Ranking the 10 most important young players for the Reds future

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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8. Alexis Diaz, Reds relief pitcher

After his performance the past two games, one could make the argument that Alexis Diaz deserves to be ranked even higher on this list. Diaz recorded his ninth save of the season against the Miami Marlins on Saturday, going 1.2 innings and getting the final out of the game with the bases loaded.

But that performance was just another example of how crucial Diaz is to the Reds success in the future. That's high praise for a player who only appears late in games when his team has the lead.

Diaz has been outstanding on the season and is only building off a terrific rookie campaign in 2022. There were rumors all offseason that Diaz was attracting plenty of trade interest, but those rumblings can go take a long walk off a short pier. The Reds will need a pitcher like Diaz as they begin to piece together a championship-level contender.

Outside of fellow reliever Lucas Sims, everyone else in the Reds bullpen is either a veteran on a one-year deal or a developmental prospect. Sims is still returning to form after missing almost all of the 2022 season and will be a free agent at the end of next season.

Alexis Diaz has turned into, not just a dependable arm that Reds manager David Bell can deploy as needed, but a dominant reliever that can get outs routinely when the pressure is at its highest. It may not be too much of an overstatement to say that Diaz is one of the best closers in the game today.