We are finally here. We’ve made it to the top five of the 2024 Cincinnati Reds prospects list. There should be no surprise as to the players here if you’ve been following along the rest of the week to see who is left.

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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 2024 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, 2024

1. Noelvi Marte | SS/3B | Age: 22

2023 Team: Chattanooga, Louisville, Cincinnati | Acquired: Trade (Mariners), International FA (2018) | Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 216 lbs. | B/T: R/R

What to like: Noelvi Marte can do a little bit of everything, and a lot more than a little bit of some things. He’s got above-average speed, projects to hit for average and power, and he’s got the tools to be a good defensive third baseman.

What he needs to improve on: We’re being a bit nitpicky here, but he was rather inconsistent in 2023. His OPS by month looked like this: .656, 1.035, .503, .978, .593, .972.



2. Rhett Lowder | RHP | Age: 22

2023 Team: Wake Forest | Acquired: 1st Round, 2023 Draft | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 200 lbs. | B/T: R/R

What to like: He’s an advanced college arm with above-average stuff and big time performance in college, going 15-0 with a 1.87 ERA as a junior.

What he needs to improve on: It’s not so much what he needs to improve on as much as what he needs to prove, and that’s that he can carry his stuff forward to a professional 5-day schedule and carry his stuff deeper into a season than he saw in college.

3. Edwin Arroyo | SS | Age: 20

2023 Teams: Dayton Dragons, Chattanooga Lookouts | Acquired: Trade (Mariners), 2nd Round, 2021 Draft | Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 175 lbs. | B/T: S/R

What to like: One of the better defensive players in the organization, Arroyo got out to a slow start at the plate, but from May 31st through the end of the year he hit .281/.360/.480 – turning things around after struggling early on.

What he needs to improve on: Consistency at the plate. While we’re picking nits here a little bit, he hit under .250 in three of the six months of the season.



4. Connor Phillips | RHP | Age: 22

2023 Teams: Chattanooga Louisville, Cincinnati | Acquired: Trade (Mariners), 2nd Round, 2020 Draft | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 209 lbs. | B/T: R/R

What to like: Between the fastball and the slider, Phillips may have the best 2-pitch combination of anyone in the farm system. But he’s also got a good curveball and a solid change up to go along with them.

What he needs to improve on: Control. Over his 125.2 innings he pitched this season he walked 70 batters. Between his time in Louisville and Cincinnati he walked 43 batters in 61.0 innings.



5. Cam Collier | 3B | Age: 19

2023 Team: Daytona Tortugas | Acquired: 1st Round, 2022 Draft | Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 210 lbs. | B/T: L/R

What to like: In 2023 he was essentially a league average hitter in the Florida State League while being one of the youngest players in the league. He’s got an advanced approach for his age, understands the zone well, and had plenty of potential at the plate that he hasn’t tapped into yet.

What he needs to improve on: Elevating the baseball. Early on in the year he was hitting a ton of groundballs and his offensive output lagged behind. While his groundball rate did get moving in the right direction as the season went along and his numbers started getting better, it still remained higher than you’d like to see.



Click here to see the other parts of this series.

Here is the entire list:

Rank Player Level
1 Noelvi Marte MLB
2 Rhett Lowder College
3 Edwin Arroyo AA
4 Connor Phillips MLB
5 Cam Collier A
6 Chase Petty AA
7 Ricardo Cabrera A
8 Carlos Jorge A+
9 Sal Stewart A+
10 Alfredo Duno DSL
11 Leo Balcazar A
12 Rece Hinds AA
13 Hector Rodriguez A+
14 Ty Floyd College
15 Blake Dunn AA
16 Sammy Stafura ACL
17 Lyon Richardson MLB
18 Julian Aguiar AA
19 TJ Hopkins MLB
20 Victor Acosta A
21 Jay Allen II A+
22 Esmith Pineda ACL
23 Sheng-En Lin ACL
24 Jacob Hurtubise AAA
25 Jose Acuna A+

Beginning on Monday we will begin to have one article per day focusing on a season review and a full scouting report on each of the players in the Top 25.

39 Responses

  1. RedBB

    Can’t wait to see what Lowder does. What level does he start the year Doug? Thinking A+? TIA

      • Steve

        Not a big deal, but it says in your article that Lowder went to LSU rather than Wake Forest

      • Doug Gray

        Oh it’s a big deal. Also why I shouldn’t still be writing at 4am.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    I miss Carson Spiers… well , I think he is out because his age… isn’t it?

    • RedBB

      I have him just outside my to p25 at 28. BTW tomorrow is his Bday

    • Stock

      He is one of four players I have in my top 25 that fall outside Doug’s top 25. I like him but think he is an opener or a RP

    • Doug Gray

      He’s out because I just think he’s a reliever, and probably not a guy who’s got the stuff to be a closer or even 8th inning guy.

