Ranking every player on the Reds roster after adding Nick Martinez and Emilio Pagán

After some slick free agent additions already this offseason, who ranks as the best player on the Reds roster?

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster currently stands at 39 ahead of the upcoming MLB Winter Meetings. Typically, the upcoming week will help lay the groundwork for offseason trades and free agent signings.

The Reds added a few key piece this week by signing free agent pitchers Nick Martinez and Emilio Pagán. Cincinnati might be one more addition away from not only competing for a playoff spot in 2024, but perhaps even being the odds-on favorite to win the National League Central Division.

Though the Reds have a vacancy or two to fill before the 2024 season begins, how does Cincinnati's roster stack up after the additions of Pagán and Martinez? Editor's note: The rankings are based on a combination of production and potential.

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39. TJ Hopkins, Reds outfielder

Somebody has to be at the bottom, and in this case, it's Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Hopkins. That shouldn't come as much of shock, as the former University of South Carolina standout only appeared in 25 games last season and hit just .171 while striking out 17 times.

38. Jose Barrero, Reds infielder

Spring training in Goodyear, Arizona will be crucial for Jose Barrero. The former top prospect is out of minor-league options and should consider himself fortunate to still be part of the Reds 40-man roster. Barrero had success in the minors, but posted an OPS of just .618 in 133 major league at-bats.

37. Bubba Thompson, Reds outfielder

Bubba Thompson was a waiver wire pickup, and his spot on the 40-man roster is rather precarious. If he survives until spring training, the speedy outfielder will have an outside chance to stick around next season.

36. Levi Stoudt, Reds pitcher

Levi Stoudt had a very underwhelming 2023 season. The right-hander, who was part of the Luis Castillo trade in 2022, made four appearances in the big leagues last season. In 10.1 innings of work, Stoudt allowed 11 earned runs while striking out nine and walking eight.

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35. Christian Roa, Reds pitcher

Christian Roa will likely begin the 2024 season in the minor leauges. The right-hander offers a four-pitch mix and could work his way onto the active roster as the season progresses. Roa was added to the Reds 40-man roster earlier this offseason, so there's obviously something the club likes about his makeup.

34. Casey Legumina, Reds pitcher

Casey Legumina was added to the Cincinnati Reds roster last winter after the club traded Kyle Farmer to the Minnesota Twins. Injuries limited Legumina's effectiveness, though he has a live arm and could give the Reds some innings in 2024.

33. Rece Hinds, Reds outfielder

Rece Hinds is a boom-or-bust prospect. The power is out of this world, but the strikeout numbers are extremely concerning. Hinds will likely begin the 2024 season in the minors, though a late-season call-up could be in the cards if he performs well at Triple-A.

32. Lyon Richardson, Reds pitcher

Lyon Richardson got a taste of the big leagues in 2023, though his role is not yet defined. The right-hander has been groomed as a starter, but may serve the team best in a hybrid-role heading into 2024. Look for Richardson to be fighting for a spot in the Reds bullpen this spring.

31. Jacob Hurtubise, Reds outfielder

Jacob Hurtubise will be a name to watch this spring. Added to the Reds 40-man roster just last month, Hurtubise has plenty of speed and a great eye at the dish. Hurtubise could make a play for a spot on the Reds 2024 Opening Day roster.

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30. Carson Spiers, Reds pitcher

Much like Lyon Richardson, Carson Spiers had a cup of coffee with the Cincinnati Reds in 2023 - mainly due to the number of injuries incurred by the team's rotation. Spiers spent most of last season in Double-A, and will add depth to the Reds rotation heading into next season.

29. Nick Martini, Reds outfielder

Nick Martini was clutch during his brief stint with the Reds in 2023. Much like Matt Reynolds from a couple years back, Martini could hang around on the 40-man roster until a better option becomes necessary. The veteran outfielder is well liked in the clubhouse.

