3 Reds prospects who are flying under the radar heading into 2023

North Carolina outfielder Justice Thompson
North Carolina outfielder Justice Thompson / Andy Mead/ISI Photos/GettyImages
2 of 3

2. Reds IF prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand is flying under the radar.

The Cincinnati Reds will not be able to keep Christian Encarnacion-Strand a secret for much longer. In fact, there are many throughout the Reds fanbase that see him as the most important prospect within the pipeline outside of Elly De La Cruz.

Encarncion-Strand hasn't yet received much mainstream media attention. One of the biggest reasons for that is that he doesn't play a premium position. The Oklahoma State product spent time at both first and third base in 2022.

Moving forward, it would seem as though the Reds have laid out a plan for Noelvi Marte to become the team's third baseman. Cincinnati also has the likes of Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and Spencer Steer, all of whom could potentially play third base at the next level.

But, with Joey Votto entering the final guaranteed year of his contract with the Reds, the club will be looking for a successor at first base. Encarnacion-Strand fits that bill rather well, and his timeline to the major leagues couldn't be more perfect.

In his first two seasons as a pro, Christian Encarnacion-Strand slashed .317/.376/.588 and has 35 home runs. The former fourth-round pick was part of the Cincinnati Reds return for Tyler Mahle at last year's trade deadline. If Nick Krall has found Votto's successor, that trade will be viewed as a huge win for the Cincinnati franchise.