The Cincinnati Reds have seen several top prospects make their major league debut this season. Elly De La Cruz, Andrew Abbott, and Matt McLain have certainly made their presence felt in the Queen City.
But while all those young players have made an impact, they've all been part of the Reds organization for at least a year or more. Cincinnati has received some tremendous contributions from some veterans who just joined the ball club this year.
While most of the Reds free agent additions have left a lot to be desired, a couple have shown that they have staying power along the banks of the Ohio River. Which three Reds players have exceeded expectations during their first year with the organization?
1. Pitcher Alex Young has exceeded expectations in his 1st year with the Reds.
Alex Young has saved the Cincinnati Reds' bacon on more than one occasion this season. Signed to a minor-league contract during the offseason, Young latched on with the Reds prior to Opening Day and has been one of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen this season.
After Reiver Sanmartin's injury and before the team picked up Sam Moll at the trade deadline, Young was the lone left-hander in the Reds bullpen. Though he had reverse splits on the season, sometimes just having a like-handed pitcher on the mound is enough to confuse a left-handed hitter.
Young, along with Buck Farmer, Alexis Diaz, and Ian Gibaut, has been called upon early and often this season. Young has logged more than 50 appearances in 2023 and owns a sub-3.00 ERA.
It was rather odd that the Cincinnati Reds were even able to acquire Alex Young at the price they did during the offseason based on his production in 2022. But Reds manager David Bell is certainly glad they did. Young is 29 years old, but is under team control through 2026.