Calling all Cincinnati Reds Fans!

By: Hannah Feldman

To any Cincinnati Reds fans reading, I’m sorry for what you’ve been through in the last ten years. It’s truly sad that the oldest professional baseball team, an organization with such a storied history, has fallen on such hard times. Especially because those hard times have been largely brought about by an owner unwilling to spend, even to keep his own homegrown talent around, but don’t stop reading! I’m going to try to mix some hope in with the doom and gloom. The Cincinnati Reds finished the 2022 season tied for the third-worst record in Major League Baseball. Cincinnati was number 23 in MLB for runs scored with 648 and had the 27th-best team ERA at 4.86. So, all in all, a pretty awful season. It’s been a string of awful seasons for Cincinnati. But here are five reasons to be hopeful in 2023 and beyond!

Reason #1: Hunter Greene

The biggest reason to be excited about the 2023 Reds is indisputably Greene. 

One of baseball’s most electrifying young pitchers had an impressive rookie campaign in 2022, striking out 10.6 batters per nine innings and walking just 3.1. If he can get the home run ball in check (1.4 homers per nine in 2022), he looks like he could be one of the best pitchers in baseball for years to come. He throws his fastball at an average of 99 miles per hour, which is really just ridiculous for a starter. In his rookie season, he was in the 88th percentile among MLB pitchers for whiff rate. 

Reason #2: Alexis Diaz is actually nasty

Alexis Diaz finished 11th among qualified NL relievers last year in ERA. According to, Diaz has some of the most unhittable stuff in the league. His fastball spin rate is 100th percentile among MLB pitchers. Expected slugging on balls batted against him is 96th percentile. His whiff rate is 97th percentile. 

Reason #3: Spencer Steer

Steer didn’t do much in 108 plate appearances with Cincinnati in 2022, but the 24-year-old tore through the minor leagues the last two seasons. He started 2021 in High-A and in 216 minor league games over the next two seasons, hit 47 home runs, and got on base over 35 percent of the time. He cut his strikeouts and raised his average, on-base percentage, and slugging while playing against better competition. Steer is considered the Red’s no. 2 prospect right now by Fangraphs, and he is projected to start at second or third base for the Reds this season. He could be one of their best hitters as a rookie.

Reason #4: The farm

The Reds have the 13th-best farm system in MLB, according to The Athletic. The crown jewel of the system is Dominican shortstop Elly De La Cruz, whom veteran MLB prospect correspondent Keith Law says has the highest ceiling in the minors. De La Cruz is projected as an above-average hitter and fielder with a plus arm and power. He’s a plus-plus runner. He tore up Double-A in 2022, hitting 28 homers and swiping 47 bags as a 20-year-old. Noelvi Marte, another shortstop acquired from the Mariners in the Luis Castillo trade last July, has some of the best raw power in the minor leagues. He got on base 37% of the time last season and hit 19 homers in High-A as a 20-year-old. Edwin Arroyo, their third-best prospect, according to, is projected to be a plus fielder at shortstop, and he hit nearly .300 last season across two levels, spending most of the season as an 18-year-old. Cam Collier, a third baseman and the 2022 no. 18 overall pick, is projected as a plus hitter and will make his full-season pro debut in 2023. The Red’s infield looks like it could be set for years to come.

Reason #5: It’s a fresh start

The Reds won 83 games in 2021. Then they were gutted in the 2021-2022 offseason. After this season, the Reds are finally off the hook for Joey Votto’s contract. They have no guaranteed money on the books for 2024. But with an impressive crop of infield prospects on the way and a decently deep stash of arms on the farm, the Reds will be well positioned to spend in one of these upcoming offseasons to supplement their homegrown talent. The Reds open the regular season on March 30 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. It’s almost certainly going to be a long season for fans of professional baseball’s oldest team, but hey, there could be some bright spots.

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