4 promising Reds prospects who've failed to live up to their lofty draft status

The Reds saw several top prospects make an impact in 2023, but these four lagged behind.

Daytona Tortugas' Jay Allen (4) returns to play
Daytona Tortugas' Jay Allen (4) returns to play / CRYSTAL VANDER WEIT/TCPALM / USA TODAY
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4. Reds prospect Austin Hendrick has not lived up to his draft status

To be fair, Austin Hendrick was part of that bizarre 2020 MLB Draft. Talent evaluators and scouts had limited data available due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the draft was shortened to just five rounds. There are a lot of promising players who may have been selected too high, and others who weren't drafted at all.

But, whether or not Hendrick would've still found himself in Round 1 if the entire prep season was played is irrelevant. He's a professional baseball player now, and with his first-round draft status comes increased expectations.

Unfortunately, Hendrick has yet to live up to them. Amazingly, MLB Pipeline still lists Hendrick among the Reds Top 30 prospects depsite hitting just .204/.271/.335 at High-A Dayton last season.

No one is going to doubt Hendrick's power. In fact, it's debatable as to whether he or Rece Hinds have the most raw power in the Cincinnati farm system. If Hendrick can cut down on the strikeouts, then his athelticism will play at the major league level. But that's a big if.

To date, Austin Hendrick has struk out 450 times in a minor league career that spans less than 300 games. The potential, much like the aforementioned Hinds, is sky-high. But if the Ks keep piling up, Hendrick will never reach that lofty expectation that comes with being a first-round pick.

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