Card prospectors are always in search of that player who could be a hidden gem.
Look no further than Cincinnati Reds shortstop Rece Hinds.
Hinds isn’t quite an unknown prospect as a second-round draft pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. According to MLB Pipeline, Hinds is the Reds’ No. 9 prospect and he’s a top 150 prospect in all of baseball.
Onyx Authenticated President Lance Fischer is extremely high on the 20-year-old from Niceville, Fla., who played at IMG Academy.
“This kid has got a lot of power,” Fischer said. “He had a great instructional summer appearance – I’m not even sure what you would call that – over the summer last year. He did really, really well. I think he’s definitely going to hit the top 100, if not the top 50, by the middle of summer. I’m excited about him.”
There is a little bit of the unknown about Hinds at the professional level. After signing with the Reds in June 2019, Hinds played in just three games for the Greeneville Reds in rookie ball, logging 10 plate appearances before pulling a quad, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. Then last year during the pandemic where the minor leaguers didn’t play a season, Hinds didn’t play in any games. However, he was on the Reds’ 60-man instructional league roster, which proved very beneficial.
“Being able to tune in a little bit and get that experience and learn from the older guys was big,” Hinds told Sports Collectors Digest. “I think that’s really what helped me most is learning from the older guys and going to instruction and showing that has really boosted up and had people realizing like what I’m actually capable of.”
Hinds, the runner-up at the High School Home Run Derby during the MLB All-Star break in 2018, is blessed with tremendous power. That’s his best tool, rated a 60 in a 20-80 grading scale by MLB Pipeline.
But power wasn’t something Hinds always possessed.
“Going through middle school, I was a late bloomer, actually, so from like middle school to sophomore year in high school, I was probably the smallest kid on the team,” said Hinds, who is now 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. “I had to kind of change my way of hitting into being a power hitter. I had to kind of change it to a base hit hitting. And once I got to sophomore year, I hit a growth spurt, grew about four inches and I was 6-foot-3. I grew into my power and that’s kind of just how it began.”
Since Hinds is such a good hitter, it’s his defense that he worked on extensively last summer and fall.
“I think I’ve fine-tuned a lot of things in the infield during instructs,” said Hinds, who believes he will start this season in Single-A ball. “I think I’ll really show that I can stand the infield and do what I’ve always been able to do.”
Growing up, Hinds collected baseball, basketball and football cards. He figures he has about 1,000 baseball stored away, but hasn’t collected in years.
“For Christmas and little holidays like that here and there,” Hinds said. “Birthdays, I would get a pack or two of cards and store them away. I was a big Albert Pujols fan back when I was younger, and so that was kind of my main thing, getting Albert Pujols cards. When I got that, that was like my favorite.”
Cards of Hinds are still affordable to purchase. Some of his autographed cards are posted on eBay for hundreds of dollars and his 2019 Bowman Chrome auto orange /25 graded BGS 9.5 has a price tag of $1,750. When this Sports Collectors Digest writer informed Hinds about the prices of his cards, he was flabbergasted.
“I really had no idea,” Hinds said. “I think it’s actually crazy. It’s humbling to hear that, but at the same time, like I haven’t reached my end goal. So, there’s no time to stop and see glory into that.”
Rece, you better log onto eBay a snatch up a few of your own cards before the prices get too high.
“For real,” Hinds said laughing.