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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6. Tyler Stephenson, Reds catcher

Tyler Stephenson was the most difficult player to rank on this list. If the Cincinnati Reds continue to experiment with Stephenson playing multiple positions and limiting his overall time behind the plate, then he could easily fall off this list all together.

But, if Stephenson is inserted back into the starting lineup as the team's regular catcher for 90-plus game per season, then his value increases dramatically. The Reds have been experimenting with three catchers on the roster this season, and the results haven't really yielded what most fans were expecting.

The idea was sound; move Stephenson from behind the plate on a regular basis and use him as the team's DH and also shuffled him to first base on occasion. Lately, fans have been seeing a lot more of Stephenson as the designated hitter. The problem is, Stephenson's bat has been lacking pop in 2023.

Tyler Stephenson can be a difference maker for the Cincinnati Reds over the long haul, but two things have to hold true for that to occur. First, Stephenson has to be behind the plate more than 50-percent of the time, and second, he's got to find that power stroke that was so prevalent during his first two seasons in the big leagues. Over the past week, Stephenson has been hitting much better.