From top to bottom, things are moving in the right direction for the Reds organization.
At the very top, the Major League club finished over .500, albeit in a shortened year, and made the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The sliver lining of the losing seasons, of course, has been picking early in the first round of the Draft each year.
The top five of this year’s Top 30 list consist of former-first rounders, from the most recent (Austin Hendrick in 2020) to a bit further back (Tyler Stephenson in 2015), all taken in the top dozen picks. Getting Hunter Greene (No. 2, 2017) back healthy following Tommy John surgery and Jonathan India (No. 5, 2018) swinging the bat like he did during his junior season at Florida would go a long way toward giving the Reds a strong group at the top.
The Draft has been the biggest way the Reds have built up an improving farm system, but they’ve also added some exciting international talent, including two big prospects inked at the start of the 2020-21 signing period. They might be far away, but add talent at the bottom rungs of the organizational ladder while some of that elite-level talent starts approaching the top. All of it points to a system slowly on the rise.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2020 preseason list to the 2021 preseason list.
Jump: Allan Cerda, OF (2020: NR | 2021: No. 17) -– Still learning to tap into a lot of raw power, Cerda has the range to stick in center and the arm to move to right if needed.
Fall: Jacob Heatherly, LHP (2020: No. 16 | 2021: NR) -- The lefty is strong, physical and has really good stuff, but he’s struggled to stay healthy, missing nearly all of 2019 with shoulder issues.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 55 -- Jonathan India (Tyler Callihan)
Power: 60 -- Austin Hendrick (Rece Hinds)
Run: 65 -- Malvin Valdez
Arm: 60 -- Jose Garcia (Tyler Stephenson, Mike Siani, Rece Hinds)
Defense: 60 -- Mike Siani
Fastball: 80 -- Hunter Greene (Joe Boyle)
Curveball: 55 -- Vladimir Gutierrez (Christian Roa, Case Williams)
Slider: 60 -- Ryan Hendrix (Bryce Bonnin)
Changeup: 55 -- Nick Lodolo (Christian Roa)
Control: 60 -- Nick Lodolo
How they were built
Draft: 21 | International: 7 | Trade: 2
Breakdown by ETA
2021: 9 | 2022: 5 | 2023: 8 | 2024: 6 | 2025: 2
Breakdown by position
C: 2 | 1B: 1 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 2 | SS: 3 | OF: 7 | RHP: 13 | LHP: 1