Cincinnati Reds Top 15 Prospects For 2024

After graduating as many prospects as any team in baseball in 2023, the Reds' system is revamped heading into the '24 season.

OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JUNE 22: Rhett Lowder #4 of the Wake Forest pitches during the first inning against the LSU at Charles Schwab Field on June 22, 2023 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds captured the attention of the baseball world this past summer for several weeks, in large part because of their rookie influx headlined by former No. 1 overall prospect Elly De La Cruz.

Along with De La Cruz, rookies such as Matt McLain, Noelvi Marte, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Andrew Abbott impressed mightily in their debut campaigns at Great American Ballpark, while former top prospects Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo took strides in their development as big leaguers.

Despite graduating droves of talent to a young big league roster over the last several years, excellent drafting and big ticket International free agent signings have restocked this farm system for Nick Krall and the rest of the Reds front office.

Note: Players graduate from prospect status after 100 plate appearances or 30 innings pitched at the MLB level.

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1. Rhett Lowder – RHP – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (7), 2022 (CIN) | ETA: 2025

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Lowder made his closing argument as the second best college arm in the 2023 draft by going toe-to-toe with Paul Skenes in a winner-take-all semifinal game in Omaha. He may not have frontline stuff, but Lowder has a good arsenal with a great feel to pitch.

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Arsenal

While his fastball may lag behind his high-quality secondaries, the pre-draft concerns around Lowder’s fastball appear to be a bit overblown. He sits 93-95 MPH with his heater, occasionally touching 97 MPH with some arm side run. He may not overpower hitters with it, but still picks up some whiff and plenty of ground balls. 

Lowder has an excellent feel for his secondaries, with both his slider and changeup flashing plus. He spots both consistently, landing them for strike around 70% of the time. His slider is his most consistent pitch, mixing it in 40% of the time his junior season with success against both lefties and righties. It features plenty of sweep from his three quarters release point. 

The third pitch for Lowder is an above average changeup that flashes plus. He will throw it at around 85-88 MPH with late fade and landing it for a strike around two-thirds of the time. Though a primary weapon to left-handed hitters, Lowder uses it effectively right-on-right sporadically.

Outlook

Phenomenal command and at least above average secondaries make Lowder not only a high-probability MLB starter, but also an arm that can climb quickly. He has at least middle-rotation upside with as good of a shot at sticking as a No. 4/No. 5 type as almost any arm in the top 100.

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2. Connor Phillips – RHP – (MLB)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (64), 2020 (SEA) | ETA: 2024

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Traded along with Brandon Williamson in the Jesse Winker/Eugenio Suarez deal, Phillips has seen his stuff jump over the last couple years, with an electric pitch mix. For him to reach his mid-rotation ceiling, he will need to improve his iffy command.

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Arsenal

Phillips has as good of stuff as you’re going to see in the Reds system. His fastball sits 95-97 MPH, topping out at 100 MPH along with a pair of breaking balls that flash above average or better. The fastball not only is high-octane, but averages nearly 19 inches of induced vertical break from a slightly below average release height, picking up plenty of whiffs in the zone and chase at the top.

The mid-80s slider averages 16 inches of horizontal break and is a wipeout pitch to righties while his upper-70s curveball is of better use to lefties with good depth. Phillips landed his slider for a strike more frequently, but both breaking balls were inconsistent last season. 

When he’s around the zone with his breaking balls they are difficult to hit, opponents have hit below the Mendoza Line against his two benders since the start of 2022. He will also mix in a changeup that is far behind the rest of his arsenal at this point.

Outlook

There’s reliever risk with Phillips due to his command issues, but his upper 90s fastball and pair of nasty breaking balls give him tantalizing upside. He will need to land his secondaries for a strike more consistently than the 53% clip he has posted in 2023, but in his defense, he had to throw with the experimental tacked baseballs in the Southern League before going back to a normal baseball in Triple-A.

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Reaching Triple-A and enjoying spurts of success in his age 21/22 season makes Phillips command shortcomings much more palatable. He will still need to show improvement in this regard to be seriously considered as a rotation option.

3. Cam Collier – 3B – (Low-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 210 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (18), 2022 (CIN) | ETA: 2026

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Collier fell into the laps of the Reds at pick No. 16 the 2022 Draft and they were happy to sign the the talented teenager to a well-overslot $5 million bonus. The son of former big leaguer Lou Collier, Cam is a natural in the batter’s box with potential for a rare blend of hit and power.

