Reds prospect Daniel Vellojin cannot get to the major leagues quick enough

Detail view of a catchers mask as it lays on the field.
Detail view of a catchers mask as it lays on the field. / Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
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One of the biggest weaknesses for the Cincinnati Reds has been revealed over the last several weeks; the team's lack of depth behind catcher Tyler Stephenson. There are a lot of Reds fans who want to see Stephenson moved from catcher to first base, but the lack of depth behind the plate makes that argument extremely complicated.

While shifting Stephenson from catcher to first base would reduce the wear and tear of donning the tools of ignorance on a daily basis, the fact is that Cincinnati does not have an adequate backup that would provide anything close to what Stephenson does both at the dish and squatting behind it.

The Reds did not acquire a catcher at this year's trade deadline which leads one to believe that the team doesn't see Stephenson changing positions anytime soon. Or, perhaps the front office has faith that catching prospect Daniel Vellojin will soon be ready to take on the role of being the Cincinnati Reds catcher.

Reds prospect Daniel Vellojin cannot get to the major leagues quick enough.

While last year's draft pick Mat Nelson may be viewed by MLB Pipeline as the better prospect, Daniel Vellojin is on a much quicker path to the big leagues. Signed as an international free agent in 2018, the Cincinnati Reds are quite likely to add Vellojin to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Vellojin does not possess the power that fans have seen from Tyler Stephenson, but his hit tool is quite impressive. After posting a .271/.393/.514 slash line at High-A Daytona earlier this season, Vellojin received promotion to Double-A Chattanooga. Vellojin already has five hits in six games with the Lookouts including, surprisingly, two round trippers.

The Reds current crop of backstops include Michael Papierski and the newly acquired Austin Romine. It's questionable if either will be retained heading into next season. Chris Okey has already been outrighted off the Reds 40-man roster and the same fate may be awaiting Mark Kolozsvary who was just optioned back to Triple-A.

Whether or not the Cincinnati Reds ultimately decide to switch Tyler Stephenson from being a catcher to a first baseman is irrelevant when it comes to the team's need to develop a young backstop. Daniel Vellojin will be next in line, and the Reds front office and fanbase will have to patiently wait as the 22-year-old continues to develop.

2 Reds prospects who'll debut before the end of 2022. dark. Next