Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley broke onto the big stage this season and will surely garner some MVP consideration. Could Cincinnati Reds prospect Rece Hinds follow a similar path to the big leagues?
Riley, a former high school star, was taken by the Braves with the 41st overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. While Riley came with plenty of swing-and-miss potential, there was no denying his raw power.
Reds prospect Rece Hinds has unlimited potential.
The same can be said of Hinds. Cincinnati selected Hinds out of IMG Academy in Florida with their second-round pick in 2019. The Reds thought so much of Hinds that he was offered an over-slot value contract to keep him from joining the LSU Tigers.
Hinds played only three games at Rookie-Level Greenville in 2019 before a quad injury robbed the young prospect of the remainder of his first professional season. Coaches raved about Hinds' play at the alternate site last summer and his eye-popping power should get fans excited.
Rece Hinds, much like Austin Riley, was known for his power. Riley spent his first full season in the minor leagues playing for the Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League. Riley hit .271/.324/.479 with 20 home runs and 80 RBIs in 2016.
Looking at Hinds' numbers during his play at Low-A Daytona, while he only appeared in 43 games, Hinds slashed .251/.319/.515 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs. I think it's safe to assume that if Hinds would have played as many games as Riley did in 2016 (129), we'd see a similar and perhaps greater number of homers and runs batted in.
Ranked as the No. 7 prospect in Cincinnati's farm system according to MLB Pipeline, Hinds will likely debut at High-A Dayton next season. If Hinds continues to mash the ball as he did this season, the sky's the limit for this budding star.
Reds prospect Rece Hinds does strike out a lot.
Some doubters will point to Hinds' obscene 28.1% strikeout-rate and claim that there's no way that'll work at the big league level. The same could have been, and was said about Austin Riley. Riley finished his minor league career with a 26% strikeout-rate and a 7.7% walk-rate.
Like it or not, strikeouts are part of today's game. Obviously you don't want players recording a 29.8% strikeout-rate and .198 batting average like Eugenio Suárez did this past season, managers will accept a higher strikeout-rate so long as said player is good for 30-plus home runs a season.
Speaking of Suárez, unless the Cincinnati Reds find a willing trade partner this offseason, it's likely that Geno will be the starting third baseman through 2024. That's just enough to time see if Rece Hinds has what it takes to play the hot corner.
There are some who believe Hinds will eventually be a corner outfielder, but in today's game of position-less baseball, if you can hit, the manager will find a way to get your bat into the lineup.
For now, look for Rece Hinds to keep playing third base. The future is bright for Hinds, and after seeing what rookies Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, and José Barrero are capable of, the future looks bright for the Cincinnati Reds franchise.