Today we are looking at the #6-10 spots on the 2023 Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List. Each day this week we will unveil five new spots on the list as we work our way through the Top 25 Prospects heading into the 2023 season.  If you were supporting the site on Patreon you would have gotten the entire Top 25 list last week and had early access to this, and plenty of other benefits for your patronage. Click here to see what all you can get for helping keep the site alive and kicking via support through Patreon.

A reminder that these write ups will not feature full scouting reports. Those will be included with the Season Reviews, which will start next week – first working my way through the Top 25 prospects before then branching out into another 25-50 interesting prospects through the remainder of the offseason.

*To be eligible for the list a player must have 2023 Rookie of the Year eligibility (Fewer than 130 at bats in the big leagues, fewer than 50 innings pitched, or less than 45 days on the active MLB roster)*

All ages listed are as of April 1st, 2023

6. Matt McLain | SS | Age: 23

2022 Teams: Chattanooga Lookouts | Acquired: 1st Round, 2021 Draft  | Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 180 lbs

What to like: He’s got the ability to play shortstop, second base, and center (where he played as a freshman in college). While he doesn’t have plus speed, he’s an above-average runner who uses his speed well. And he’s hit for more power than initially expected and has drawn plenty of walks as he shown a solid understanding of the strikezone.

What he must work on: Expected to hit for more average than power when he was coming out of UCLA, the script has been flipped as a professional. He’s hit just .243 and this season he struck out 28% of the time. Making more contact is probably the biggest area he could improve on.



7. Christian Encarnacion-Strand | 3B | Age: 23

2022 Teams: Cedar Rapids Kernels, Wichita Wind Surge, Chattanooga Lookouts | Acquired: 4th Round, 2021 Draft (Twins), Trade (August 2022)  | Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 224 lbs.

What to like: The 2022 season couldn’t have gone a lot better for Encarnacion-Strand. He hit .304 with 32 home runs and drove in 114 runs between his three stops between two organizations this past season. He showed big time power and he did nothing but produce at the plate all year.

What he must work on: Had this been written at the midpoint of the season it would have been his defense, but after making 20 errors in the first 58 games of the year he made just three at third base in the final 36 games. He only drew 40 walks on the season, and only 10 of them in 208 plate appearances in Double-A. Being a bit more selective and either drawing more walks or making more contact due to better selection would seem to be the biggest area to improve upon at this point.



8. Connor Phillips | RHP | Age: 21

2022 Teams: Dayton Dragons, Chattanooga Lookouts | Acquired: 2nd Round, 2020 Draft (Seattle) | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 190 lbs

What to like: The stuff that Phillips brings to the table grades out very well and his 150 strikeouts in 109.2 innings pitched this season between Dayton and Chattanooga shows just how good it is. Between those two stops he posted a 3.78 ERA in 109.2 innings and allowed just eight home runs.

What he must work on: Control. One of the youngest pitchers in Double-A when he was promoted, the more advanced hitters at that level walked 34 times in 45.2 innings against Phillips. He had some walk issues while in High-A with Dayton, too. There’s time to  work that out, but it’s clearly the biggest area he must improve on.



9. Chase Petty | RHP | Age: 19

2022 Teams: Daytona Tortugas, Dayton Dragons | Acquired: 1st Round, 2021 Draft (Twins), Trade (March 2022)  | Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 190 lbs

What to like: One of the youngest pitchers in all of A-ball all season, Petty had a high ground ball rate and he picked up plenty of strikeouts while having a good walk rate. Not just that, he performed well when it came to keeping runs off of the board, too, posting an ERA of 3.48 during the season in his 25 games between Daytona and Dayton in A-ball.

What he must work on: The organization had his pitch count limited all season. That did allow him to make a start every single week of the year, but it also meant that he threw just 98.1 innings during the season. He’ll turn 20 in April, so he’s still plenty young, but he will need to show that he can handle a larger workload while also maintaining the stuff that he showed in 2022.



