2 Reds prospects inching closer to the major leagues after promotion and 1 with a lot to prove

The Cincinnati Reds made a flurry of moves in the minor leagues this past week.

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Cincinnati Reds helmets / Cole Burston/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds, in an effort to get many of their young prospects more playing time, made several transactions over the past couple of days.

With the A-Ball circuit done for the 2023 season, players like infielder Nick Northcutt, catcher Cade Hunter, and outfielder Allan Cerda, among others, received a bump in competition.

Among those players receiveing a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga was a pair of players who are very close to making the jump to The Show. There's also another Reds prospect who'll need a lot more seasoning in the minors.

Reds prospect Jacob Heatherly is inching closer to his major league debut.

Jacob Heatherly was added to the Chattanooga Lookouts roster this past week after spending the 2023 season split between Low-A Daytona and High-A Dayton. Heatherly was drafted all the way back in 2017, so why has it taken the left-hander so long just to make the jump to Double-A?

Heatherly has endured a multitude of injuries since being drafted, and until this season, had been utilized most often as a starter. This season, however, the Reds adjusted the plan and Heatherly has been operating out of the bullpen all season.

Heatherly was 6-4 during his time with the Daytona Tortugas and Dayton Dragons and owned a 2.76 ERA with 84 strikeouts in 49 innings of work. That's an impressive 15.43 strikeouts per nine innings. If Heatherly is able to continue that type of dominance in Double-A, it might not be long before the southpaw find his way to the big leagues.

A left-handed reliever with a batting average against of just .137 and a 65-plus percent ground ball-rate would be the type of player that both manager David Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson would love to have in the bullpen next season. Keep you eye on Jacob Heatherly.

Reds prospect Edwin Arroyo is inching closer to his major league debut.

Edwin Arroyo, somewhat surprisingly, was added to the Chattanooga Lookouts roster this past week. Acquired alongside Noelvi Marte in the Luis Castillo last summer, Arroyo has produced mixed results at High-A Dayton this season.

Keep in mind that Arroyo just turned 20 years old. A skilled defensive shortstop, Arroyo is still tapping into his potential at the dish. The infielder was hitting .248/.321/.427 with the Dayton Dragons before making the jump to Double-A.

The troubling number when it comes to Arroyo is the batting average. Hitting below .250 against the competition at High-A doesn't necessarily scream big league hitter, but again, he's barely 20 years old. Arroyo does have a good eye, with a strikeout-rate just a touch above 20-percent according to FanGraphs.

The power has really shown up of late, with Arroyo posting a .475 slugging percentage since August 1st. Prior to that, Arroyo was slugging just over .400 on the season. Of Arroyo's 49 extra-base hits this season, 13 have come in the last 34 games.

There is absolutely no reason for the Cincinnati Reds to rush Edwin Arroyo to the major leagues. With so many young infielders already on the 40-man roster, there's no reason to accelerate the process. However, as Reds fans have already seen with the likes of Noelvi Marte and Elly De La Cruz, sometimes thes prospect arrive ahead of schedule.

Reds prospect Austin Hendrick has a lot left to prove.

Whether or not Austin Hendrick's promotion to Double-A Chattanooga was deserved or not is certainly debatable, but there's no question that the Cincinnati Reds need to see what they truly have in the former first-round pick.

Hendrick was selected in Round 1 of the 2020 MLB Draft. That event was not traditional in the least, and the lack of play on the part of both high school and college players caused innumerable questionable selections. Hendrick, as turns out, may have been one of them.

That's not to say that the Pennsylvania high school product can't turn into an impact player in the major leagues, but with the truncated 2020 season, scouts really didn't get to properly evaluate many of the talented players in that year's draft.

The power is something that no one is going to question. Hendrick possessed the most raw power in the 2020 MLB Draft among any prep player, and perhaps has more raw power than anyone in that year's draft class. But making contact has been difficult for the 22-year-old.

Austin Hendrick was hitting .204/.271/.335 with a wRC+ of 71 and a strikeout-rate of 35.9-percent according to FanGraphs. There's a lot of concern that Hendrick may never figure it out, but those same concerns existed for Rece Hinds prior to this season, and the former second-round pick has turned things around.

Hendrick still needs a lot fo seasoning, and the Reds are not pressed add him to the team's 40-man roster this offseason. But the outfielder will need to make a ton of adjustments in 2024 if he hopes to make his major league dreams a reality.