Cincinnati Reds prospects report: Matt McLain has caught fire early

Cincinnati Reds infielder Matt McLain
Cincinnati Reds infielder Matt McLain / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

While the Louisville Bats began their 2023 season a little over a week ago, the rest of the Cincinnati Reds minor league affiliates began play this past week. The Chattanooga Lookouts, Dayton Dragons, and Daytona Tortugas all began their respective seasons just a few days ago.

Several Reds prospects are on the cusp on making it to the major leagues this season. Spencer Steer, who's been showcasing his power early on in 2023, was the only prospect to be part of the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster. How did some of the top Reds prospects fare this past week?

Reds prospects at Triple-A Louisville

After the first full week of baseball in Triple-A, the Louisville Bats are not off to the best start. Pat Kelly's squad has a losing record, but you can't point the finger at one of the Cincinnati Reds top infield prospects.

Matt McLain is swinging a hot bat, and it's only a matter of time before the former first-round pick finds his way up to the major leagues. With Elly De La Cruz on the Injured List and Jose Barrero struggling, McLain could make his big league debut sooner rather than later.

Reds prospects at Double-A Chattanooga

You can't talk about the Chattanooga Lookouts without mentioning the Opening Night performance from Andrew Abbott. One of the best Reds prospects on the pitching side of the equation, Abbott went 4.2 innings and recorded 11 strikeouts.

Not only was Abbott getting swings and misses almost every time he stepped onto the rubber, but the only way an opposing batter reached base was via the lone walk that the left-hander issued in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Reds prospects at High-A Dayton

Most fans probably haven't heard of Julian Aguiar, but the 21-year-old put forth a tremendous performance on Saturday and gave the Dayton Dragons their first win of the season. Aguiar went five strong innings without allowing a run and punched out nine.

Fellow pitcher Jose Acuña put up zeroes as well. The right-hander was part of last year's trade that sent Tyler Naquin to the New York Mets. Acuña came in to pick up where Aguiar left off on Saturday and went three innings of shutout baseball was racking up three strikeouts.

Reds prospects at Low-A Daytona

Cam Collier showed a lot of maturity in his first game at Low-A Daytona with three walks and two base knocks. Cincinnati's first-round pick a year ago helped the Daytona Tortugas start off the 2023 season with an extra-innings victory last Friday.

The Reds have high hopes for Collier, but another 18-year-old was quite impressive as well. Infielder Leonardo Balcazar, who was signed back in 2021, had a breakout performance over the weekend as well. Balcazar had a hit in his Tortugas debut on Friday, and then put up three hits in Daytona's win on Saturday against the St. Lucie Mets.

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