On one side of the coin, righthander Bryce Bonnin recorded a 2.87 ERA at the Class A levels in 2021.
On the other side of that coin: He threw just 47 innings because of injury.
Injuries cost Bonnin the first two months of the season. He also skipped two starts later in the year, but returned the next time through the rotation. In his final start of the year for High-A Dayton, Bonnin broke a rib that needed to be surgically removed following the season.
The injuries and the lack of time on the mound in 2021 could lead to a real breakout in 2022. As he spent the offseason rehabbing his way back from rib surgery, he expected to be ready to go when the season begins.
“We know he’s got really good stuff,” Reds vice president of player development Shawn Pender said. “He’s been mostly a two-pitch power guy. We’ve seen a plus fastball with plus life. The breaking ball is sharp with late break. He’s an exceptionally strong kid.”
After Bonnin struck out 71 batters, walked just 17 and posting a 0.94 WHIP in 2021—despite relying mostly on two pitches—the Reds are looking for the 2020 third-rounder from Texas Tech to continue to develop and use his changeup more frequently.
“Like a lot of these guys who don’t have to use the third pitch much in college, we’ve got to get him to use the changeup more as he advances through the system,” Pender said.
Having a full and healthy season could go a long way for Bonnin. Getting the required repetitions in could both help the development of his stuff as well as allow him to truly have a breakout that may have manifested a year ago had he been able to spend more time on the field.
— Rece Hinds has played every game at third base since being drafted in 2019, but this spring he’s getting some action in the outfield as the organization explores a potential position change.