2 highly-touted prospects the Reds should give up on and 1 who deserves another chance

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Rece Hinds
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Rece Hinds / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Reds have seen some of their top prospects ascend to the highest level and find success in the major leagues.

The latest examples are Spencer Steer and Matt McLain. Both rookies have performed admirably so far in 2023, and the duo look to be building blocks for the long-term future of the franchise.

But not every prospect is a success story. Baseball is a difficult game, and not every highly-touted minor league player makes it to The Show. Which two Reds prospects should the organzation move on from and which one deserves another chance to find his footing?

Reds prospects: It's time to give up on former 3rd-round pick Tyler Callihan.

Tyler Callihan has been dealt a difficult hand since joining the Cincinnati Reds organization as a high school infielder during the 2019 MLB Draft. Taken in the third-round, Callihan was supposed to be a hit-first prospect with developing gap-to-gap power.

But 2022 was the first real season that Callihan was able to play in more than 52 games. The cancellation of the 2020 minor league season and Tommy John surgery saw Callihan play in just 80 games from 2019-2021. During that span, Callihan hit .273 with an OPS of .754 and a wRC+ of 103 according to FanGraphs.

Last season, upon his return from the IL, appeared in 88 games while hitting .250/.311/.396 with a wRC+ of 98 and 30 extra-base hits. But so far this season, Callihan is hitting .204/.282/.376 with 16 extra-base hits at Double-A.

This is it for Tyler Callihan. Heading into the offseason, the Reds will have to make a decision whether to add him to the 40-man roster or make him available in the Rule 5 Draft. Callihan is limited defensively, and if fans are already worried about where Jonathan India is going to play in the future, there's little hope the 22-year-old has a spot on the Reds roster in the near future.

Reds prospects: It's time to give up on former 2nd-round pick Rece Hinds.

Rece Hinds had so much potential after being drafted in Round 2 of the 2019 MLB Draft. Taken one round ahead of the aforementioned Tyler Callihan, Hinds' bat packed some serious punch. Many scouts thought he had the most power in that year's draft.

Heck, he still may. If there's one thing Hinds isn't short on, it's pop in his bat. When the 22-year-old makes contact, the ball goes a long, long, long way. The problem is that the contact is so infrequent, Hinds may never make enough to make it to the big leagues.

The Reds sent Hinds to the Arizona Fall League this past year in an effort to get some more reps under his belt. In 22 games this fall, Hinds hit .226/.278/.417. With nine of his 19 hits going for extra bases, you can see that power is there. But Hinds struck out more than 40-percent of the time with 71 punch outs in 171 plate appearances.


Oh, how the Cincinnati Reds would love for Rece Hinds to be that middle-of-the-order power-bat they envisioned back when they drafted him. But alas, it seems as though he's following the path that Jose Barrero travelled; lots of power-potential, but there's a hole in his swing.

Just like Callihan, Hinds will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft during the offseason if the Reds do not add him to the 40-man roster. Unless the outfielder goes on a tear over the second-half of the season, it's hard to see that happening.

Reds prospects: Don't give up on former 1st-round pick Austin Hendrick.

Austin Hendrick has faced a tough road since being taken in Round 1 of the 2020 MLB Draft. The Pennsylvania high school slugger, much like Rece Hinds, was highly-regarded for his power. But scouts knew he'd need to work on making contact. However, I'm not sure the Reds scouts thought he'd struggle this much.

Hendrick has posted a strikeout-rate above 35-percent at every minor league stop he's made to this point in his professional career. While it's debatable as to which prospect has more power, Hendrick or Hinds, there's no doubt that it won't amount to a hill of beans if he strikes out 35-plus percent of the time.

But, unlike Hinds and Austin Callihan, the Reds have an extra year to decide whether or not to add Austin Hendrick to the 40-man roster. Being drafted a year after the aofrementioned prep players, the deadline to add Hendrick to the 40-man roster or risk losing him in the Rule 5 Draft is not until the 2024 offseason.

That gives Hendrick one more season to put it all together. Not yet 22 years old, Hendrick also possesses another tool beyond his power that Hinds and Callihan do not. Hendrick is an above-average defender with a plus-arm.

This year may well define Austin Hendrick's future with the organization, but Cincinnati should not give up on the former first-round pick just yet. That said, Hendrick can't end the year with another unproductive showing. He's yet to graduate to Double-A, and hasn't given the Reds' brass much faith that he's earned that opportunity. The clock's ticking.

Next. 5 players the Reds gave up on. 5 Reds players the organization gave up on too soon. dark