5 prospects the Reds must protect from the Rule 5 Draft and 2 who should be left exposed

The Reds have a lot of talented prospects who'll need to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Rece Hinds
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Rece Hinds / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The list of young talent with tremendous upside within the Cincinnati Reds farm system is very long. And every year, teams must protect those top prospects from the Rule 5 Draft.

According to MLB.com, players signed at age 18 or younger need to be added to the 40-man roster within five seasons and players who signed at age 19 or older need to be protected within four seasons.

Last season, the Reds added obvious choices like Elly De La Cruz, Brandon Williamson, and Noelvi Marte, but also surprised some fans with the addition of Lyon Richardson. Which prospects might the Reds add to the 40-man roster this winter, and who should be left out in the cold?

The Reds must protect Vin Timpanelli from the Rule 5 Draft

So, this is a name that not many Reds fans have probably heard, but keep your eyes peeled this offseason. Vin Timpanelli is very highly thought of in the Cincinnati Reds farm system because he throws strikes.

Timpanelli has taken an interesting path to get to professional leagues. The right-hander was a former catcher who likely would have been drafted in 2020 had it not been reduced to just five rounds. But Timpanelli appeared as a pitcher in a men's summer league and was signed to a contract.

The 24-year-old is raw, and you can see that reflected with his five walks per nine innings pitched, but a 24.5-percent strikeout-rate is hard to ignore. Timpanelli made it all the way to Double-A this season, and could have a Ricky Karcher-esque rise onto the Reds roster.

Now, Reds fans know that Karcher didn't exactly stick on the 40-man roster, though he's still within the Cincinnati organization. The Reds should protect Vin Timpanelli to ensure that raw talents remain within the organization.