Polarizing Reds prospect showcases the good, the bad, and the ugly in 2024 debut

Rece Hinds has the potential to be special, but he needs time to develop.

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Rece Hinds long tosses during spring training workouts
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Rece Hinds long tosses during spring training workouts / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Louisville Bats began their 2024 season on Friday night and held on to win by a final of 9-8. Carson Spiers got off to a hot start, but the Indianapolis Indians were able to record five runs on five hits before chasing the right-hander from the game.

Jacob Hurtubise continued to display patience at the dish, going 1-for-3 with two walks, and Blake Dunn showed off some hitting and speed with a two-RBI single and a stolen base. But it was outfielder Rece Hinds who stole the show with a massive blast in the sixth inning off Indianapolis reliever Kade McClure.

The ball came off Hinds' bat at 102 mph and landed on the berm over the left-center field wall at Louisville Slugger Field. It was Hinds' first Triple-A hit. Unfortunately, that was Hinds' only hit on the night, as he also struck out three times.

Polarizing Reds prospect Rece Hinds showcases the good, the bad, and the ugly

Hinds was a second-round draft pick of the Reds back in 2019. Many pundits were surprised to see the Reds add Hinds to the team's 40-man roster this offseason, assuming that his strikeout rate would scare teams away from taking the 23-year-old in the Rule 5 Draft. But the Reds, much like they did with Lyon Richardson in 2022, decided to play it safe.

If Hinds can figure out how to cut down on the swings and misses, Cincinnati's decision could prove to be a wise one. It's not too often that young players produce the type of contact that Hinds can. The outfielder's power is carrying tool.

The question that Hinds will need to answer in 2024 is whether or not he can increase his plate discipline. Hinds showed flashes in 2023 while playing at Double-A Chattanooga. Hinds ended his time with the Lookouts hitting .269/.330/.536. If Hinds can duplicate that type of production at Triple-A, the outfielder could receive a call-up to the big leagues by the end of the year.

Hinds did enough in 2023 to earn a spot on the Reds 40-man roster, and now he'll have to continue that upward trend in order to keep it. The Reds have been searching for a right-handed hitting outfielder with power, and they just may have it with Hinds.

With players like Hurtubise and Dunn in the organization as well, there's no need to rush Hinds' development. It's important to remember that he missed an entire year of organized baseball after the 2020 minor league season was cancelled. Patience will be the key for both Hinds and the Reds fans who are eager to see him send baseballs out of Great American Ball Park.

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