This sleeper arm in the Cincinnati Reds farm system could turn heads in 2022

A view of a New Era on field Cincinnati Reds hat.
A view of a New Era on field Cincinnati Reds hat. / Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds made the odd decision last winter to add Jared Solomon to the team's 40-man roster despite the fact that the right-hander blew out his elbow during instructional league play. After undergoing Tommy John surgery, Solomon missed the entire the 2021 season, but the 24-year-old should be ready to go once spring training gets underway.

Solomon was taken in the 11th round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Reds and spent his first year-plus at Rookie Ball. He went 6-4 with a 3.15 ERA over 85.2 innings of work. Solomon was then promoted to A-Ball and struggled in his first six starts. Solomon went 0-1 with the Dayton Dragons in 25 innings and posted a 5.40 ERA and a 6.5 BB/9.

But Jared Solomon made quite the leap from 2018 to 2019, increasing his innings pitched from 72.2 to 115.1 and making it to Advanced-A Daytona. Solomon consistently worked his fastball in the mid-90s and showed great feel for his slider, which is a plus-breaking pitch. The right-hander also has a changeup as part of his repertoire.

Jared Solomon could join the Reds bullpen in 2022.

If Jared Solomon shows that he's fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, the Cincinnati Reds should scrap any idea they had of the right-hander joining the rotation and put him into a relief role. Solomon's fastball/ slider combo would be enough to give any right-handed batter fits.

Solomon is listed among the Top 30 Reds prospects according to MLB Pipeline, and FanGraphs even sees the Pennsylvania native as a Top 15 prospect in the Cincinnati farm system. Both outlets see Solomon as a relief prospect, and after undergoing elbow surgery, that's probably a safe bet.

There is no shortage of openings in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen. One would have to assume that aside from Luis Cessa, Amir Garrett, Justin Wilson, Art Warren, and Lucas Sims, the battle for the final few spots in the Reds pen is wide open.

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If Jared Solomon is fully recovered from surgery, a handful of appearances at Triple-A might be all the Reds scouts need to see before elevating him to the big leagues. After adding him the 40-man roster last winter, it's time for the Reds to see what they have in Solomon.