10. Sal Stewart | 3B | Age: 19

2022 Team: ACL Reds | Acquired: 1st Round, 2022 Draft  | Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 215 lbs

What to like: There’s not much of any professional track record for Sal Stewart. He played in just eight games after being the 32nd overall pick in 2022, but he hit .292/.393/.458 with four walks and five strikeouts in his debut. Prior to the draft he was considered as the top or one of the top high school hitters in the country, projecting for both average and power.

What he must work on: Outside of simply getting playing time due to the fact that he has eight more games as a professional than I do, the biggest thing may be his defense. While the sample size is small and that makes the numbers he put up not worth looking at, scouts have generally believed he would eventually slide over to first base.


Click here to see the rest of the list

36 Responses

  1. Tom

    I guess if it wasn’t obvious up until now McGarry and Stoudt are outside the top 25. I could see them both in the mid teens by mid season.

    • Doug Gray

      Stoudt is an interesting “Doug what is happening here?” case. When he first arrived I had him in the Top 20. And then he actually pitched fairly well for the Reds in Louisville. But the more I looked at it, I just felt that there just wasn’t enough consistency there throughout the 2022 season. He’s going to be 25 in December and he’s coming off of a season in which he put up a 4.70 ERA in the minors. He will certainly flash good stuff, but it was a down year for him in the first season he’s ever really been stretched out as a starter (never threw more than 65 innings in college, only threw 82 in 2021.

      That said, the Reds system is deep. Both he and McGarry are guys that should get to the big leagues and have some potential. In most years they are probably Top 20 guys right now.

    • LDS

      Nor Austin Hendrick, who’s possibly another miss on a first rounder. But there’s a lot of great potential on the list. The Reds still need to spend money to shore up the team and give these guys time to develop without rushing them.

      • MBS

        @Stock how do you figure? It could be argued that Hendrick isn’t even a top 5 OF prospect at this point, and OF is our weakest position on the farm. Allen, Siani, Hinds, Almonte, and Confidan could all be ranked higher with maybe even Boyd jumping ahead of Hendrick. That seems like a failure for a 1st rounder. Hendrick will need that proverbial light to come on soon.

      • Stock

        I don’t see that at all MBS. If you would have asked me in July I would say he was a bust. But his last two months were exactly what you were hoping for when drafted. I know 2 months out of 10 the last two years is not much to go on but it was the last 2 months and the stats I look at are the lucky stats such as batting average. I am focused on ISO (slugging % has far more luck in it than ISO), BB% and K%. Hendrick’s ISO the last two months was excellent. His BB% was excellent. His K% was a bit high but acceptable.

      • MBS

        @Stock, I do enjoy your takes. I hope you’re right, it would be a boon for the organization if he’s truly figured out some things.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Steven Hajjar too. He’s a 2nd rounder with very solid numbers. Imo the probability of him making the bigs is better than a positionally limited slap hitter like Carlos Jorge.

      • Stock

        I am not sure Jorge qualifies as a slap hitter. His ISO in 2022 was .269. He hit 7 HR in 42 games (25 – 30 pace for a full season) at the age of 18. As he gets stronger that power should develop more.

      • Stock

        That said I am excited about Hajjar and if he had not been injured he may very well be in my top 10 or 15.

    • MK

      If you financially support the site you would have had the complete list last week

  2. MBS

    It’s disappointing how no pitching will be in the top 5. I like both Phillips and Petty, but I agree with Doug, they are not over our top 5 guys. Hopefully our young pitching prospects take a developmental step forward this year. I guess after graduating Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft this should be expected.

    • Stock

      I have both Petty and Phillips in my top 6. With the Graduations of Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Diaz and Sanmartin. The pitching needs to recover. A year ago you may have said we don’t have enough hitters in our top 6 with only Barrero and De La Cruz. Since Barrero wasn’t actually a prospect at YE the Reds had 4 of the top 5 prospects as pitchers last year. I am fairly comfortable with thier overall pitching at this point.

      • MBS

        I like who we have to, I just wish some were a bit closer to being ready to go.

        Likely in 23 Williamson, Stoudt / Possible Abbott
        Likely in 24 Abbott, Phillips / Possible Roa, Boyle

        If we can get just 1 guy that sticks as a starter, then we’ll have 4 solid guys in the rotation, and a few more for the pen. I really want one of the Lefties to stick, but I think Phillips has the best chance.