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Offense

Collier has always been ahead of his years as a baseball player. So much so that the 17-year-old decided to get his GED and play Junior College Baseball at Chipola College which has produced players like Jose Bautista, Russell Martin, Patrick Corbin, Adam Duvall and others.

The youngest player in his conference, Collier raked to a .956 OPS against pitchers who were multiple years older than him. Collier has an elite feel to hit with pitch recognition skills that you just don’t see often from player’s of his age and experience.

A sweet left-handed swing, Collier uses the whole field really well, while already flashing plus power to his pull side. At times, Collier tends get on his front foot a bit too early, leading to some rollovers and weaker contact (55% GB rate). His hands and ability to manipulate the barrel allow him to get to pitches even when he loses his lower half, but when he stays in his back side, the power is exciting.

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He has been more aggressive than expected in his first full season, running a chase rate of 32%, though there’s little reason to be concerned about his approach longterm. Collier is still extremely early in his development, but there’s plus power and above average hit to dream on.

Defense/Speed

A below average runner, Collier’s feet can be a bit heavy at third base. He does have soft hands and decent actions in addition to an easy plus arm, but there’s concern that he will slow down too much for the position. It’s more of a wait and see thing at this point with Collier, though his work ethic and natural skills help.

Outlook

The youngest player selected in the 2022 draft, Collier’s advanced offensive skill-set should help him keep his pace as one of the youngest players at each of his stops. All teenage prospects are risky, but Collier’s bloodlines, polish at the plate and elite makeup should have the Reds feeling good about the power-hitting corner infielder he can be.

4. Edwin Arroyo – SS – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 175 | Bat/Throw: S/R | 2nd Round (48), 2021 (SEA) | ETA: 2025

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Arroyo was taken in the second round of 2021’s Draft as more of a glove-first shortstop, but the switch-hitter has shown more offensive upside than many evaluators anticipated. 

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Offense

A compact build with some wiry strength, Arroyo really gets into his lower half with a wide, crouched stance in order to get his entire body into his swing. Despite registering below-average exit velocities, Arroyo consistently drives the ball in the air, sneaking more homers over the wall than most hitters with similar batted ball data.

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Arroyo displays strong bat-to-ball skills from both sides of the plate. While he has a bit more juice from the right side, Arroyo’s contact rates are better from the left side. 

A pretty aggressive hitter, Arroyo can find himself expanding the zone a bit too frequently (30% chase rate) like many young hitters who are confident in their ability to make consistent contact. 

He hits fastballs well and sprays the ball all over the field, but he will need to learn to lay off of pitcher’s pitches–especially breaking balls–if he is going to reach his offensive ceiling. Potentially a plus hitter, Arroyo has a chance to develop average game power as well.

Defense/Speed

Arroyo’s instincts at short are extremely impressive along with a plus arm and impressive range. Potentially a plus defender at shortstop, he is one of the best overall defenders in the Reds system. Arroyo is a natural up the middle with clean actions, impressive footwork and a rocket for an arm.

An above-average runner, Arroyo has been plenty aggressive on the bases in his first two seasons, looking like a candidate for 20 bags annually.

Outlook

Seemingly a sure-thing to stick at shortstop with a good chance to be an impact defender at the position, Arroyo’s glove is capable of carrying him, but he is no slouch with the bat. A good feel to hit from both sides of the plate with a chance for fringe-average game power and good speed, he has the goods to provide plenty of value on the offensive side of things as well.

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There may not be an All Star ceiling to dream on with Arroyo, but he has the ingredients to be an above average everyday shortstop at the highest level.

5. Ty Floyd – RHP – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (CB-A: 38), 2023 (CIN) | ETA: 2025

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A legitimate draft prospect out of high school, Floyd immediately made an impact for LSU pitching out of the bullpen as a freshman and making the move to the rotation as a draft-eligible sophomore. He returned to Baton Rouge for his junior season, seeing his fastball velocity jump by nearly two ticks and most notably punched out 27 batters in his two College World Series starts.

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Arsenal

Reminiscent of Bryce Miller, but with better stuff on draft day, Floyd’s bread and butter is a low release, high induced vertical break fastball that just floats over barrels. Flirting with 20 inches of induced vertical break from a 5.5 foot release height, Floyd’s fastball can look like an outlier to hitters at 93-95 mph.

