Cincinnati Reds' Triple-A outfield depth will be tested this season

Houston Astros designated hitter Ronnie Dawson (95) bats.
Houston Astros designated hitter Ronnie Dawson (95) bats. / Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

With Nick Castellaons still unsigned, Reds Country is holding out hope that their All-Star right fielder returns to Cincinnati in 2022. That seems a bit unlikely, but stranger things have happened. With the likely departure of Castellanos, and the trio of Nick Senzel, Shogo Akiyama, and Tyler Naquin ending the 2021 season on the IL, the Cincinnati Reds may well have to dip into their farm system in 2022.

Last season, we saw Scott Heineman elevated from Triple-A to the major leagues. TJ Friedl made his big league debut. The Reds also saw Alejo Lopez and Max Schrock, both career infielders, see some time in the outfield as well.

What does the Reds' Triple-A outfield depth look like?

Heading into spring training, there are a handful of minor league outfielders who'll be given a shot to land on the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster. However, with the aforementioned threesome of Senzel, Akiyama, and Naquin expected to be healthy upon their arrival to Goodyear, it'll be hard for one of the young outfielders to finagle their way onto the roster.

The only outfielder on Cincinnati's 40-man roster who may begin the 2022 season at Triple-A Louisville would be Friedl. The speedy 26-year-old will certainly make his presence felt during spring training, but Friedl does have minor league options remaining.

With no minor league options remaining, Aristides Aquino figures to be fighting for his roster spot during camp. The Punisher has fallen woefully short of the lofty expectations he set for himself after his debut in August of 2019. Shogo Akiyama will have to prove that he's more than just a rotational outfielder, though his $8M salary makes it likely he'll be in Cincinnati on Opening Day.

So what does the Cincinnati Reds' Triple-A outfield depth look like? Ronnie Dawson might be most notable name of the group. Selected in the minor league Rule 5 Draft a couple months ago, Dawson had previously played for the Houston Astros and has a lot of pop from the left side. His below-average arm would likely see Dawson playing left field.

Keep you eye on Lorenzo Cedrola. The 24-year-old made the switch from shortstop to center field early in his career with the Boston Red Sox, and it paid off. Cedrola has the speed and arm strength to play the position defensively. The Venezuelan will never be confused for a power-hitter, but still hit .320 and posted a 126 wRC+ while playing 106 games for Double-A Chattanooga last year.

One more name that I'll mention is Brian Rey. I can't say enough good things about the former 13th-round pick. Rey ascended from High-A Dayton all the way to Triple-A Louisville last season. While second base might be his primary position, Rey's best chance to make it to the big leagues is probably as a fourth outfielder. Rey his .289 across all thee levels and posted a wRC+ of 121.

Next. 3 Reds who'll struggle to make the 40-man roster. dark

Drew Mount and Trey Amburgey are also part of the Louisville Bats outfield. Mount played for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League along with Michael Siani and Ivan Johnson. Both outfielders will be in Goodyear as well.