This Reds prospect could replace Aristides Aquino on the 40-man roster

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Aristides Aquino (44) points to heaven.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Aristides Aquino (44) points to heaven. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The next week-plus is likely to very tense for a few players within the Cincinnati Reds organization. One such player is outfielder Aristides Aquino.

Aquino, who rose to fame after an impressive month of power during the 2019 season, has been inconsisten at best. The Punisher played solid defense in 2022, but his approach at the plate offers little hope that he'll ever "figure it out".

Aquino is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility and will be due a raise in 2023. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Aquino may take home an estimated $1.6M. The Reds could save about $1M and possibly increase the team's offensive output by adding one of their outfield prospects to the 40-man roster next week.

Reds prospect TJ Hopkins could replace Aristides Aquino on the 40-man roster.

One of the more intriguing prospects to keep an eye on in the coming days is outfielder TJ Hopkins. A relatively obscure name heading into the 2022 season, Hopkins posted big-time power numbers with 49 extra-base hits including 21 round trippers with stops at both Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville.

Hopkins slashed .259/.333/.458 with a wRC+ of 107 in 126 games last season. There's some swing and miss in Hopkins game, but the 25-year-old also maintained a 9.1% walk-rate. Hopkins will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if the Reds do not add him to the 40-man roster by next week's deadline.

Hopkins is a versatile outfielder who spent the majority of his time split between left and right field. Hopkins does not have the same type of arm strength as Aristides Aquino, but very few actually do.

As the Cincinnati Reds look to remake their roster heading into the 2023 season, prospects like Elly De La Cruz, Brandon Williamson, and Noelvi Marte are sure to be added to the 40-man roster. TJ Hopkins is a bit more of a fringe prospect, but if the team wants to guarantee that he remains in the organization next season, adding him to the 40-man roster is essential.

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