The Cincinnati Reds desperately need to improve the team's outfield heading into the 2023 season. One way in which the front office is looking to solve this problem is by aggressively shopping some of the club's shortstop prospects.
Four of Cincinnati's Top 5 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, are middle infielders. Noelvi Marte, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, and Edwin Arroyo are all shortstops by trade. Throw in Cam Collier, Spencer Steer, and Sal Stewart, and the Reds have an influx of infield talent in their farm system.
If Cincinnati is indeed shopping some of their infielders, which three prospects are most likely to be on the chopping block? Don't worry, De La Cruz and Marte are not on the list.
1. Reds SS Jose Torres could be on the chopping block.
The Cincinnati Reds have so many highly-regarded shortstop prospects that a player like Jose Torres gets lost in the shuffle. A third-round pick of the Reds back in 2021, Torres had a fine second year in the minor leagues last season.
Drafted in the 24th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019, Torres decided to attend North Carolina State University and improved his stock tremendously. Torres spent all of last season at High-A Dayton, but was unable to duplicate the terrific hitting statistics he put up in 2021.
Torres, however, has always been regarded more for his defense than his hitting. The 23-year-old has the instincts and arm strength to be a regular at the major league level, but his hitting has to elevate beyond the .234/.287/.378 slash line Torres produced in 2022.
Jose Torres is not going to fetch an elite-level outfield prospect, but could be packaged with another player within the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Offloading Torres could, if nothing else, offer more playing time to one of the franchise's rising stars in Edwin Arroyo.