3 Reds players to watch during the Cactus League opener vs. the Guardians

Cincinnati Reds shortstops Jose Barrero (2), Elly De La Cruz (44)
Cincinnati Reds shortstops Jose Barrero (2), Elly De La Cruz (44) / Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY Sports
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Baseball is back, Reds Country! While the excitement surrounding the Cincinnati Reds 2023 season is a bit diminished because of the perceived lack of commitment to winning, it's still fantastic to have Reds baseball back.

Today marks the start of Cactus League play as later this afternoon the Reds and Cleveland Guardians will get things started from Goodyear, Arizona.

There will be no shortage of players to keep an eye during spring ball as so many will be vying for a spot on the Opening Day roster. But, which three players should draw the most attention during the Reds Cactus League opener?

1. Reds player to watch during the Cactus League opener: Elly De La Cruz

By now, every Reds fan has heard the name Elly De La Cruz. Coming into camp last spring, De La Cruz was a name that only diehard Reds fans knew. But this year, he's probably the most talked about play in camp.

De La Cruz has potential to be a five-tool player. While his position may yet be undefined, his talent certainly is not. De La Cruz has crazy power from both sides of the plate, ridiculous speed, and an absolute cannon for an arm.

But, the Reds have maintained that the plan is bring along De La Cruz very slowly. The 21-year-old ended last season at Double-A Chattanooga and may well begin his 2023 season back in southeastern Tennessee.

Elly De La Cruz's stated goal has been to make it to The Show. But the Reds shortstop prospect may have to wait a couple months before making his goal a reality. However, if De La Cruz is able to wow the coaching staff, there's a tiny chance he could force his way onto the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster a la Jonathan India in 2021.