28. Alex Young, Reds pitcher

Alex Young survived the non-tender deadline, so it's safe to assume that the southpaw will be invited to Goodyear next spring. However, Young has a minor-league option remaining, and could begin the 2024 season in the minors if the Reds find another left-handed reliever during the offseason.

27. Daniel Duarte, Reds pitcher

Daniel Duarte had his moments during the second-half of the 2023 season, but the walks are a major concern. The right-hander walked nearly 15-percent of the batters he faced. That number must improve if Duarte hopes to remain on the 40-man roster in 2024.

26. Ian Gibaut, Reds pitcher

Ian Gibaut performed admirably in 2023, but one would hope, with the additions of Emilio Pagán and Nick Martinez, that the right-hander could take on a lesser role heading into next season. Gibaut was one of the most reliable relievers in the bullpen, but should be getting the ball in the sixth inning, not the eighth.

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25. Stuart Fairchild, Reds outfielder

Stuart Fairchild is the perfect platoon outfielder on a rebuilding team. However, with the influx of talent, Fairchild will have to up his game heading into spring training. With Jacob Hurtubise, Rece Hinds, and Blake Dunn making their case, Fairchild will have to prove that he belongs.

24. Tejay Antone, Reds pitcher

Talent is not the problem when it comes to Tejay Antone. But can he stay healthy. When Antone is at his best, one could argue that he's the best reliever in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen. But after two Tommy John surgeries, his longevity and effectiveness will certainly come into question.

23. Connor Phillips, Reds pitcher

In terms of pure stuff, there may not be a better pitching prospect in the Reds farm system than Connor Phillips. A strong spring could put the right-hander on the cusp of Cincinnati's starting rotation, but walks have haunted the 22-year-old during the early stages of his career.

22. Luke Maile, Reds catcher

Luke Maile earned his contract extension with his strong play behind the plate in 2023. Now it's time for the University of Kentucky product to prove that he was deserving of it. Maile will split time with Tyler Stephenson in 2024, as it appears as though the three-catcher platoon is dead.

21. Will Benson, Reds outfielder

While his opportunities against lefties were limited in 2023, Will Benson struggled when given the chance to face southpaws. As it stands, Benson is a terrific platoon outfielder, but will have to make improvements against left-handers to secure an everyday spot in the Reds lineup.

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20. Sam Moll, Reds pitcher

After landing in Cincinnati at the trade deadline, Sam Moll asserted himself as one of the most reliable relievers in the Reds bullpen. Will that same level of dominance carry over to the 2024 season? Reds fans are hopeful that it will.

19. Emilio Pagán, Reds pitcher

The Reds free agent acquistion will likely find most of his work in the seventh and eighth innings. Emilio Pagán kept the ball in the ballpark last season, and Cincinnati's front office is hoping for more of the same heading into 2024.

18. Noelvi Marte, Reds infielder

There may not be a player on the Cincinnati Reds roster with a higher floor than Noelvi Marte. By the end of the 2024 season, Marte could be one of the Top 5 players on the Reds roster. But with just 35 games under his belt, the 21-year-old still has much to prove heading into next season.

17. Brandon Williamson, Reds pitcher

If the Cincinnati Reds add a starting pitcher this offseason, Brandon Williamson would appear to be the odd-man out. However, Williamson put up solid numbers during his rookie season, and could easily be one of five starting pitchers to open the 2024 on the active roster.

16. Fernado Cruz, Reds pitcher

After the first game of the 2023 season, Reds fans were ready to throw the book at Fernando Cruz. But by season's end, the right-hander looked quite comfortable at the backend of the bullpen. Can Cruz put it all together in 2024?

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15. Tyler Stephenson, Reds catcher

Tyler Stephenson is entering the 2023-24 offseason at a crossroads. After his 2022 campaign was cut short, 2023 was about being healthy. Heading into 2024, the Reds will be looking for Stephenson to return to form; both at the dish and behind it.

14. Jake Fraley, Reds outfielder

Jake Fraley crushed right-handed pitching in 2023, but after landing on the IL with a toe injury, the Reds outfielder was a shell of himself. If healthy, Fraley could be an everyday player, but another injury-plagued season could see him land a lesser role on the club moving forward.

