Catcher Mat Nelson, the Reds’ No. 12 prospect, is back with the Dragons after only 28 at-bats in his first season of pro ball because of a late-season injury. Nelson led the nation in home runs last spring at Florida State and was the 35th overall pick.
Starting pitcher Andrew Abbott, a second-round pick last year from Virginia, is the Reds’ No. 13 prospect and made five minor-league starts. He struck out 22 in 13 innings.
Starting pitcher Connor Phillips, the Reds’ No. 14 prospect, joined the organization this past week as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Reds’ regulars Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to Seattle. Phillips was a supplemental second-round pick in 2020. He was 7-3 with a 4.75 ERA for the Mariners’ high-A team last year.
Shortstop Jose Torres, the Reds’ No. 17 prospect, was considered the best defensive shortstop in the 2021 draft and was selected in the third round. He batted .337 with four home runs, 17 RBIs and six stolen bases in 95 at-bats in Daytona.
Outfielder Allan Cerda is the Reds’ No. 22 prospect and was added to the 40-man roster during the winter and participated in major-league spring training. Cerda his 14 home runs in Daytona last year before a late-season promotion to Dayton. With the Dragons, he hit three homers and batted .273 with 13 RBIs in 21 games.
Pitcher Joe Boyle, a 2020 fifth-round pick from Notre Dame, has regularly reached 100 mph with his fastball. He is the Reds’ No. 29 prospect and split time between rookie ball and Daytona last year, compiling a 2.29 ERA in eight starts. He struck out 41 in 19 2/3 innings.
The roster includes 14 players who spent all or part of the 2021 season with the Dragons, led by outfielder Quin Cotton, the team leader in home runs last season with 10.
Other players returning to Dayton are pitchers Thomas Farr, Jake Gilbert, Evan Kravetz, James Marinan, James Proctor and Spencer Stockton; catcher Garrett Wolforth; infielders Juan Martinez, Alex McGarry and Jonathan Willems and outfielder Jack Rogers.
The other players new to Dayton are pitchers Frainger Aranguren, Donovan Benoit, Manuel Cachutt, Myles Gayman, Jake Gozzo, Nick Hanson, Carson Rudd and Jake Stevenson; infielder Nick Quintana; outfielder Ashton Creal.
The Dragons, entering their 22nd season, finished 65-55 last summer and shared a division title. Friday’s opener against Fort Wayne begins at 7:05 p.m. at Day Air Ballpark.