The Cincinnati Reds have done a tremendous job building their farm system over the last few seasons, and have done so in a plethora of ways.
The Reds top prospects were all acquired in a different manner. Edwin Arroyo, Spencer Steer, and Noelvi Marte were all brought to Cincinnati via trades last season. Players like Elly De La Cruz and Alfredo Duno were international free agent signings.
But for the most part, farm systems are built by drafting and developing young players. With the 2023 MLB Draft coming up in less than two weeks, let's flash back two years to the 2021 MLB Draft and look at what could very well be the club's best draft over the past 10 years.
What the Reds best MLB Draft over the past 10 years?
In 2021, the Cincinnati Reds enjoyed the luxury with three of the first 35 picks in the MLB Draft. You can thank ownership's refusal to sign Nick Castellanos in free agency for that extra draft pick.
Matt McLain was the headliner for the Reds in the 2021 MLB Draft. If the 23-year-old continues on the path he's currently on, McLain could be holding down the shortstop position in Cincinnati for the next decade.
Jay Allen went No. 30 to Cincinnati. A high school outfielder with a ton of upside, Allen features plus-speed, but has yet to tap into his other tools. Allen is still just 20 years old. At No. 35, the Reds went with college catcher Mat Nelson. The Florida State product is still slugging it out in High-A.
Virginia's Andrew Abbott, however, was taken by the Reds in Round 1. Abbott was fast-tracked to the big leagues and has been dominant since his debut. Abbott has the makings of an ace with his calm, cool, collected approach, and the ability to induce swings and misses.
Shortstop Jose Torres has shown the ability to play major league-level defense, but his bat has lagged behind. Torres could be a contributor at the highest level if his hitting ever comes around. Torres is one of four prospects ranked among the Reds Top 30 according to MLB Pipeline.
Julian Aguiar was taken in the 12th-round and could be a diamond-in-the-rough. Currently at High-A Dayton, a jump to Double-A is certainly in Aguiar's future. There could be a spot in the rotation available relatively soon as well.
Just two years removed, the 2021 MLB Draft has already provided two major league starters (Matt McLain and Andrew Abbott) for the Cincinnati Reds. If any of the above mentioned prospects breakthrough as well, this could be one of the Reds best drafts ever.