Coming out of the 2019 draft, third baseman Rece Hinds was regarded as having some of the biggest raw power in that year’s high school class. The big, strong senior could put on a show.
Drafted in the second round out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., Hinds was assigned to Rookie-level Greeneville after signing. He didn’t get a chance to show off much because he injured his quad just three games into the season and missed the rest of the year.
When the pandemic canceled the 2020 minor league season, it could have resulted in nearly two summers without baseball for Hinds. But the Reds brought him to their alternate training site in early August, making the then-teenager the youngest player in Cincinnati’s 60-man player pool.
Following his time at the alternate site, Hinds was one of 40 players the Reds invited to instructional league. The 20-year-old wasted little time announcing his presence. In the first week of games he hit three home runs.
“He’s an exceptionally gifted kid,” Reds vice president of player development Shawn Pender said. “He’s a physical specimen, very strong, very athletic, and he’s got great work ethic.
“He’s a really an intelligent kid. The fact that he’s just so motivated and intelligent just makes the job much easier because he adjusts and learns. He’s got off-the-chart tools and he’s just applied them well here in instructional league.”
While everyone felt that Hinds’ power would play, there were plenty of questions about which position he was going to play. The high school shortstop quickly moved to third base as a professional.
“The intent is to keep him there as long as we can, because he’s got a well above-average arm,” Pender said. “The way we look at it, he can always move to another position. But with his pure athleticism, size and arm strength, you’d love to be able to use all of those tools at third base.”
— Righthander Vladimir Gutierrez, who was suspended for 80 games in 2020 after testing positive for stanozolol during spring training, will be pitching for Licey in the Dominican League this winter.