Forgotten Reds prospect shines in spring opener

Tyler Callihan was a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Tyler Callihan
Cincinnati Reds infielder Tyler Callihan / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Reds took the field for the first time this spring on Saturday afternoon with their Cactus League opener against the Cleveland Guardians. Expectations surrounding this year's Reds team are sky-high.

Will Benson displayed his power with a massive blast over the right-center field wall in the top of the fourth inning. Carson Spiers, the Reds starting pitcher during Saturday's opener, also looked good with two scoreless innings and four punch outs.

But it was Reds prospect Tyler Callihan who stole the show during the first Cactus League game this spring. Callihan grounded into a fielder's choice during the sixth inning that scored Bubba Thompson from third base, and then sent a two-run homer over the fence in the eighth inning.

Forgotten Reds prospect, Tyler Callihan, shines in spring opener

The Cincinnati Reds drafted Tyler Callihan in the third round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Callihan was a bat-first infielder who was viewed as hit-over-power prospect, likely to find a defensive home at second base.

But Callihan, like so many other prospects, missed the 2020 season after the minor league campaign was cancelled due the coronavirus pandemic. Callihan's ascension up the minor league ladder was later halted by a severe elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

Callihan played just 23 games in 2021 before being sidelined for the remainder of the season. Callihan then returned in 2022, but was only able to get on the field for 88 contests. Last season, however, Callihan finally made it all the way back and participated in 131 professional games split between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga.

Last season, Callihan hit a combined .249/.327/.389, but after receiving a promotion to Double-A, the left-handed hitting infielder slashed .310/.396/.460 in just over 100 at-bats for the Lookouts at the close of the 2023 season.

Tyler Callihan isn't playing for a spot on the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster, but don't rule out a midseason call-up if he's able to carry over this momentum to his minor league campaign in 2024. The Reds have a ton of talented infielders, and you can add Callihan's name to the list.