5 bold predictions for the Cincinnati Reds 2023 season

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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3. Bold prediction for Reds 2023 season: Elly De La Cruz does not make his MLB debut until September.

Every Reds fans is excited about Elly De La Cruz. The 21-year-old set the minor league world on fire last season and looks like he could be a star at the next level. But, Cincinnati's front office has proceeded with caution when it comes to discussing De La Cruz, and that's not about to change.

There are a number of reasons that De La Cruz should not only begin the 2023 season in the minors, but spend most of the season there as well. The shortstop had a hedious 30.1% strikeout-rate between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga last season.

Fans have seen how quickly a massive amount of strikeouts can stifle a young player's confidence. Jose Barrero and Aristides Aquino were both lauded early on for their power, defense, and overall ability. Barrero's time with the Reds has been anything but inspiring, and Aquino is now playing overseas.

There is absolutely zero reason for Cincinnati to accelerate De La Cruz's path to the big leagues. One might even argue that he should begin the 2023 season at Double-A instead of Triple-A. After all, he had fewer than 200 at-bats in Chattanooga last season.

The Reds minor leagues are stacked with shortstops. Should Barrero flounder again in 2023, Cincinnati has Kevin Newman standing by and Matt McLain is in the pipeline as well. Elly De La Cruz has a ton of talent, but don't look for him in a Cincinnati Reds uniform until September.