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 Reds must protect Christian Roa from the Rule 5 Draft

Christian Roa, like Rece Hinds, is another former second-round pick who the Cincinnati Reds must protect from the Rule 5 Draft. Roa, taken with 48th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, has been a steady, reliable arm since joining the Reds organization.

Roa doesn't necessarily fit the prototypical mold of what Reds fans have seen in recent years from their starting pitching prospects. Roa is more of complete pitcher, with a four-pitch mix. However, rather than doing one thing great, Roa does a lot of things well.

Fans aren't going to confuse Christian Roa for Hunter Greene or Connor Phillips; he doesn't have that type of velocity on his four seam fastball. Roa is more in the mold of Andrew Abbott; a polished pitcher who's going to rely on location and mixing his pitches.

Roa made it all the way to Triple-A this past season, and would definitely benefit from a full season at that level of competition. With so much young pitching depth in the Cincinnati farm system, the organization should be able to afford him that.

Roa's 5.16 ERA in 25 starts this season aren't going to impress the Reds fanbase, but the right-hander posted 170 punch outs in just over 120 innings. Roa might be able to snag a couple of spot starts in 2024 for the Reds, or at the very least, could add depth to their minor league rotation.