  3. mac624

    Even after graduating so many to the majors this year, we still have a top 25 that projects extremely well moving forward. What a difference a couple years makes for this organization. The only real question is will they develop these guys or move some for more established pieces?

    As always, great job Doug on putting this together. Always look forward to it.

  4. MBS

    I like that 10 of these guys are AA players or higher. That’s a lot of guys who might help an already good team this year or the next.

  5. Stock

    Interesting that Lowder is ranked higher than Petty and Phillips.

    • Doc

      Look at Phillips 2023 stats. Look at Lowder’s 2023 stats. Apples to oranges but their position relative to each other looks right to me.

    • Optimist

      I believe Doug commented in one the posted lists that a prospect criteria is the liklihood of MLB length/productivity – simplified perhaps as career WAR. Extreme comparison would be Sandy Koufax vs. Jamie Moyer/Phil Niekro. In that case I can see the Petty/Lowder arguments as to who should be higher, but I suspect Phillips projects more as peaking at a mid-rotation starter, not the same stuff as Petty, not quite the polish/command of Lowder, but close in age to both.

      Still – fantastic problems for the farm system to work with.

    • BK

      I’m not surprised. He dominated in a tough league, has three MLB quality pitches and throws strikes. Petty’s limited innings is concerning. Phillips command is concerning. Lowder could advance very quickly through the minors.

  6. Stock

    Three players not ranked by Doug this year that could soar into his rankings a year from now.

    Matheu Nelson – He was a first round draft pick in 2021. A good defensive catcher coming out of the draft but he had contact issues. In 2021 his K% was 49%. In 2022 it dropped to 34%. In 2023 it dropped to an acceptable 26%. But the last two months were impressive and his month in Chattanooga was very impressive.

    Last 2 months: .307/.402/.579/.980 with an 11.4% BB% and a 22.7% K%. This is a very impressive 2 months (132 PA).

    His time in Chattanooga was even more impressive: .294/.467/.588/1.055 with a 20% BB% and a 15.6% K%. His BABIP was .292 so not luck generated. His adjusted BABIP was .261 so again in line with expectations.

    If he can replicate these stats for all of 2023 he will be a top 10 prospect a year from now and quite possibly in the top 3.

    • Optimist

      If he remains above average on defense, he may only need to replicate the BB/K % to make a cup-of-coffee debut sometime later this season. If he produces like that on offense in 1/2 seasons at AA and AAA, he’ll be on the 26 man next season.

      Meanwhile, hope they re-sign Chuckie as the 3rd catcher option this season – no more 3 Cs on the 26-man, but 3rd and 4th depth catchers usually get short callups to MLB.

      • DaveCT

        Pretty sure Nelson’s defense is more average than above. Trautwein took playing time from him at Dayton and was promoted earlier, and is in AZ. Logan Tanner has the best arm, an absolute cannon, and Connor Burns is likely the best of all three.

        I do follow on the offensive improvements. Of note, he’s been able to reduce K’s while keeping his power. His contact rate is reportedly still an issue. My take is we’ll see Burns on this list before Nelson, Tanner, and possibly Trautwein

  7. Jonathan

    There is a really good interview on YouTube with Connor Phillips and Locked On Reds and he discusses the “wildness” of his game. He attributed to the automatic strike zone issues. Take a watch/listen. its really good.

    • Doug Gray

      If that were the only level he had walk issues it would be more convincing of an argument. But he’s walked too many batters everywhere he’s ever pitched.

  8. TMS

    Granted, I don’t follow other teams pitchers as closely as I do the Reds organization, but is pitching generally giving up more walks across the board?

    The Reds were ranked in the top five staffs as far as giving up walks. And it seems to continue into the farm system. Some folks want to blame Tyler Stephenson for his poor framing abilities, but it’s hard to frame wild pitchers.

    Are other organizations having trouble producing pitchers with consistent control? What’s the secret?

    • Stock

      Joe Boyle improved his BB% substantially after the Reds traded him.

      • DaveCT

        Boyle has long divided RML, and still does!

        I’d respond that Boyle has historically had short runs like he did with the A’s but hasn’t sustained things. But who knows.

      • BK

        The improvement was across just 33 innings and six games representing about ten percent of his pro experience. I’m not rooting against him, but Boyle will need to show improvement for several months to overcome years of pitching characterized by wildness going back to his college days.

  9. Stock

    Player number 2 is Ethan O’Donnell. O’Donnell was selected by the Reds in the 6th round of the 2023 draft. In a limited time at Daytona (94 PA) he hit: .350/.447/.600/1.047 with a 11% BB% and a 19% K%. His ISO was .250. I am hoping he performs well in Dayton next year and if his bat plays like it did in the Florida State league he could be a top 10 – 15 Reds Prospect a year from now

    • DaveCT

      O’Donnell project as sticking in CF, too.

      That we could get him in the 6th round vs. Justin Boyd a year earlier in the 2nd round just speaks to how unique the 2023 draft really was.

  10. