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Reds prospects: Bryce Bonnin excelling at every minor league level

Jun 19, 2019; Omaha, NE, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Bryce Bonnin (40) throws in the first inning against the Florida State Seminoles in the 2019 College World Series. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2019; Omaha, NE, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Bryce Bonnin (40) throws in the first inning against the Florida State Seminoles in the 2019 College World Series. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
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Folks, the Cincinnati Reds may have found a diamond in the rough during last year’s MLB Draft. Bryce Bonnin, who was selected with the 84th overall pick in last year’s draft, has rocketed up through the Cincinnati farm system this season and seen success at every level.

Bonnin got the start, but not the win on Friday evening was the right-hander only went 4.1 innings of work. However, the former Texas Tech hurler punched out nine batters in less than five frames and allowed just one hit.

Friday’s start represented Bonnin’s second appearance for High-A Dayton. Though Bonnin struggled in his first game with the Dragons (four earned runs in 2.2 IP), Cincinnati’s No. 16 ranked prospect dominated the Lansing Lugnuts on Friday night. Bonnin did allow two runs, but both were unearned, coming as a result of errors by the Dragons’ defense.

Bryce Bonnin is a rising star in the Reds farm system.

Though most of the talk surrounding the Cincinnati Reds’ top pitching prospects centers around former first-round picks Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo, Bryce Bonnin and Graham Ashcraft have put together some impressive performances in the lower levels this season.

Bonnin made seven starts at Low-A Daytona this season before his promotion a couple weeks ago. During his time with the Tortugas, Bonnin went 4-0 with a 1.41 ERA over 32 innings of work. Bonnin struck out 44 opposing batters and walked just eight. Bonnin’s 12.38 K/9 and 36.7% strikeout-rate during his time in eastern Florida is quite impressive.

Bonnin has a plus-fastball and plus-slider. The hard-throwing right-hander has some giddy-up on his heater that can touch the upper-90s. Bonnin has a changeup he uses as well, but it’s not often that you’ll see the former Red Raider employ his off-speed pitch.

Though Bonnin is getting work as a starter, it’s assumed that Bonnin’s future is in the Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen. He has a very elongated delivery, so some scouts fear that Bonnin doesn’t have the stamina to last five-plus innings on a regular basis.

Most projections have Bryce Bonnin making his major league debut sometime in 2023. That’s probably a fair assessment, as the 22-year-old needs some more refinement in the minors and will likely start next season at Double-A.

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While Bonnin is projected as a reliever, if this season has taught Reds Country anything, it’s that you can never enough good relievers. Keep an eye on Bonnin as he moves through the minor leagues, and don’t be surprised if he cracks the Top 10 among Cincinnati prospects prior to next season.

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