He relied on the pitch heavily, throwing it 70% of the time at LSU, but there was little reason for him to go to his developing secondaries. Opponents hit just .215 against Floyd’s heater with strong whiff and chase numbers in 2023.

Because he hardly used them, Floyd’s secondaries are a work in progress. His slider (15% usage) has the ingredients to be an average pitch and has flashed a bit better. His ability to tunnel and create difficult angles for hitters with his fastball should help the pitch play up as he gains a feel for it.

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The third offering for Floyd is a fringy changeup that he mixed in about 10% of the time. The pitch features decent arm side fade when he locates it towards the bottom of the zone, but he had the tendency to leave it elevated where it would flatten out.

Possibly even more so than his slider, hitters being geared up to try to get on top of his high carry fastball should help his changeup play closer to average despite the pitch being a bit firm at time. Only landing his changeup for a strike a tick over half of the time, his command of the pitch is well below average at this point.

Outlook

It might seem like Floyd is a bit of a one-trick pony at this point, but when you have an outlier fastball and decent command of it (68% strike rate), the secondaries don’t need to be anything earth-shattering to survive as a starter.

That said, the secondaries will need to be better than they are right now. He took a step in the right direction with both his slider and changeup in 2023–two pitches that were almost unusable in his first two seasons at LSU–instilling belief within the Reds brass that he can take another step forward with the offerings professionally in 2024.

Using the Bryce Miller template, Floyd has the goods to enjoy similar success with his fastball along with secondaries that have a chance to be even stronger. There’s fringe No. 3 upside to dream on if things really click with the slider and changeup, with a good chance to land as a quality back-end starter with flashes of more.

6. Chase Petty – RHP – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (26), 2021 (MIN) | ETA: 2025

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A flame-throwing prep prospect who touched triple digits ahead of the draft, Petty has transitioned into a different mold, pitching to weak contact and ground balls while still missing enough bats with his secondaries.

Arsenal

Petty’s high-effort, high-velocity heater as a high school arm had evaluators somewhat worried about his chances to stick as a starter and shoulder the required workload. He answered that concern by adjusting his fastball to be more of a two-seamer that features plenty of arm side run in the 93-95 mph range.

The pitch features more run than sink, picking up slightly above average ground ball rates, but would probably be more effective with more drop or heaviness. While he did not give up a ton of damage on the pitch, his extremely low whiff and chase rates on the fastball could be further exposed if he is not picking up more than a 47% ground ball rate with it.

The best pitch for Petty is a slider that he has a fantastic feel for, manipulating it look like two different pitches at times. He will throw more of a traditional slider in the upper 80s, featuring more sweep and depth.

The other variation is a cutterish slider in the low 90s with late gyro break. He throws the harder variation more to lefties, who often swing over it or find it breaking in on their hands. The two variations of the pitch and his command of it (68% strike) not only help him maintain strong splits (both LHH and RHH hit below .200 against it), but also allows him to get away with his high usage of it.

The right-hander threw his slider far more than any of his other offerings in 2023, with a near 50% usage, which is somewhat of a concern as no qualified MLB starter threw a breaking ball more than 45% of the time, though an argument could be made that the variations of his slider are two distinct pitches with the low 90s version being a cutter (Trackman does not see it that way).

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Rounding out the arsenal is a changeup that flashes above average in the upper 80s with good arm side fade. His command of it is somewhat inconsistent, landing it for a strike just 55% of the time last year. He will mix it in around 20% of the time and 35% against lefties.

Outlook

Though it’s the complete opposite of what most evaluators believed would be the case when Petty was an amateur, his average heater limits him some at this point. He threw it less than 30% of the time, finding himself nibbling and filling up the zone less consistently with it as the year progressed.

There were some fluctuations in velocity as the year progressed, and the Reds never let Petty exceed 70 pitches, but he did end 2023 on a high note, tossing 16 consecutive scoreless innings with his fastball averaging above 95 mph.

His at least plus breaking ball and fantastic feel for it gives him a strong chance of at least being a relief/swingman option, however his impressive overall command and feel for a changeup give him a chance to stick as a starter if he can improve the quality of his fastball and fend off injury concerns.

A great athlete on the mound who was able to avoid hard contact even in his shaker starts (0 HR in 68 IP), Petty ultimately should stick as a starter as a No. 4 type though a consistent ground including ball fastball could give him a bit more upside.

