While the present appears bleak, the future looks bright for the Cincinnati Reds. MLB Pipeline would tend to agree after placing four of Cincinnati's prospects among their Top 100 for the 2022 season.
Right-hander Hunter Greene, southpaw Nick Lodolo, talented infielder Elly De La Cruz, and last year's first-round pick Matt McLain all made the list. Reds fans are likely to see at least two of four prospects debut during the upcoming season, and there's an outside chance that number jumps to three.
Reds land 4 among MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects.
The Cincinnati Reds are no stranger to having some of their top talent recognized by MLB Pipeline. Recently, we've seen players like Nick Senzel, Jonathan India, Tyler Mahle, and Austin Hendrick among the website's Top 100 prospects. Hendrick, after a down-year in 2021, fell off the radar this go-around.
Hunter Greene comes in at No. 22 on the big board. The right-hander looks to secure a spot in the Cincinnati starting rotation. After bidding farewell to last year's starters Sonny Gray and Wade Miley, the door appears wide open for the 22-year-old if he performs well enough in spring training.
Nick Lodolo, ranked 42nd among all prospects, is one of the most polished pitchers in the minor leagues. The former first-round pick played three seasons at Texas Christian University and dominated the minor leagues last season. Lodolo will get the ball in Cincinnati's first Cactus League game on Friday. A strong showing this spring may vault the lefty into the Reds starting rotation.
Elly De La Cruz, coming in at No. 76 according to MLB Pipeline, is the biggest wild card in the Reds farm system, and yet the 20-year-old has appeared in every single outlet's Top 100 prospects list this offseason. The Reds may have a star on their hands, but this could be a make-it or break-it season for De La Cruz.
The Cincinnati Reds first-round pick from a year, shortstop Matt McLain, is a stud. The former UCLA Bruin fell into Cincinnati's lap during the 2021 MLB Draft, and will likely begin the 2022 season at Double-A Chattanooga. McLain ranks 87th on the list.
Hunter Greene has a chance to make the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster, as does Nick Lodolo. If neither is able to breakthrough initially, we'll no doubt see the duo debut at some point during the upcoming season. If Matt McLain develops as most scouts think he will, Reds fans might get a glimpse of the 22-year-old at Great American Ball Park in September.