DAYTON, OH —Baseball America, the trade publication for Minor League Baseball, has announced its annual list of top-10 prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Selection to the top-10 prospect list is a notable achievement for any player among the approximately 150 minor leaguers in the Reds system.
Elly De La Cruz, who spent most of the 2022 season with the Dayton Dragons, was selected as the Reds #1 prospect, yet another addition to the long list of honors and achievements for him. De La Cruz was chosen by the Reds as their 2022 Minor League Player of the Year and was also named as the Midwest League’s “Best MLB Prospect” in 2022 in a vote by league managers. He was also picked as the shortstop on the league’s full season all-star team (one player per position) and was one of three finalists for the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year (all organizations).
The player who replaced De La Cruz (day-luh-CRUISE) at shortstop in Dayton late in the 2022 season, Noelvi Marte (no-ELL-vee marr-TAY), was ranked by Baseball America as the Reds #2 prospect. And the player expected to be the next Dayton shortstop, Edwin Arroyo (uh-ROY-oh), is ranked #3 on the list. Both Marte and Arroyo were acquired by the Reds in the same trade, the 2022 deadline deal with Seattle that sent big league pitcher Luis Castillo to the Mariners in exchange for Marte, Arroyo, and two other minor league prospects.
Two additional players on the list of top-10 prospects played for the Dragons in 2022. Starting pitcher Chase Petty is ranked #6 and starting pitcher Connor Phillips is ranked #9. Petty, still only 19 years old, could begin the 2023 season back with the Dragons after making seven starts with Dayton at the end of 2022. Petty was acquired prior to last season from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for major leaguer Sonny Gray. Phillips spent the first three months of 2022 with the Dragons before being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. He was also acquired in a trade before the ’22 season, coming from Seattle in a deal that sent former Dragon Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to Seattle.
Here is the Reds Top-10 prospect list from Baseball America:
1) Elly De La Cruz, shortstop
2) Noelvi Marte, shortstop/third baseman
3) Edwin Arroyo, shortstop
4) Cam Collier, third baseman
5) Christian Encarnacion-Strand, third baseman/first baseman
6) Chase Petty, starting pitcher
7) Spencer Steer, infielder
8) Sal Stewart, third baseman
9) Connor Phillips, starting pitcher
10) Brandon Williamson, starting pitcher
Seven of the Reds top-10 prospects were acquired in trades in 2022, and De La Cruz is the only player on the list who was in the Reds organization at the end of the 2021 season. Two players on the list were Reds 2022 draft picks, including first round selection Cam Collier (#4 prospect), and Sal Stewart (#8 prospect), who was taken in the supplemental first round of the ’22 draft as a compensatory selection tied to the loss of free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos.
Baseball America also selected the Reds prospects with the best tools in several categories. De La Cruz was chosen as the Reds organization’s “Best Power Hitter,” “Fastest Baserunner,” “Best Infield Arm”, and “Best Athlete.” Phillips was chosen as the pitcher with the “Best Fastball” while 2022 Dragon Joe Boyle was named for “Best Curveball.” Edwin Arroyo was named “Best Defensive Infielder” while former Dragon Michael Siani was selected as “Best Defensive Outfielder.” Rece Hinds, a member of the 2022 Dragons, was picked for “Best Outfield Arm.” Starting pitcher Javi Rivera, who finished the 2022 season with the Dragons and could return in 2023, was named as the pitcher with the “Best Control.”
Go to this link for the Baseball America article: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2023-cincinnati-reds-top-mlb-prospects/
The selection of De La Cruz marks the fifth time in Dragons history that a player was ranked as the Reds #1 prospect after spending a significant portion of the previous season with the Dragons. The others included Austin Kearns, Homer Bailey, Robert Stephenson, and Nick Senzel.
Reds # 1 Prospects by season from Baseball America since 2000 (listed with the upcoming season):
2023: Elly De La Cruz, shortstop
2022: Jose Barrero, shortstop
2021: Jose Barrero, shortstop
2020: Hunter Greene, right-handed pitcher
2019: Nick Senzel, third baseman
2018: Nick Senzel, third baseman
2017: Nick Senzel, third baseman
2016: Robert Stephenson, right-handed pitcher
2015: Robert Stephenson, right-handed pitcher
2014: Robert Stephenson, right-handed pitcher
2013: Billy Hamilton, shortstop/center fielder
2012: Devin Mescoraco, catcher
2011: Aroldis Chapman, left-handed pitcher
2010: Todd Frazier, third baseman/outfielder
2009: Yonder Alonso, first baseman
2008: Jay Bruce, outfielder
2007: Homer Bailey, right-handed pitcher
2006: Homer Bailey, right-handed pitcher
2005: Homer Bailey, right-handed pitcher
2004: Ryan Wagner, right-handed pitcher
2003: Chris Gruler, right-handed pitcher
2002: Austin Kearns, outfielder
2001: Austin Kearns, outfielder
2000: Gookie Dawkins, shortstop
Players in bold had spent a significant portion of the previous season with the Dragons.
Dayton Dragons 2023 season tickets packages are available now, and all packages include an Elly De La Cruz bobblehead. Package plans are available for full-season (66 games), half-season (33 games), 16 games, or eight games. Dragons 2023 season ticket packages include many new benefits including membership in the Dragons Business Club or Family Club, and gift card. Packages also include a return of benefits enjoyed by 2022 season tickets holders, all with no price increase from last season. For more information, call (937) 228-2287 or go to daytondragons.com/tickets.
More Information:_ The Dayton Dragons are the affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and play a 66-game home schedule at beautiful Day Air Ballpark_ in the heart of the Water Street District. Deposits on 2023 season tickets are being accepted now. For information about season tickets including the new Business Club and Family Club, contact the Dragons by calling at (937) 228-2287, emailing at [email protected], or go to daytondragons.com. Information is also available regarding group tickets, lawn tickets, sponsorship opportunities or booking a Dragons speaker.