3 Reds prospects who are flying under the radar heading into 2023
The Cincinnati Reds have chosen to rebuild. While that's not as necessary music to the ears of the fanbase, it's the reality of where the organization is at the moment.
Rather than building their team from the outside with free agent signings, the Reds are looking to their prospects in order to transform the club from the inside out. It's a tried and true strategy, so long as the talent evaluators know what they're looking for.
In other words, prospects will be key to the Cincinnati Reds success in the future. While Elly De La Cruz and Noelvi Marte have dominated the headlines, let's look at three Reds prospects who appear to be flying under the radar?
1. Reds OF prospect Justice Thompson is flying under the radar.
The Cincinnati Reds outfield has been a topic of conversation all offseason. While it appears as though the Reds are content to go into the 2023 season with Jake Fraley, TJ Friedl, and Nick Senzel as the starting trio, that doesn't seem to excite the fanbase very much. Nick Solak, Stuart Fairchild, and Michael Siani are also in the mix.
When you look into the minor league ranks, there's not a lot of exciting prospects there either. Sure, Jay Allen II has received a fair amount of praise, and the Reds have a few big bats (Rece Hinds and Austin Hendrick), but there are concerns about whether or not some will ever reach the major leagues due to their high strikeout-rate.
Outfield prospect Justice Thompson seems to be flying under the radar a bit as he begins to prepare for his third professional season with the Cincinnati organization. Yes, Thompson has a lot of swings and misses as well (34.8% K-rate), but he offsets it with a good eye at the plate and high walk-rate (13.8%). Thompson posted an on-base percentage of .361 last season.
Thompson was a sixth-round pick of the Reds back in 2021 and has terrific speed. Thompson is one of the most athletically gifted players in the entire Cincinnati Reds organization. If the 22-year-old can cut down on his strikeouts and tap into a little more power at the dish, Thompson has a chance to really rise up through the ranks of the farm system in 2023.