    • MK

      If you include Guttierez, Santillan, Diaz and Moreta, several prospects are no longer eligible over the last couple of years.

  3. SultanofSwaff

    Excited for both Strand and McClain. They can’t get rid of Moose quickly enough–need a clear on-ramp for these guys. At worst you seemingly have two high floor glue guys like Steer with positional versatility–a huge asset in today’s game. If the Reds are smart they’d have India get comfortable with the idea of playing multiple positions.

  4. Stock

    I look at four hitters:

    Hitter A: Age 21 season in 2022. Former 1st round draft pick. Bulk of his season in A+ which is appropriate.

    Hitter B: Age 22 season in 2022. Former 4th round draft pick. Bulk of his season was in A+ but promoted to AA for final 40% of his season. AA is more appropriate at age 22.

    Hitter C: Age 24 season in 2022. Never drafted. Probably a 6th – 10th round pick in 2020. Bulk of his season was in AA. AAA is more appropriate at age 24, but considering his draft day value and Covid and this is fine.

    Hitter D: Age 21 season in 2022. 2nd Round draft pick. Injured much of the year but when he played it was mostly at A+ which is appropriate for his age.

    Looking at this information only I would rank these prospects as 1. Hitter A, 2. Hitter D, 3. Hitter B and 4. Hitter C.

    That order matches Draft order but also the appropriate level for the prospects.

    Now look at the Stats:

    Hitter A from August 1 forward: .278 ISO, 15.3%BB, 27.1K%, 1.8 K/BB.

    Hitter B from August 1 forward: .213 ISO, 4.1% BB, 25.7K%, 6.3 K/BB.

    Hitter C in AA: .273 ISO, 6.3% BB, 28.5K%, 4.5 K/BB

    Hitter D for the Season: .206 ISO, 7.6% BB, 39.3K%, 5.2 K/BB

    Looking at these stats I would still rank hitter A as #1 followed by C, B and D.

    You can argue I should look at player stats while in their league appropriate category. That would change to stats of player A and B as follows:

    Hitter A: .226 ISO, 9.7% BB, 35.8K%, 3.7 K/BB
    Hitter B: .252 ISO, 4.8% BB, 25.0 K%, 5.2 K/BB

    This comparison is relatively close. I did some research and have never found a player with a K/BB ratio of 5+ who made the majors for an extended time. On the other end I can only think of one player who ever had a K% of 35+% other than Joey Gallo. I give player B the edge here because 35% K% is just too high.

    But when you consider what happened after August 1 that is a game changer. You can’t ignore this.

    Therefore, my rankings are as follows:

    11. Hitter A, Austin Hendrick
    12. Hitter B, CES
    26. Hitter C, Alex McGarry
    33. Hitter D, Rece Hinds

    Hinds has the lowest ISO, Worst K% and worst K/BB ratio (assuming you count CES entire season) of the four.

    Hinds has a lower ISO, lower BB% and higher K% than Hendrick even if you consider Hendrick’s full season in Dayton. Therefore, I can’t rank Hendrick lower than Hinds.

    One thing this data does not show is that Hinds seems to be injury prone which further reduces his value in my opinion.

    • Tom

      You have identified an interesting set of four players and provided an interesting breakdown of what should be considered. I know Doug does speak with people closer to the action and factors that into his rankings. Perhaps that explains some of the discrepancy because numbers can’t tell you everything. In general I’m rooting for all four to succeed.

      • Stock

        Thanks Tom. I can’t speak for Doug or other experts but I think a lot of this is a timeframe for the data and perspective with the data. Doug has said in the past that he needs more than 2 months of games for him to believe. I think many other experts probably feel the same way. I know that swinging strike rate normalizes after about 50 swings. Based upon this this I feel K% normalizes after about 50 – 75 AB. BB% should normalize at about the same time. Finally, ISO is not all that luck related. Occasionally you hit the ball in just the right spot but almost all of those are singles.

