What position should Reds prospect Rece Hinds play in 2022?

Cincinnati Reds prospect Rece Hinds throws the ball.
Cincinnati Reds prospect Rece Hinds throws the ball. / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

It sounds as if the Cincinnati Reds want infield prospect Rece Hinds to change positions. Where should the 21-year-old play in 2022?

Per Bobby Nightengale's Twitter post, Reds Vice President of Player Development Sean Pender suggested a position change may be necessary for Hinds.

Rece Hinds is one of the Reds best infield prospects.

Hinds is currently projected as a third baseman, logging 273.1 innings at the position while playing with Low-A Daytona last season.

Hinds was responsible for 22 putouts, 46 assists, three double plays, and eight errors last season.

Rece Hinds is not a glove-first infielder. While he's not a below-average fielder per se, the Reds have better defensive infield talent than Hinds.

Elly De La Cruz and even Ivan Johnson are likely better defenders at the hot corner.

If one of the organization's top prospects (De La Cruz) is projected by many scouts to be the Reds third baseman of the future, the time for Hinds to switch positions is now.

But where is the most logical landing spot for Cincinnati's No. 7-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline?

Hinds has a strong arm and lots of power, so moving him to right field seems like the most logical choice.

Hinds has average speed, but with the small layout of Great American Ball Park, a speedy corner outfielder is unnecessary.

That said, one of the Reds top outfield prospects and the only player in the Reds farm system who can match power with Rece Hinds, is ticketed for right field already.

Austin Hendrick, whom the Cincinnati Reds selected with their first-round pick in 2020, started 56 of his 61 games in right field last season.

The opportunity then exists for Rece Hinds to transition to left field, where a strong arm is still of great value.

Jay Allen and Allan Cerda are two of Cincinnati's other top outfield prospects who will be expected to battle it out for playing time in the big leagues over the next few years.

The Reds should move Rece Hinds to first base.

While profiling Hinds as a corner outfielder going forward makes sense, I'd suggest that Cincinnati develop the right-handed hitting slugger as a first baseman.

Hinds is at least two years away from making his big league debut, meaning he'll likely be ready for his MLB debut around the time that Joey Votto is likely to hang up his cleats and call it a career.

When Votto decides to retire from baseball, the Cincinnati Reds will undoubtedly need to replace their Hall of Fame first baseman.

While moving Hinds to first base would greatly lessen his need for a strong arm, his athletic ability would shine through and allow the Florida native to thrive both defensively and at the plate.

Rece Hinds loudest tool is his power, and every team in Major League Baseball is looking for a first baseman that can consistently give them 30-plus home runs every year. Hinds is that player.

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While moving Hinds to the outfield would be appealing, the Cincinnati Reds would do well to move the former second-rounder to first base starting next season.