3 Reds prospects who should receive non-roster invites to spring training and 2 who should not
Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, and Levi Stoudt were all added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster this fall and will be in major league spring training next year. But, a few of the team's top prospects who've not yet been added to the roster, will be invited to spring training as well. These players are often referred to as non-roster invitees (NRI).
Seeing as how the Reds are in the midst of a rebuild, the number of non-roster invitees could be rather excessive this spring. Last year, players like Matt McLain, Graham Ashcraft, and Nick Lodolo were part of major league spring training despite not being part of Cincinnati's 40-man roster.
The Reds will almost certainly be calling up several young prospects in 2023, so it stands to reason that getting an extended look during spring training would be prudent. Which three Cincinnati Reds prospects should be in major league camp this spring and which two aren't ready just yet?
Christian Encarnacion-Strand should be invited to Reds major league spring training.
If there's one prospect outside Elly De La Cruz that Cincinnati Reds fans are excited to see, it's Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Part of the return for the trade that sent Tyler Mahle to the Minnesota Twins, Encarnacion-Strand has the potential to be the heir apparent to Joey Votto at first base.
Encarnacion-Strand put up terrific numbers in his lone season at Oklahoma State University and was selected by the Twins in the fourth-round of the 2019 MLB Draft. In his first two full seasons in the minors, the 22-year-old has slashed .317/.376/.588 and mashed 36 homers.
Encarnacion-Strand has the makings of a middle-of-the-order bat. With Votto heading into the final guaranteed year on his contract, the Reds should be doing as much as they can to prepare Encarnacion-Strand for the big leagues.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand should unquestionably be one of the Cincinnati Reds prospects invited to join the major league squad in Arizona next spring. It's doubtful that Encarnacion-Strand makes the roster out of spring training, but it would certainly help set the tone for what the organization hopes is one of best up-and-coming young players.