3. Reds prospect Jacob Heatherly could leap from High-A to the major leagues in 2024.
Jacob Heatherly has had quite the rise and fall during his time in the Cincinnati Reds organization. A former third-round pick of the Reds all the way back in 2017, injuries have derailed what could have been a very quick ascension through the team's farm system.
But, as is the case in life, sometimes things don't go as planned. Injuries limited Heatherly to just four starts in 2019, and of course the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown minor league baseball in 2020. Heatherly was then saddled with another injury in 2021 after just 8.2 innings pitched in the Arizona Complex League.
It's been a long road back, but Jacob Heatherly finally seems poised to make his major league dreams come true. After obliterating the competition at Low-A Daytona earlier this season, Heatherly was bumped up to High-A Dayton where he made seven relief appearances.
Heatherly was originally drafted as a starter, but after dealing with so much adversity, the Reds now seem ready to send him out as a reliever. In 13 innings with the Dayton Dragons this season, Heatherly owned a 31-percent strikeout-rate and 2.70 ERA according to FanGraphs.
Left-handed relievers are always in high demand, and while it's unlikely that Cincinnati will protect Heatherly from the Rule 5 Draft, the fact that the 25-year-old has never pitched above A-Ball will likely keep him as part of the Reds organization.