        This and the fact that I don’t do this for a living, allows me to be more aggressive when I create my rankings. Sometimes I am right (I had EDLC at #5 in my rankings midseason 2021) and sometimes I am wrong (Jay Allen at #3 at 2021 YE). I hope I am wrong about Rece Hinds, Brandon Williamson and Victor Acosta. I hope I am right about Leonardo Balcazar, Carlos Jorge, Andrew Abbott, Austin Hendrick and of course Joe Boyle.

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    According to this, we have Chase Petty and Connor Phillips (both initials name CP) as the Reds top pitching prospects right now. The farm system is so deep though many prospects ranked recently are out. Siani, Roa, Bonnin, Confidan, Callihan, Hendrick are few of them… The outfield, however, seems to be weak in prospects so I think the Front Office will push to find pieces in the next draft… It will be very luck if the #1 draft pick fall on the Reds hands so they could choose Dylan Crews…

    • Mjc

      Another great job Doug ! And I must compliment your readers/posters there very informative and really enjoy reading there comments. So great job Doug and thanks to the rest of you guys as well

    • Julie

      Per the Dylan Crews comment: I would rather have Enrique Bradfield from Vandy. The Reds are a poor defensive team with little speed. Bradfield plays a premium defensive position with plus plus speed. In addition, and this maybe is the more important one, he walks as much as he strike out which accounts for his high on base average. He is a true lead off hitter.

  6. Optimist

    Q. for Doug and the historians in the group – if these are the 6-10 prospects, when have the Reds had a deeper farm system? Another way of looking at it – What year did the Reds have the most MiLBers who eventually had more than a cup-of-coffee MLB stat line?

    Stewart is the wild card here – just too young – but without excessive fantasizing, the other 4 can be projected to have multi-year MLB careers of some productivity.

    • Tom

      There are some links to dogs historical rankings in the menu on the site. Have you ever looked at those? I think from years 2007 through 2012 it was just an impressive amount of prospects that had long high quality careers. Since that time maybe not so much. It’s hard to look at this year‘s list and say it a bad list, but it’s also hard to project it being better than the five-year stretch that I mentioned. One way to look at it would be with war. Lots and lots of war on that list. One probable Hall of Famer, and many probable Reds Hall of Famer’s.

      • Tom

        I’d probably remove 2012 from consideration now that I just went and looked myself. But for sure I don’t think that anything will ever beat the top eight from 2007.

    • Stock

      Good question Optimist. Post 2018 season was the best Reds prospect class in history using the fangraphs ratings.

      Using Doug’s rankings the top 8 have already made the majors: Senzel, Greene, Trammell, Santillan, India, Stephenson, Siri and Vlade Gutierrez.

      Number 10 and 11 were Siani and Lyon Richardson, both of whom are still prospects.

      Others in Doug’s top 25 to make the majors include Barrero, Friedl, Aquino, Herget, Hendrix and Kuhnel.

      That class had 15 players make the majors and still has one prospect who has yet to make the majors.

      Injuries aside, I think all of Doug’s current top 10 will make the majors. The one in the group I am least confident in is CES.

      The pre-2008 class had more players who eventually received more than a cup of coffee: Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Votto, Stubbs, Frazier, Travis Wood, Meso, Justin Turner and Sam LeCure. That is 10 that played key roles. Two players had more than a cup of coffee (Juan Francisco and Adam Rosales) and several others who received a cup of coffee.

      The pre-2008 class was young so may be a good script to follow. Also the top 4 in the pre-2008 class was special but this years top 4 (EDLC, Collier, Marte, Arroyo) may be better prospects than those 4 depending on one’s ranking of Collier.

  7. MK

    Looking at the complete list of the Top 25 I find it interesting that either by draft or trade how many of these guys were not in the organization at this time last year.

    • MBS

      New shiny objects at play, or legit improvements. I’m going with the latter, but willing to acknowledge I liked Cody Reed when we got him to.

    • DaveCT

      Credit where credit is due for the GM and the scouting team. The acquisitions have brought in quite a bit of talent, with a lot of high end talent, too. Exactly what was required.

  8. Tom

    Solak was kind of what Steer or McClain look like now, pre-launch. I don’t mind slotting him ahead of those two in ST if he can impress. Perhaps Senzel is through.