2 outfield prospects who will be added to the Reds roster and 1 who will not

The hat and glove of Cincinnati Reds.
The hat and glove of Cincinnati Reds. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Reds outfield, once the team's biggest strength with All-Stars Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos, has become one of the team's biggest weaknesses.

Nick Senzel, while relatively healthy in 2022, hasn't yet lived up to the hype and may be in line to change roles heading into next season. Aristides Aquino has made some changes of late, but is he truly a long-term answer in right field? TJ Friedl and Jake Fraley have flashed brilliance this season, but is it sustainable?

There seems to be more questions than answers when it comes to the future of the Cincinnati outfield. Which young Reds prospects will be added to the team's 40-man roster this offseason, and who might still be waiting in the wings?

Reds OF prospect TJ Hopkins will be added to the 40-man roster.

A ninth-round selection out of the University of South Carolina back in 2019, TJ Hopkins has made the most of the opportunities he's received in 2022. After posting an OPS of .800 at Double-A Chattanooga earlier this season, Hopkins was promoted to Triple-A Louisville where he's haad even more success.

Hopkins has played a little less than 20 games at Triple-A this season, but has an OPS of over .950. The Cincinnati Reds lack of an right-handed outfield power bat outside of Aristides Aquino would seem to work in Hopkins' favor.

TJ Hopkins will be 26 years old heading into next season, so now is the time for the Cincinnati Reds to see what they have in the former Gamecocks outfielder. Hopkins has the defensive versatility to play all three outfield spots. Hopkins played primarily center field in college, but his lack of arm strength seems to have found him playing left field more times than not in the minor leagues.

With his advanced age and power bat, you'd have to imagine that another team might look to acquire the outfielder in the Rule 5 Draft. Cincinnati would be wise to hedge their bets and add TJ Hopkins to the Reds 40-man roster this offseason.

Reds OF prospect Mike Siani will be added to the 40-man roster.

This one is a virtual lock. If you enjoyed watching Billy Hamilton, you're going to love Mike Siani. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Cincinnati Reds prospect will be added to the team's 40-man roster this winter. Siani, a former fourth-round draft pick, would be at the very least a fourth outfielder on almost any major league squad next season.

Siani played major league-caliber defense the day that Cincinnati drafted him. But, as Reds fans know all too well after watching Hamilton patrol center field from 2013-2018, speed and defense only take you so far in this game. Siani's skills at the dish will be he difference between the Pennsylvania native being the Reds' everyday centerfielder or a platoon player.

But. it's important to remember that not every major league player is Mike Trout. If fans are expecting Mike Siani to make it to the big leagues and post an .850 OPS while swiping 30-plus bases base per season, you may want to adjust your expectations. Siani does, however, need to reach base enough to make his presence on the bases felt.

This season, Siani had spent the entire season at Double-A Chattanooga until this past week. With over 500 plate appearances for the Chattanooga Lookouts, Siani has a batting average above .250 and an on-base percentage above .350. Both of those numbers are fantastic for a player who brings so much more to the game outside of the batters' bnox.

Mike Siani will surely be added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster and most likely sent to Louisville to begin next season. If Siani can produce the same type of numbers at Triple-A that he's put up in Double-A this season, Nick Krall and the Reds front office will be quite pleased and may have their centerfielder of the future.

Reds OF prospect Ronnie Dawson will not be added to the 40-man roster.

Ronnie Dawson had an interesting journey to the major leagues this season. The former second-round draft pick caught the bus to Milwaukee along with former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Albert Almora Jr. back in May after an illness swept through the clubhouse and caused several players to miss a game or two.

Dawson then returned to the Louisville Bats and has yet to join the Cincinnati Reds again this season. Dawson, who's from Ohio, has a million-dollar smile, but he's fallen short of expectations after being selected by the Redlegs in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

In over 100 games with the Bats this season, Dawson has shown flashes of what made him a second-round pick back in 2016. But, he's also shown why he's appeared in just four major league contests. Dawson has a .731 OPS at Triple-A this season, and according to FanGraphs, a wRC+ of 96.

Those numbers may be enough to keep Dawson within the organization heading into next season, but the Cincinnati Reds are unlikely to add the left-handed hitting outfielder to the 40-man roster in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Ronnie Dawson may get a chance to shine next spring in Goodyear, but he'll have to fight and claw his way onto the Reds 2023 Opening Day roster.

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