7. Sal Stewart – 3B – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (32), 2022 (CIN) | ETA: 2026

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An advanced feel to hit helped Stewart make a smooth transition into pro ball, posting a 128 wRC+ between Low-A and High-A. Limited value beyond the bat puts more pressure on Stewarts ability to tap into power as he progresses.

Offense

Startling slightly open, Stewart gathers with a moderate leg kick and simple hand load, helping him be on time. Short and direct to the ball, Stewart makes plenty of contact and handles elevated stuff well.

While his timing and swing path are efficient, he could likely tap into more power–especially to the pull side–by shoring up his lower half a bit. He has the tendency to leak forward prematurely which can have a negative impact on power output and make it difficult to create leverage.

Stewart improved in this regard in the second half of the season, driving the ball in the air more consistently and with more authority. Over his final 60 games, he cut his ground ball rate by nearly 20% while seeing his 90th percentile exit velocity jump by more than two ticks to 104 mph.

Improved swing decisions also helped Stewart tap into more impact, looking for pitches out over the plate that he can drive to centerfield or either gap. From July onward, Stewart ran a chase rate of just 17%, walking more than he struck out.

The bat to ball skills and strong approach make Stewart a relatively safe bat and if the uptick in the exit velocity department in the second half carries into 2024, there could be above average hit and power to dream on.

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Defense/Speed

Stewart has worked on his quickness as a professional which has translated into better footwork at the hot corner and average range. His arm is just strong enough for the position, with decent hands and a feel for the game that bolsters his fringy abilities.

His improvements have helped his chances of sticking at third base, though a move could still be possible as he matures. An opportunistic base stealer, Stewart picked up 15 bags on 19 tries in 2023.

8. Julian Aguiar – RHP – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 12th Round (360), 2021 (CIN) | ETA: 2025

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A 12th round pick out of Cypress Junior College, which has produced more than a dozen big leaguers including Trevor Hoffman and Jason Vargas, Aguiar has optimized some of the shapes within his arsenal while gaining a tick in velocity, giving him the potential to be a backend starter.

Aguiar’s windup is slow and controlled with a smooth delivery, repeating his mechanics well and pounding the strike zone. He walked just 7% of batters in 2023, a figure that dipped to 5% over his final 15 starts. The right-hander features a high three-quarters release point which his stuff plays well from.

His fastball sits 94-96 mph, touching 98 mph with some arm side run. While the shape is more designed for ground balls (57% ground ball rate), his 5.6 foot release height helps the pitch play up at the top of the zone as well. It probably will not induce enough whiff to be a plus pitch at the highest level, but it is comfortably about average. 

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Aguiar’s best pitch is his plus slider in the low 80s. He has a fantastic feel for it, landing it for a strike 70% of the time while picking up plenty of in-zone whiff and chase thanks to how well it tunnels off of his fastball. He has so much confidence in the pitch that he will throw it more than his fastball to righties.

His preferred secondaries to left-handed hitters are his curveball and changeup. His slurvy curveball features decent downward bite, picking up swings and misses when he buries it along with plenty of ground balls. It has the makings of an average pitch, but his command of it is not always there relative to his other offerings.

Rounding out the arsenal is a changeup in the mid 80s with good arm side action. Despite the decent shape, he tips the pitch a bit with a release that is lower and further extended horizontally from his other offerings. With some tweaks and a better overall feel for the pitch, it could be a fine fourth option.

Outlook

With two at least above average offerings and impressive command, Aguiar appears to be a high probability big league arm in at least some capacity. Still 22 years old at the start of the 2024 season, Aguiar will already be getting his second taste of Double-A, where he pitched to a 4.28 ERA with a 21% K-BB rate. Aguiar has the goods to be an average No. 4 or strong No. 5 starter if he can find a better feel for his curveball and changeup.

9. Ricardo Cabrera – SS/3B – (Low-A)

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 175 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $2.7M , 2021 (CIN) | ETA: 2026

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Cabrera tore through the Complex League, earning a taste of Low-A at just 18 years old. He should have both enough pop and the defensive skills to stick on the left side of the infield.

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Offense

Starting with an open stance, Cabrera sinks into his back leg while utilizing a toe tap with his front foot. When his body is under control, Cabrera boasts a swing geared for line drives to all fields, crushing elevated fastballs. He rarely missed four seamers in general, hitting over .400 in 2023 with a 91% in zone contact rate.

