Reds High-A affiliate Dayton Dragons are loaded with impact bats

North Carolina outfielder Justice Thompson.
North Carolina outfielder Justice Thompson. / Andy Mead/ISI Photos/GettyImages

While the Cincinnati Reds have gotten off to a rocky start, the team's High-A affiliate is off and running. The Dayton Dragons, who enjoyed a walk-off win on Saturday, are loaded with impact bats and potential major league stars.

With the game knotted at nine runs apiece, the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, two outs, and a 3-2 count, outfielder Justice Thompson laced a single into left field and gave the Dragons a walk-off win as Allan Cerda scored the winning run.

But Justice and Cerda and just two of the exciting, young prospects present on the Dayton Dragons roster. Thompson was actually just promoted from Low-A Daytona after Quin Cotton received a call to join the Chattanooga Lookouts.

The Dayton Dragons roster is stacked with young talent.

Allan Cerda is off to a nice start. The Cincinnati Reds added the outfielder to the team's 40-man roster last winter, and if he keeps slugging away, Cerda will soon follow Quin Cotton to Double-A Chattanooga. Cerda is slashing .206/.386/.441 with a wRC+ of 140.

The hottest hitter throughout the entire Reds farm system might be Jose Torres. Last year's third-round pick is tearing it up for the Dragons. Torres has 12 hits in 39 at-bats with three round trippers and a wRC+ of 170.

Elly De La Cruz, the fastest rising prospect in the Cincinnati farm system last season, has picked up where he left off in 2021. De La Cruz is hitting .286/.318/.548 with six extra base hits. The shortstop will need to cut down on the that 36.4% strikeout-rate though.

One unknown prospect who's sure to gain more attention if he keeps on hitting is Alex McGarry. The first baseman for the Dayton Dragons is 9-for-31 with five home runs and 11 RBIs. McGarry has an .871 slugging percentage and a wRC+ of 217. McGarry torched Low-A pitching in 2021 to the tune of .360/.469/.960 before being bumped to High-A.

So, if you're one of those Cincinnati Reds fans who's tired of lining Bob Castellini's pockets, but still want to be present for the sights and sounds of baseball game, perhaps it's time to drive about an hour north and enjoy a game at Day Air Field while watching some of the best young talent in the organization.

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