The World Baseball Classic is awesome on many different levels. The games have been fun, full of drama (well, some of them), the environment with the crowds has been incredible, and the energy from the teams themselves has been next level. But one of the lesser things that’s been great is that all of the games in the WBC are being played with pitch tracking information being pushed to the public space. That, along with the two games played in Las Vegas which also provided pitch data, gives us something to look at for a handful of pitching prospects within the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Let’s first take a look at the pitch breakdown, with velocity, from this group of Reds prospects. Below that we’ll look at a few pitchers to talk about some notable things.
Donovan Benoit’s 4-seam fastball has more cutting action to it than it does rising action. His 2-seamer looks very different from his 4-seamer, with significantly more armside run to it as well as a lot of sink. That could explain his 54% ground ball rate in his professional career.
Evan Kravetz has some previous data to look at. He pitched in Daytona for a little bit back in May and June of 2021 and their road games provided public pitch tracking data. This spring his fastball was up 1.4 MPH from that 2021 stretch of time. His change up was also up 1.5 MPH. While in Daytona he didn’t throw a slider, but he’s got one now – though looking at the pitch characteristics, it might be more of a cutter. Either way, it’s a new offering since his time in Daytona two years ago.
While we are dealing with incredibly limited data on Connor Phillips from his one spring training game in Las Vegas where he struck out three batters with a walk in 2.0 shutout innings, Stuff+ absolutely loved what he showed on the mound. There have been over 500 pitchers throw at least 10 pitches this spring with pitch tracking cameras running. Phillips Stuff+ rates out as 5th best among the group. He’s just behind Spencer Strider and just ahead of Nate Pearson on the list.
Arij Fransen pitched some in Daytona last season. This spring while pitching for Team Netherlands his velocity was up by about 1 MPH versus the 2022 season. Kyle Glogoski, on the other side of things, saw his velocity drop off from his limited action (two starts) while pitching for Clearwater last May in the Florida State League.
Good stuff overall.
Those numbers are up a little bit on Garcia from what I saw of him last year. I think he’s still a depth/up-and-down guy mostly, but hopefully he gets a shot in MLB. I think the stuff and command are both enough, and he’s a also a really nice dude.
Love this post!!!
What jumps out at me is first that Phillips makes the top 5 (Ahead of Greene). If he can improve his command/control he is without a doubt ML pitcher. In fact he is capable of bein a #1 or at worst #2 SP in MLB.
Second, Abbott comes in at #60 on this list. This is very encouraging.
Third, Lyon Richardson is averaging 96 MPH on his fastball. Also if you go down to #94 on this list you will see Lyon Richardson.
All three of these have the stuff to pitch in the majors. If they can obtain the command/control necessary they will be in the majors by 2025 if not sooner.
It does not stop there though. I think Joe Boyle and Chase Petty also have the stuff to be starting pitchers in the majors. In fact I consider Petty second on this list even though he is a year behind the other four.
The Future of Reds SP is bright.
I’d personally like to see a little more depth before I consider it bright. Some of the guys you’ve mentioned are likely big leaguers, which is very commendable, however I’d prefer a little more can’t miss types, or even more of the same sort of prospects before I give a glowing appraisal of the organization’s future. I think its the biggest area the team will need to address during the “un-rebuild and instead build” phase of the rebuild in the hopefully near-future.
I’m thinking the view is partially, at the very least, with an eye on Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft. Add these kids to that mix, as well as some of the less heralded kids i.e. Aguilar and Rivera, and there is brighteness on the horizon. And, yes, definitely, adding one or two high end arms via draft or internationally would certainly be welcome.
I have a feeling it will be a good year for both Phillips and Abbott. Williamson better lock down a spot, these 2 are on the doorstep.
I agree with you MBS. Add Chase Petty to those on the doorstep.
Assuming they are prospects 12 months from now here is my opinion of chances of being in the top 100:
Sure thing: (2)
EDLC, Cam Collier
Nearly certain: (2)
Edwin Arroyo, Noelvi Marte,
Connor Phillips, Chase Petty, Matt McLain
A good chance: (2)
Andrew Abbott, CES,
An outside Chance (11)
Joe Boyle, Brandon Williamson, Austin Hendrick, Carlos Jorge, Sal Stewart, Leonardo Balcazar, Ariel Almonte, Daniel Vellojin, Steven Hajjar, Ricardo Cabrera and the 2023 1st round draft pick.
Where did I mess up? Obvious answer will be CES is too low or Chase Petty is too high. I would be interested in what others think. Seven probable or better is a big amount and would probably give the Reds the best farm in baseball next winter.
My guess is 8 – 11 of these will graduate or be top 100 prospects 12 months from now.
Two more things.
First, add Richardson to those with an outside chance.
The 2008 class had Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto as top 50 prospects. This is the only time I know of that the Reds had 4 top 50 prospects. Bruce and Bailey were top 10 prospects.
My prediction for the 2024 class:
Top 10: EDLC, Collier
Top 25: Arroyo
Top 50: Phillips, McLain
Top 75: Marte, Petty
Top 100: CES, Abbott, (One other with Jorge and Richardson as the favorites)
The impact of Collier in the top 10 would be enormous!
We are talking Dodgers level farm system here. And as much as you could deny it happening, there is a pretty good chance too, from where I sit.
On St Patrick’s Day, no less.
Good assessment, I think the pitchers here are great prospects but they’ll need dominant years to get where you and all of us hope they’ll go, aka top 100. I can see McClain making it and maaaybe CES (he wont make it based on defensive limitations, but I think thats actually a flaw in these lists), but other than that there’s a lot of improvement the other guys will have to show to start getting their names out there more on the internet. I like Phillips a lot but he’ll need a dominant season to start garnering that type of attention. He and others are certainly capable of it.
Fascinating info Doug. Surprised Phillips isn’t throwing a change up. If we can get Philips and kravetz throwing strikes they will have mlb careers.
Great post, thank you for the numbers
For the people who are afraid of numbers, I feel kinda bad. None of this is at all predictive just some interesting stuff to think about. Never anything to be afraid of.