13. Nick Martinez, Reds pitcher

Nick Martinez is a ground ball pitcher, and that should play very well at Great American Ball Park. Martinez may get the opportunity to start, but could also be used out of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen. The right-hander's versatility is one of his best qualities.

12. Lucas Sims, Reds pitcher

No one in the game inherited more runners than Lucas Sims in 2023. Manager David Bell oftentimes used Sims as his stopper when strikeouts were needed. More times than not, Sims delivered. The right-hander is a fantastic bridge to closer Alexis Diaz.

11. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Reds infielder

There's a ton of hype, and rightfully so, surrouding Christian Encarnacion-Strand. But the infielder has some big shoes to fill at first base after the Cincinnati Reds declined Joey Votto's club-option. Encarnacion-Strand has the potential to hit 30-plus home runs at Great American Ball Park next season.

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10. Nick Lodolo, Reds pitcher

Nick Lodolo could be No. 1 on this list by the end of the season. But first, he has to get back onto the hill. Lodolo missed almost all of the 2023 season and staying healthy will be key to his success next season. The Reds' lefty possesses ace-level stuff.

9. Jonathan India, Reds infielder

For now, Jonathan India is part of the Reds 40-man roster. But how much longer will that last? India has been the subject of much trade speculation this offseason, and understandably so. While his defense was subpar, India (when healthy) was a key contributor on last year's squad.

8. Elly De La Cruz, Reds infielder

Can the production match the hype? That's going to be the question on everyone's mind once Elly De La Cruz arrives in Goodyear next spring. Very few players in Major League Baseball possess the tools that De La Cruz has. If he can maximize his potential, De La Cruz will be the best player on the Reds roster.

7. Andrew Abbott, Reds pitcher

Andrew Abbott may have a leg up on the likes of Brandon Williamson and Connor Phillips for a spot on the Reds 2024 Opening Day roster. The southpaw was utterly dominant at times, but ran out of gas down the stretch. Abbott might be the most consistent pitcher in the Cincinnati rotation.

6. Hunter Greene, Reds pitcher

Speaking of consistency, that's what Reds fans want to see from Hunter Greene in 2024. Just like Elly De La Cruz, Greene possesses all the raw tools to be difference-maker on this Reds team heading into next season. If the right-hander continues to develop that changeup, he could be unhittable.

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5. Graham Ashcraft, Reds pitcher

Graham Ashcraft's 2024 season ended on a sour note, but after returning from his first trip to the IL, the right-hander seemed to have ironed out some of the issues that plagued him during the middle of the season. Ashcraft was the Cincinnati Reds best starter in 2023, and will look to build off that success heading into next season.

4. TJ Friedl, Reds outfielder

The Reds MVP last season was TJ Friedl. The centerfielder played above-average defense, displayed speed on the base paths, and got on base by any means necessary. Friedl gets the absolute most out of his God-given abilities, and is one of Cincinnati's best players.

3. Spencer Steer, Reds infielder/ outfielder

Spencer Steer didn't receive a lot of love from the Baseball Writers' Association of America when it came to the NL Rookie of the Year voting, but that won't be the case here. Steer led the Reds in home runs last season, and Cincinnati manager David Bell was able to plug and play the rookie all over the diamond in 2023.

2. Alexis Diaz, Reds pitcher

It's wild that a reliever is ranked this high, but Alexis Diaz was that good in 2023. While several of the Reds hurlers experienced a sophomore slump last season, Diaz was even better than expected. The right-hander will enter next season as the undisputed closer.

1. Matt McLain, Reds infielder

Matt McLain's oblique injury over the final month of the season may have been the biggest factor that kept the Cincinnati Reds out of the postseason. McLain looks the part and could be a foundational piece of the Reds franchise moving forward.

McLain can hit for average, hit for power, play above-average defense, and displayed above-average speed. McLain has the potential to be that five-tool player that every GM wants on their squad.