A snapshot of the Reds catching prospects in the minor leagues

Cincinnati Reds prospects
Cincinnati Reds prospects / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Perhaps one of the most unsettled positions on the Cincinnati Reds roster is that of catcher. Sure, Tyler Stephenson is the unquestioned starter behind the plate, but beyond that, there's a lot of question marks.

Stephenson hit the IL on three separate occasions in 2022 and the last injury incurred, a broken collarbone, finished his season. The Reds then used five different catchers over the remainder of the season, and once free agency opens, Cincinnati will have just one backstop on the 40-man roster.

While it seems very likely that the Cincinnati Reds will invest in securing the services of an experienced catcher during free agency, the front office isn't known for its excessive spending. In order to add catching depth, the club will need to look to its farm system. What does the Reds depth look like behind the dish heading into the offseason?

A snapshot of the Reds catching prospects in the minor leagues.

Heading into the offseason, the Cincinnati Reds purged their roster of four different catchers. Michael Papierski, Mark Kolozsvary, and Aramis Garcia were all claimed off waivers, and Chuckie Robinson was outrighted to Triple-A.

Robinson could rejoin the team in 2023, but he no longer has a spot on the 40-man roster. He currently represents the only catcher in the Cincinnati farm system who's played above Double-A.

The Reds have one backstop who played for Double-A Chattanooga last season. Daniel Vellojin, who could be added to the 40-man roster in just a few weeks, showcased a ton of talent while at High-A Dayton, but his hitting took a hit once he made the leap to Double-A.

Matheu Nelson, the Reds selected Nelson with the 35th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, spent all of last season with the Dayton Dragons. Nelson struck out 33.6% of the time last season; that's not something most managers will tolerate from a catcher. Nelson's pitch recognition must improve.

Cade Hunter, a left-handed hitting catcher, and Logan Tanner were both selected in last year's draft. Both saw time at Low-A Daytona and Hunter really excelled at plate. While it was a very small sample size, Hunter slashed .308/.357/.577 with a wRC+ of 162.

Finally, the Cincinnati Reds also have Jackson Miller down on the farm. Injuries have crushed any sort of potential that Miller may have. After being drafted by the Reds in 2020, Miller has played in just three games in the minor leagues. Here's hoping the 20-year-old can have an injury-free campaign in 2023.

Next. Way-too-early Reds 2023 Opening Day roster predictions. dark