City has been rocking of late, the Cincinnati Reds‘ Low-A affiliate, the Daytona Tortugas, have been lighting up the Florida sky with some rockets of their own.

Many fans are eagerly awaiting the arrival of top prospects Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Jose Barrero; all of whom are currently at Triple-A Louisville. However, the future of the Reds may be found a bit further south.

The Daytona Tortugas’ hitters have been on a tear of late. Cincinnati’s 2020 first-round draft pick, Austin Hendrick, is one of the stars for Low-A Daytona. But last year’s No. 12 overall pick is only hitting .204 on the season. In the month of August, Hendrick is slashing .192/.344/.423. However, several of Hendrick’s teammates are mashing this month.

Reds prospects Ivan Johnson and Allan Cerda are obliterating the competition.

According to MLB Pipeline, eight of the Reds’ top position players currently reside in Daytona. Hendrick (3), Tyler Callihan (8), Ivan Johnson (11), Allan Cerda (14), Elly De La Cruz (18), Yan Contreras (21), Michael Triana (22), and Danny Lantigua (27) are all part of the Tortugas’ roster.

Johnson, Cerda, De la Cruz, and Lantigua have been mashing of late. Over the last month, which encompasses 28 games, Johnson is hitting .320 with seven doubles, two triples, three home runs and 12 RBIs. The 22-year-old has an OPS of 1.240 over the last 10 days.

Cerda was just recognized as the Southeast Low-A Player of the Week after the centerfielder slashed .348/.429/.913 with two doubles, a triple, and three home runs during thee Tortugas’ road trip against the Lakeland Flying Tigers.

In case you haven’t ben paying attention, Elly De La Cruz is perhaps the fastest rising player in the Reds’ farm system. Not even on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 prospect list prior to the 2021 season, De La Cruz has vaulted to No. 18 after hitting .318/.355/.652 on the season with 11 doubles, six triples, and seven home runs.

Finally, Lantigua is playing very well for the Daytona Tortugas as well. The 22-year-old outfield prospect is hitting .320 over the last 10 days and is slugging .420 on the season with 14 doubles and five homers.

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The Daytona Tortugas are loaded with offensive firepower, though they also hav some of the Cincinnati Reds’ top arm talent as well. Bryce Bonnin is part of the Tortugas’ starting rotation and Luis Mey is a key member of the relief corps.