The Cincinnati Reds made the decision early last year to rebuild the club from the inside out. It resulted in a woeful 2022 season and 2023 doesn't look much brighter. But there may be better days ahead.
Cincinnati went all in during the 2020 season and came up short - falling to the Atlanta Braves in Round 1 of the expanded playoffs. The following offseason saw the team part ways with Archie Bradley, Trevor Bauer, and Raisel Iglesias. But that was just the beginning.
Since the end of the 2021, the Reds have waved goodbye to Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Wade Miley, Tucker Barnhart, Aristides Aquino, Kyle Farmer, Jesse Winker, Tyler Naquin, Amir Garrett, Eugenio Suarez, Brandon Drury, Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos, Tyler Mahle, and Tommy Pham.
Reds make dramatic leap in MLB farm system rankings.
But all hope is not lost. In fact, it's pinned on the chest of the up-and-coming young prospects. The Cincinnati Reds' farm system, according to MLB.com, is now ranked No. 4 in all of baseball. That's a huge leap from the spot (15th) the franchise occupied prior to the 2022 season.
The Reds now have five Top 100 prospects. Shortstop Elly De La Cruz, third baseman Noelvi Marte, shortstop Edwin Arroyo, third baseman Cam Collier, and shortstop Matt McLain are all among the best prospects in Major League Baseball.
Cincinnati also has a pair of highly-touted left-handers in Brandon Williamson and Andrew Abbott. Spencer Steer, who could very well be the Reds Opening Day starter at third base, is among the team's Top 10 prospects as well.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand made some noise last season as well. The former Minnesota Twins prospect is viewed my many to be an impact bat in the middle of the Reds lineup for years to come.
The Reds also acquired players such as shortstop Victor Acosta (San Diego Padres) and right-handed pitchers Steve Hajjar (Minnesota Twins), Levi Stoudt (Seattle Mariners), Jose Acuña (New York Mets) and Chase Petty (Minnesota Twins) through various trades in 2022.
The Cincinnati Reds have shored up a few areas of need (right field and catcher) through free agency this offseason. But any other signings will likely be of the minor-league variety. The Reds are building their team through the draft and development, and right now, they have one of the best farm system's in all of baseball.