If you want to see what the Cincinnati Reds might look like in the next year or two, take a trip to Dayton, Ohio to see the Dragons take the field on Opening Night at Day Air Ballpark. The Dayton Dragons, Cincinnati's High-A affiliate is loaded with some of the Reds top prospects.
One of the highest-rising prospects in the sport, shortstop Elly De La Cruz, will begin his 2022 season with the Dragons. He'll be joined by James Marinan and Allan Cerda, both of whom were added to the Reds 40-man roster this past fall.
Dayton will also boast a handful of top picks from last year's MLB Draft. Catcher Mat Nelson, left-hander Andrew Abbott, and shortstop Jose Torres will all begin their 2022 campaigns at High-A Dayton.
The Dayton Dragons, the Reds High-A affiliate, is loaded with talent.
Elly De La Cruz is obviously the name that jumps off the page when you look at the Dayton Dragons 2022 Opening Day roster. De La Cruz was a virtual unknown in the Cincinnati Reds farm system heading into last season, but the 20-year-old burst onto the scene and will be one of the most-watched prospects this season.
Another player to keep an eye on heading into 2022 is newly-converted outfielder Rece Hinds. The power in Hinds bat might not be matched by anyone else in the Reds farm system outside of maybe Austin Hendrick. But the Reds are trying something new with Hinds in 2022 and moved him from the infield dirt to the outfield grass.
Quin Cotton and Allan Cerda are two talented outfielders to keep an eye on as well. Cedra showed flashes during spring training with the Cincinnati Reds, and Cotton saw a few games in Cactus League play as well.
Mat Nelson and Jose Torres are two players from last year's draft who'll be looking to make an ascent up the Reds farm system. Both are among the team's Top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, though both are likely at least two years away from making their major league debuts.
On the pitching side of things there's the talented left-handed Andrew Abbott. The southpaw may get the opportunity to start after spending a majority of time in University of Virginia's bullpen. Joe Boyle is another name to keep an eye on. If Boyle can command his fastball, this young man has closer written all over him and will routinely hit triple-digits on the radar gun.
The Dayton Dragons will also be home to the Cincinnati Reds newest acquisition; pitcher Connor Phillips. The right-hander was the infamous player to be named later in the trade that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to the Seattle Mariners.
The Reds High-A affiliate will be a fun team to follow this season. If all goes well for some of these young prospects, they may find their way to Double-A Chattanooga before the end the 2022 season.