A trio of Cincinnati Reds prospects are ranked among ESPN's Top 100

Cincinnati Reds prospect Hunter Greene (3) prepares to deliver another pitch after clocking one at 100 mph.
Cincinnati Reds prospect Hunter Greene (3) prepares to deliver another pitch after clocking one at 100 mph. / Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal via Imagn

ESPN's Kiley McDaniel released his Top 100 MLB prospects for 2022 (subscription required) and included three Cincinnati Reds in his rankings. Hunter Greene (23), Nick Lodolo (79) and Elly De La Cruz all appear among McDaniel's Top 100 prospects.

It's not surprising to see these three players among the top prospects in baseball. Greene, who was selected to the Reds 40-man roster prior to the lockout, proved last season that he has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. Lodolo was one of the best pitchers in the Reds minor leagues last season, and De La Cruz has five-tool player written all over him.

Three Cincinnati Reds prospects ranked among Top 100 by ESPN.

Hunter Greene will be in competition for a spot in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation during the 2022 season. The Reds will have at least one vacancy in the rotation with the departure of Wade Miley. If one of Tyler Mahle, Sonny Gray, or Luis Castillo is dealt before the season, Cincinnati will have multiple spots open in the rotation.

Add Nick Lodolo to that list as well. The left-hander dealt with blisters and a shoulder injury last season while pitching at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville. But, when the former first-rounder was on the bump, he was dominant.

Lodolo appeared in 13 games and posted a 2.31 ERA over 50.2 innings of work. Lodolo punched out 78 opposing batters, good enough for a 13.86 K/9 and 38.8% strikeout-rate. Add to that Lodolo's 5.5% walk-rate, and the Reds look to have two up-and-coming starters with ace potential.

De La Cruz is the biggest surprise on the list. The Dominican native just turned 20 years old, and showed great power at plate last season. De La Cruz slashed .296/.336/.538 with a wRC+ of 127. The Cincinnati Reds scouting department believe that De La Cruz has the potential to be a five-tool player. We'll likely know more after facing tougher competition during the 2022 season.

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The Reds had a few other highly-touted prospects who fell outside ESPN's Top 100. Matt McLain, Cincinnati's first-round pick in 2021, missed the cut. So did former first-rounder Austin Hendrick who had an underwhelming performance during his first taste of professional baseball last summer.