Ethan O'Donnell has entered the chat. If you haven't heard of this young man quite yet, don't worry, you will. The Cincinnati Reds selected O'Donnell with their sixth-round pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, and all he's done since debuting this summer is rake.
O'Donnell played his first two seasons of college baseball at Northwestern University. After posting an OPS over 1.000 in his sophomore season, O'Donnell took his talents to Charlottesville and played ball for the University of Virginia this past year.
The 21-year-old showed that his game could translate to the ACC and slashed .354/.448/.587 for the Hokies in 2023. That strong showing was enough to get him noticed, and the Reds took O'Donnell with the 168th pick in this year's draft.
Reds 2023 draftee Ethan O'Donnell explodes onto the scene.
Let's face it, the Cincinnati Reds farm system is chock full of infield prospects but is running on empty in terms of outfielders. Blake Dunn has been a nice surprise this season, Rece Hinds has shown improvements, and Carlos Jorge is getting some reps in the outfield as well.
But the big names from the last few drafts have not yet lived up to the hype. Austin Hendrick, who was taken in Round 1 of the 2020 MLB Draft, has shown flashes, but is still very raw. The same can be said for 2021 first-round pick Jay Allen.
Ethan O'Donnell was known as a hit-over-power prospect prior to his professional debut, but all the young outfielder has done since arriving in Low-A Daytona is mash. O'Donnell is hitting .382/.468/.632 with a wRC+ of 187 according to FanGraphs.
The Cincinnati Reds have done a fantastic job of drafting over the past few years, and Ethan O'Donnell is just the latest example of a Day 2 selection that shows tremendous potential. O'Donnell will be one to keep an eye on over the next few years.