Overhyped Reds prospect kicked back to the minor leagues after disastrous start

He's just not ready.

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Blake Dunn
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Blake Dunn / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds promoted a prospect earlier this week who many observers thought was not ready for The Show. Rece Hinds has proven all the doubters wrong and will start his third straight game on Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies.

Hinds' debut saw the 23-year-old mash a monster home run and record a double. During his encore performance on Tuesday, Hinds went 3-for-4 with another two-bagger, a triple, and a second mammoth home run.

But lost in the Hinds' hysteria is the fact that a more highly-rated outfield prospect has fallen on tough times. Blake Dunn, who is the team's 10th-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was optioned back to Triple-A Louisville after Jake Fraley was activated from the Family Medical Emergency List on Wednesday afternoon.

Reds prospect Blake Dunn kicked back to the minor leagues after disastrous start

No one would have batted an eye if Hinds had crashed and burned during his first foray into the big leagues. Hinds has mega-power (as Reds fans have seen firsthand), but the young slugger also strikes out a lot.

But Dunn was expected to take the bigs like a duck to water. That has yet to happen, and the former 12th-round draft pick completed two passes through the major leagues and has just one hit to show for it. Dunn was 1-for-18 during his brief tenure on the active roster.

Dunn was arguably the Reds' best minor league player in 2023, and was it not for an injuriy during spring training, the 25-year-old may have been part of the Reds Opening Day roster. Dunn is an advanced hitter with the ability to play all three outfield spots, however, he went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts after returning from Triple-A earlier this month.

Much like Jacob Hurtubise before him, it appears as though Dunn needs more seasoning down at Triple-A. With Hinds' terrific start to his major league career, the Reds have enough depth at the moment to let Dunn get back on track before returning to the major leagues.

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