The challenge for Cabrera was breaking balls. As good as he was against fastballs, he was almost equally as dreadful against spin. He hit just .150 with a 24% swinging strike rate against breakers in what seemed to be mostly a pitch recognition issue blended with some timing challenges.

His toe-tap is synced up well for fastballs, where he is consistently on time and under control, but with spin he loses his back side and finds himself heavier on the front foot. Just 18 years old for the entirety of the 2023 season, it’s common for hitters to be searching for the right feel and mechanisms to be both on time for fastballs and adjustable to breaking balls and Cabrera has displayed the bat to ball skills and bat speed to be an above average hitter as he continues to learns swing.

His exit velocities are a tick above average for his age and level, flashing the ability to leave the ball to all fields. With room to add more muscle, at least average power or better should be attainable.

Defense/Speed

Cabrera split time between shortstop and third base at the complex before playing four of his five Low-A games at shortstop. He has the tendency to sit back on balls relying on his above average arm, but that also resulted in many flat-tooted throws. He made 13 errors in 44 games in 2023.

His arm paired with decent hands and range should help him project as at least an average third baseman if the makes the move, with a chance to be even better as his footwork continues to improve. An above average runner, Cabrera stole 24 bags on 26 tries.

Outlook

Cabrera should continue to get some looks at shortstop, though Edwin Arroyo and Leonardo Balcazar offer much more with the glove. If he moves to third, there should be just enough offensive upside to carry the corner profile. If he can improve his ability to hit breaking balls, Cabrera will likely be an above average hitter with slightly above average pop.

10. Cole Schoenwetter – RHP – (CPX)

Height/Weight: 6’3″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 4th Round (105), 2021 (CIN) | ETA: 2027

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A high-upside arm who stood out on the West Coast circuit, Schoenwetter enjoyed plenty of helium leading up to the draft, before the Reds shelled out well-over slot ($1.9 million) to sign him away from his UC Santa Barbara commitment.

Arsenal

Tall, but very athletic on the mound, Schoenwetter’s mechanics are ahead of many of his peers. He repeats his delivery well with good arm speed, helping his fastball play up. Currently sitting in the low 90s, his high-spin fastball gets on hitters quickly with good extension and great ride. Even in hitter’s counts, Schoenwetter was blowing his fastball by some of the more polished amateur hitters.

His curveball has good depth and downward bite in the upper 70s, but could be tightened up some. The 12-6 break makes it effective to both lefties and righties but can also be difficult for him to consistently land for a strike.

The third offering is a changeup which could play like an above average pitch off of his lively fastball as he gains a feel for it. At this stage, it tends to be a bit firm in the low 80s, lacking some desired fade.

Outlook

Looks have been limited on Schoenwetter overall, meaning he could climb up the Reds ranks quickly if the flashes of what he showed leading up to the draft translate into his pro debut in 2024. The exciting fastball characteristics paired with athleticism on the mound and plenty of projection give the right-hander middle-rotation upside if he can progress with his secondaries. A velocity uptick would not be surprising in 2024.

11. Blake Dunn – OF – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 15th Round (450), 2021 (CIN) | ETA: 2024

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A speedster who can play all three outfield spots, Dunn broke out in a big way in 2023, quieting the age-to-level comments by putting together one of the best seasons in all of the Minor Leagues.

Offense

A stocky, but athletic build, Dunn packs a punch with a patient approach. While he may not create the most optimal angles to hit homers, his flatter swing aids his contact ability while still doing some damage off of his sheer strength.

His 90th percentile exit velocity of 105 mph is above average, with multiple exit velocities as high as 112 mph. He has the tendency to pull off with his front side which can cause the barrel to leave the zone too quickly, likely contributing to his struggles with stuff elevated. When Dunn maintains his direction, he can handle velocity and has demonstrated the ability to drive the ball to all fields.

The hit-tool will likely be fringy, though his ability to draw walks and decent contact rates are encouraging. The above average raw power has a chance to play as average pop at the highest level.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner, Dunn can play all three outfield spots and is a demon on the base paths. He is comfortable enough in centerfield to play the position at an at least average average level with the speed to solidify that.

Swiping 54 bags on 61 tries, Dunn was not only a volume stealer, but an efficient one as well. Of players with at least 50 stolen bases (23 total), he was among the five most efficient in all of the Minor Leagues.

Outlook

An impressive football player as an amateur as well, Dunn has always earned high marks for his athleticism and hard-nosed approach to the game. He has minimized the hit-tool questions that have followed him since his amateur years, though its he’s likely to strikeout a bit more than the big league average, even if he is hitting.

