3 Reds prospects who enter 2022 with a lot to prove after subpar 2021 campaigns

The glove and hat of Cincinnati Reds left fielder Tyler Naquin.
The glove and hat of Cincinnati Reds left fielder Tyler Naquin. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next
Mar 1, 2021; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds Lyon Richardson (78) poses during media day at
Mar 1, 2021; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds Lyon Richardson (78) poses during media day at / USA TODAY NETWORK

2. Lyon Richardson, Reds pitching prospect

Lyon Richardson was a two-way player when the Cincinnati Reds selected the Port Saint Lucie product with the 47th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. Richardson made the leap from Low-A to High-A last season, and his numbers show that the 21-year-old still has a ways to go.

Richardson, like many prospects, never saw the field in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the minor league season. In 2019, the right-hander started 26 games for the Dayton Dragons, going 3-9 with a 4.15 ERA over 112.2 innings of work.

This past season saw Richardson appear in just 19 games for High-A Dayton. Richardson owned a 5.09 ERA and 4.69 FIP in 76 innings pitched for the Dragons in 2021. Richardson saw a drastic jump in his walk-rate as well which went from 6.6% in 2019 to 11.0% in 2021.

However, Richardson did show improvement in other areas. The right-hander punched out 91 batters and recorded a 26.3% strikeout-rate and 10.78 K/9. If Richardson continues to trend in that direction next season, the Reds development team will have no choice but to continue to push the Florida native up through the farm system.

Lyon Richardson is viewed as a potential back-of-the-rotation piece, and with the future of pitchers like Tyler Mahle, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray in doubt, the Cincinnati Reds need as many potential starters coming up through the farm system as they can get.