3 Reds prospects with the most to gain in the Arizona Fall League

Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee infielder Matt McLain (93).
Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee infielder Matt McLain (93). / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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2. Reds SS prospect Matt McLain has the most to gain in the Arizona Fall League.

Matt McLain is the shortstop version of Nick Lodolo. McLain was an advanced bat when the Cincinnati Reds drafted him last season, much like Lodolo was advanced hurler when the Redlegs drafted the southpaw in Round 1 of the 2019 MLB Draft.

The question for McLain is what position he'll play in the major leagues. The former UCLA Bruin has seen the majority of time in the minor leagues at shortstop, but once Elly De La Cruz was elevated to Double-A Chattanooga, the Reds' top prospect was handed the shortstop position and McLain moved to second base.

There are mixed reviews as to whether or not De La Cruz will outgrown the shortstop position once he makes it to the major leagues. There's also big questions as to whether or not Jose Barrero will be able to hack it in the bigs. Both of those concerns are even more reason for Matt McLain to get reps at shortstop during the Arizona Fall League.

The presence of fellow shortstop prospect Noelvi Marte on the Desert Dogs may make things a bit tricky, but there are whispers of the Cincinnati Reds looking to move the 20-year-old from shortstop to third base.

Any amount of reps that McLain can receive before heading into the offseason will only help. Just like Rece Hinds, the 23-year-old missed some time this season due to injury. If McLain shines during the AFL, there's a really good chance that he'll be the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day shortstop in 2023.

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