5 most highly-anticipated Reds prospects in team history

Cincinnati Reds prospects Jay Bruce
Cincinnati Reds prospects Jay Bruce / Robert Laberge/GettyImages
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Every great major league player was, at one time, just a prospect. Some prospects were incredible, causing some serious attention to surround them long before their big league debut. Others flew under the radar.

There may not be a more exciting group of young talent than the once currently in the Cincinnati Reds farm system.

Over the years, the Reds have had some incredibly exciting, and highly-rated prospects; most notably over the last 20 to 30 years. Some of these prospects have panned out while others have sputtered out and failed. Let's look at five examples of some of the most anticipated prospects in Reds history.

1. Homer Bailey was one of the Reds most anticipated prospects.

In 2004, the Cincinnati Reds used their seventh-overall pick on a lanky pitching prospect from Texas. Few Cincinnati pitching prospects in recent memory have drawn more attention than Homer Bailey.

Bailey tossed a pair of no-hitters during his Reds career before spiraling into one of the most confusing and sudden career collapses in team history. The Reds finally parted ways with Bailey in 2018 after trading him to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Before it all came crumbling down, Bailey spent his entire career in the Cincinnati farm system as one of their highest-rated prospects. Most outlets revered Bailey as a top 50 prospect for the majority of his minor league career, even cracking the Top 3 in 2007 according to MLB.com.

This had Reds fans drooling, and for good reason. The young Bailey was 6-foot-4, projectable, and had a fastball that sat in the mid 90s. Coming out of high school, what more could you ask for? Bailey proceeded to rack up over 10 K/9 in 2005 and 2006, with his biggest minor league success coming in 2006 at the Double-A level.

Homer Bailey started 13 games and allow just 12 earned runs that year in Chattanooga. Most importantly, his 10+ K/9 showed that he still had his swing-and-miss ability as he climbed the minor league ladder.