Reds might've made a mistake releasing this pitcher before start of 2024 season

Did the Reds move on too quickly?
Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Bryce Bonnin
Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Bryce Bonnin / Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds 2020 draft class has been rather underwhelming. In fact, it's been downright awful. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 MLB Draft was reduced to just five rounds, and none of Cincinnati's six picks have made an impact at the major league level yet.

In fact, three of the players taken in the draft that year are no longer with the ball club. One of those players is former Texas Tech pitcher Bryce Bonnin. The right-hander was selected in the third round with the 84th-overall pick.

Bonnin's Reds' career was defined by injuries. The 2020 minor league season was wiped out altogether, but Bonnin made his professional debut midway through the 2021 season. The right-hander showed promise that season with 71 punch outs in 47 innings, but it was all downhill from there.

Reds might've made a mistake releasing Bryce Bonnin before start of 2024 season

Bonnin, who was still being brought along as a starter at the time, began his 2022 campaign at High-A Dayton. But the former Red Raider was only able to pitch in six games before his season was over. A shoulder impingement saw Bonnin land on the IL, and he never returned to pitch in 2022. In fact, Bonnin didn't even step onto the mound in 2023 either.

Bonnin attempted to make a comeback this season, and was part of the Reds' minor-league camp in Goodyear. However, the Reds did not see what they were hoping for upon Bonnin's return to the mound, and he was released midway through spring training.

But Bonnin quickly found a new home after signing a contract with the Boston Red Sox. Bonnin began the 2024 season on the IL, but was assigned to the Greenville Drive (Boston's High-A affiliate) just last week. Since arriving back in the minors, Bonnin has logged three innings and struck out two batters as he attempts to work his way back from a devastating injury.

The Reds had orginally hoped to bolster their pitching staff with the likes of Bonnin, Christian Roa, and Joe Boyle, but only one (Roa) of those three players is still part of the organization. Thankfully, the Reds were able to swing some trades and make some wise draft decisions that have helped to restock the pitching down on the farm.

Bonnin has the type of repretoire that many GMs covet, but an inability to stay on the field was his undoing. If he's able to get back to the level of production that he showed in 2021, then the Reds may be kicking themselves for letting Bonnin go too soon.

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