A lefty masher, Dunn posted a OPS above 1.200 against southpaws in 2023 and could care out a platoon role with the Reds as soon as early 2024 as the outfield is somewhat lefty-heavy. There’s some similarities to Jon Berti with less bat-to-ball ability and a bit more impact.

12. Hector Rodriguez – OF – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 185 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $100K , 2021 (NYM) | ETA: 2026

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Speedy with sneaky pop from the left side, Rodriguez has a good feel for the barrel that is undermined by an absurdly aggressive approach. He boasts great bat speed, flashing exit velocities as high as 110 mph with little issue catching up to upper 90s heat. In his age 19 season, he hit to an OPS above 1.000 against fastballs 94+ mph.

The issue for Rodriguez is he also has one of the highest chase rates in all of professional baseball at nearly 50%. His knack for hitting and quick stroke has allowed him to get away with his non-existent approach, though it’s nearly impossible to succeed while expanding that frequently.

A plus runner with a fringy arm, Rodriguez has the skill set to stick up the middle. He stole 18 bases on 24 attempts in 2023.

13. Carlos Jorge – 2B/CF – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 170 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $495K , 2021 (CIN) | ETA: 2026

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A dynamic athlete who saw action both in centerfield and second base in 2023, Jorge tore through Low-A before meeting his match at High-A in his age 19 season.

Offense

Starting slightly open and upright, Jorge utilizes a decent sized leg kick and minimal hand load to get to his spot, leading into a swing that is geared for pull and lift. He flashes average pop to his pull side, but his lofty swing and desire to pull has resulted in some challenges with secondary offerings.

He pulverized fastballs to an OPS just shy of 1.000 while registering an OPS of just .630 against secondaries with just a 67% in zone contact rate. Against higher quality secondaries at High-A, Jorge seemed to be pressing even more to ambush heaters, resulting in more chase.

When he’s at his best, he’s working the middle of the field and right center, especially as pitchers continue to pound the outer half against him. He has no problem doing damage on pitches in the inner-half.

Not the most projectable frame, Jorge still does have at least some room for strength and could tap into average power as he refines his swing and matures.

Defense/Speed

A plus runner with quick feet and an average arm, Jorge was initially signed as a shortstop but quickly made the move to second base where he projects as an above average defender. Wanting to utilize his athleticism and explosiveness a bit more, the Reds gave Jorge some run in centerfield at the High-A level and he looked surprisingly comfortable.

He of course will need to get more reps and improve his reads and jumps, but he showed plenty of comfort tracking balls straight over his head as well as crashing in on softly hit flares. A consistent threat to run on the base paths, Jorge stole 32 bags on 41 tries in 2023.

Outlook

Jorge’s athleticism and versatility puts him ahead of some of the other lower-level Reds prospects in a similar grouping, but he will need to make some strides with his approach and swing path to handle upper-level pitching. The profile is fun to dream on as a left-handed hitter with average pop, plus speed and the ability to play second base and centerfield.

14. Alfredo Duno – C – (DSL)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $3.1M , 2023 (CIN) | ETA: 2028

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A big, powerful teenage who put up strong numbers in the DSL, Duno was the crown-jewel of the Reds 2023 IFA class. Already hitting balls as hard a 111 mph prior to his 18th birthday, there’s no doubting the impact the Venezuelan possesses.

He relies on natural ability and strength, both of which served him well enough in the DSL, mashing to a .945 OPS. His swing mechanics are a work in progress, often leaving his base on elevated pitches while often lounging forward at softer stuff. He posted only a 70% in zone contact rate in his 41 DSL games.

He is athletic for a young player of his size, providing some optimism that he can stick behind the dish, though there are some legitimate 1B/DH concerns with Duno.

15. Leonardo Balcazar – SS – (Low-A)

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 175 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $100K , 2021 (CIN) | ETA: 2026

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A torn ACL cut Balcazar’s first year of full season ball short, playing in just 18 games. He was off to a nice start, posting an OPS just under .900, on par with his numbers at the complex and DSL. Though the numbers have been strong, his whiff and chase figures are a bit concerning, especially on fastballs where he could look rushed.

Balcazar’s footwork is impressive, looking the part at shortstop with his actions and arm. His range is solid and while he has demonstrated the ability to make throws from different angles and on the run, he is a bit inconsistent with his overall accuracy.

