The Cincinnati Reds have a talented farm system. Recent drafts have netted the Reds players like Austin Hendrick, Matt McLain, and Rece Hinds. While Cincinnati is hopeful that they've struck gold with all three of those prospects, a few of the Reds best young players struggled in 2021.
One of the biggest keys to the Cincinnati Reds being a successful franchise is the development of their young talent. Recently we've seen Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Tony Santillan make their MLB debuts. All four seem likely to be a big part of the team's future.
However, there were those prospects who didn't excel in 2021 and will need to improve heading into the 2022. Which three Cincinnati prospects need to rebound next season after a subpar campaign in 2021?
1. Jackson Miller, Reds catching prospect
Reds fans will have to be patient with Jackson Miller. Cincinnati's second-round draft pick in 2020 is only 19 years old and still getting used to playing the position full-time. Miller also dealt with an oblique injury last season and was limited to just three games.
In those three games, Miller hit two singles and drew two walks. The Florida native is extremely athletic, but his age and inexperience will require patience from the coaching staff and fanbase.
Miller is a hit-first backstop who has an above-average arm. The potential is there for Jackson Miller to be a five-tool catcher, but it's all dependent on how he develops during his time in the minor leagues in the coming years.
Fans shouldn't expect to see Miller even sniff the big leagues until 2024 at the earliest. Don't forget, Tyler Stephenson was drafted in 2015 and it wasn't until the 2020 season that the former first-round pick even made his major league debut.
However, given how the Cincinnati Reds have developed catchers like Stephenson, Tucker Barnhart, Devin Mesoraco in the past, fans should have confidence in the team's ability to bring high school catchers along. It's a wait and see approach, but more than anything, Miller needs to come into next season at full strength.