The Arizona Fall League (AFL) has been a proving ground of sorts for the some the Cincinnati Reds top prospects in recent years. Fans have seen Tyler Stephenson, Jose Barrero, and most recently Mike Siani take their skills to the desert during the month of October with an eye toward improving their skills.
This season, the Reds will be sending seven players to the AFL. The Reds affiliate this season will be the Glendale Desert Dogs. The Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles, Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Minnesota Twins will also have representatives present as well.
Twins prospect Austin Martin will be on the team as will Andy Pages of the Dodgers' organization. But which three prospects from the Cincinnati Reds have the most to gain from playing in the Arizona Fall League this year?
1. Reds OF prospect Rece Hinds has the most to gain in the Arizona Fall League.
It's no secret that Rece Hinds possesses some of the loudest pop in the Cincinnati Reds farm system. It's also no secret that an abnormally high strikeout-rate and an inability to stay healthy have stunted Hinds' development. In addition, the former second-round pick is learning a new position.
But that's exactly why it's so important for Hinds to get reps in the Arizona Fall League this year. Hinds played the majority of the year with the Dayton Dragons, but a hamate injury took about two months away from the 22-year-old. Hinds closed his 2022 campaign with six games at Double-A Chattanooga and one should expect that he'll begin next season in southeast Tennessee as well.
Can Rece Hinds stay healthy? That will be the biggest question going forward and it was one of the biggest reasons the Cincinnati brass decided to move the Florida native from the hot corner to the outfield. Injuries derailed Hinds' path to the big leagues thus far, but the AFL will give him more at-bats and more time in the outfield.