The Reds selected the contract of top pitching prospect Hunter Greene, adding him to the 40-man roster, per a club announcement. Also selected to the 40-man roster were outfielder Allan Cerda and righties Alexis Diaz, Daniel Duarte and James Marinan. All five prospects are now protected from the Rule 5 Draft, and Cincinnati’s 40-man roster is now full.
Greene, 22, was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft as a shortstop/right-hander with a fastball that could run up to 102-103 mph. He’s undergone Tommy John surgery since that lofty selection but enjoyed a nice return campaign in 2021, tallying 106 1/3 innings of 3.30 ERA ball between Double-A and Triple-A. The 6’5″, 230-pound Greene fanned 31.7% of his opponents against an 8.9% walk rate and a 43.8% walk rate. Regarded as one of the 50 best prospects in the game, Greene should be in line to make his big league debut at some point in 2022 — particularly if the Reds part ways with a starter via trade this winter (e.g. Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle).
The 21-year-old Cerda is the only other one of today’s additions who ranks as a consensus top-30 farmhand in the Reds organization. Cerda hit .250/.361/.523 with 17 homers, 22 doubles, five triples and a pair of steals (albeit in a concerning 10 tries) through 363 plate appearances between two Class-A levels. A right-handed hitter with big raw power and above-average speed, Cerda can handle center field but also has questions about his hit tool.
Marinan, 23, was the Reds’ fourth-round pick in 2017 and logged a 4.31 ERA with a 22.3% strikeout rate but an alarming 14.4% walk rate in 64 2/3 innings this season — mostly spent as a starter. FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen gives him credit for three potentially average (or better) offerings, but questions about the 6’5″ right-hander’s command drag his stock down.
Both Diaz and Duarte are relievers heading into their age-25 seasons. Diaz posted a 3.83 ERA with a huge 38.9% strikeout rate through 42 1/3 Double-A frames, but he also walked 11.1% of his opponents. Duarte began the 2021 season pitching in the Mexican League but impressed upon joining the Reds, posting a 31.4% strikeout rate in 23 2/3 frames across multiple levels. Like Diaz and Marinan, walks have been an issue.