His probability of sticking at short helps take some pressure off of his somewhat limited offensive upside, but average hit and power could be attainable for Balcazar if he can clean some things up in the box.

Other Names to Watch

Victor Acosta – SS – (Low-A): The 19-year-old Acosta spent the entire year in Daytona and may not have slugged as much as the Reds may have hoped he would. Acquired in the Brandon Drury deadline deal in 2022 after signing with San Diego for $1.8 million in 2021, it’s far too early to make any sweeping judgments, but his ability to impact the baseball has a ways to go to catch up to his feel to hit and defensive abilities.

Jay Allen II – OF – (High-A): Allen had high expectations as the 30th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, but injuries have limited him to just 141 games through his first three seasons. His 31 games in 2023 unfortunately didn’t boost his prospect stock, slashing just .163/.320/.250 when healthy. Still, there’s hope for the 21-year-old, who elevates his floor with his abilities in the outfield and on the base paths.

Rece Hinds – OF – (Double-A): The 23-year-old Hinds had a mighty strong year with Double-A Chattanooga in 2023, posting a 20/20 season and driving in 98 runs in 109 games. His 33% K-rate needs to drop in order to be an effective everyday player at the big league level, but his power and athleticism should be enough to earn him a shot in a major league lineup.

Hunter Hollan – LHP – (Complex): A two-year beast at junior college power San Jacinto College in Texas, Hollan transferred to Arkansas ahead of 2023 and posted a 4.13 ERA in 80.2 IP in Fayetteville this past spring. The Reds took him in the third round in July and immediately shut him down, but the low 90s left-hander has a four-pitch mix that gives him a high floor as a serviceable starter.

Jacob Hurtubise – OF – (Triple-A): The 26-year-old West Point graduate was added to the Reds’ 40-man roster this past November, capping off a 2023 season that was far-and-away the best of his career at any level. Hurtubise slashed .330/.479/.483 between Double-A and Triple-A this past season, swiped 45 bases on 54 tries, walked 14 more times than he struck out, and hit seven home runs after not homering once in Little League, high school, college, and pro ball until his final game of the 2022 season. Age is a knock, but much like Blake Dunn, the numbers are simply undeniable.

Sheng-En Lin – UTIL/RHP – (Complex): Lin was the Robin to Alfredo Duno’s Batman in this past IFA cycle for the Reds, signing for a measly $1.2 million compared to Duno’s $3.1 million. While technically a two-way talent, the Taiwanese Lin is considered much more advanced as a position player, boasting solid speed and defensive abilities to go along with a sweet left-handed swing. He has yet to make his professional debut, leaving us with hardly any information on a fascinating prospect to monitor in ’24.

Zach Maxwell – RHP – (High-A): The 22-year-old Maxwell is a big man, standing 6-foot-6 and checking in at 275 pounds with an arsenal that fits the physique. His high 90s fastball and power curveball have high-leverage relief potential, resulting in 106 punch outs and a .207 batting average against in his first 39 professional appearances. But much like so many other talented reliever prospects, Maxwell’s command can waver, allowing 46 walks in 68.2 IP so far as a Reds farmhand.

Lyon Richardson – RHP – (MLB): Richardson is as much of a wild card as the Reds have in the system. In his four big league starts at the end of the 2023 season, Richardson allowed 16 earned runs and walked 15 hitters in 16.2 IP. Despite production escaping him in Triple-A and MLB, Richardson is just 23 years old and sits 96-97 MPH with his fastball with an occasionally devastating changeup. There’s tons of reliever risk in Richardson, but he has the stuff to be an impressive one.

Adam Serwinowski – LHP – (Complex): Not much about Serwinowski should be considered typical. The South Carolina native signed for $125,000 after being selected in the 15th round (453rd overall) by Cincinnati in 2022. The 19-year-old lefty spent the entire 2023 summer on the complex and struck out 43 in 27.1 IP, holding opponents to a .149 BAA. While he is just a two-pitch guy right now, the teenager sits in the mid 90s with his heater and won’t turn 20 until early June of ’24.

Sammy Stafura – SS – (Complex): The Reds second round pick this past July got off to a brutal start to his professional career, going 3-for-42 with 23 punch outs in the Arizona Complex League. While he is stronger than most high school draftees and has experience both at short and in center field, the hit tool has a ways to go to achieve what the Reds hope he can as a middle-of-the-order bat.