Joe was selected by the Reds in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, but after failing to make the Cincinnati Opening Day roster in 2019, the outfielder was dealt to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Jordan Johnson and cash considerations.
Joe is now part of the Rockies organization and is flourishing in Denver. After a cancer diagnosis forced Joe to sit out the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the former first-round pick signed with Colorado and hit .285/.379/.469 with eight homers in 2021.
This season, Connor Joe is back at it again. The 29-year-old is slashing .322/.412/.627 and has four home runs and 11 RBIs on the young season. Watching Joe have success is a cautionary tale for the Cincinnati Reds, and the organization should be patient their MiLB Rule 5 Draft pick from last year, Ronnie Dawson.
The Reds cannot let Ronnie Dawson get away.
Not every player excels at age 22 and goes on to become a star in the major leagues. Sometimes it can take year of seasoning in the minor leagues, the right hitting or pitching coach, or a simple change in a batting stance to unlock a player's true potential.
Ronnie Dawson has been in the minor leagues for six seasons, but the outfielder got a taste of the big leagues last season with the Houston Astros. Dawson appeared in just three games, but did record his first major league hit.
This season, after being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the MiLB Rule 5 Draft, Dawson was sent to Triple-A Louisville to begin the 2022 season. The former second-round pick is absolutely brutalizing opposing pitchers to the tune of .288/.382/.485 with a team-leading wRC+ of 137.
Dawson is not part of the Reds 40-man roster, but if he keeps playing like he has to open the season, Cincinnati's front office will have no choice but to promote him to the active roster.
The Cincinnati Reds outfield has not been the most stable unit to begin the 2022 season. Both Nick Senzel and Tyler Naquin have found their way onto the IL due to illness, Tommy Pham struggled mightily during the first week-plus, and Aristides Aquino has been awful at the plate.
Hopefully the Reds learned their lesson after giving up on Connor Joe a little prematurely. Sometimes it takes a little patience. Let's hope Cincinnati is patient with Ronnie Dawson.