A snapshot of the Reds first base prospects in the minor leagues

Cincinnati Reds prospects
Cincinnati Reds prospects / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Votto has been the Cincinnati Reds starting first baseman since 2008. Sure, players like Mike Moustakas, Brandon Drury, and even Tyler Stephenson have filled in on occasion, but Votto is the Reds first baseman and it's a position he'll occupy once more in 2023.

However, the 2023 season could be the final year in which that statement is true. Votto has a $20M team-option that the Reds can choose to pick up or decline after next season. If Cincinnati declines Votto's option, the club will owe the former MVP $7M and will need a new starting first baseman in 2024.

So, it makes sense to target a replacement. While free agency is always a route the Reds could take, it's more likely that the team will look to replace the six-time All-Star with a young, controllable prospect. What does the depth look like at first base in the Reds farm system?

A snapshot of the Reds first base prospects in the minor leagues.

There's Joey Votto and a whole lot of also-rans. One complaint so many fans of the Cincinnati Reds have shared over the years is the lack of preparedness on the part of the front office for life after Joey Votto. It's a fair criticism. Outside of Yonder Alonso, the Reds have failed to develop a first base prospect.

Looking at the Reds farm system, the first player that fans should get to know is Alex McGarry. The first baseman/ outfielder saw three different levels of competition in 2022 and hit .264/.316/.543 with a wRC+ of 124. McGarry started 69 games at first base last season.

Another player to keep an eye on is Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The 22-year-old was part of the deal that sent Tyler Mahle to the Minnesota Twins. Encarnacion-Strand has played more games at third base than first base, but with the intent of making Noelvi Marte the team's third baseman of the future, look for the slugger to play much more often at first base in 2023.

Garrett Wolforth and Michael Triana, who both arrived to the Reds organization in 2019, will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. It's doubtful that either will occupy a 40-man roster spot in the coming weeks. Triana has a ton of power in his bat, but there's a lot of swings and misses as well.

Ruben Ibarra was the Cincinnati Reds fourth-round draft selection in 2021 and showed great platte discipline at Low-A Daytona, but struggled to maintain it after making the jump to High-A Dayton. Look for Ibarra to begin next season back in Dayton with an eye on making adjustments and elevating to Double-A in 2023.

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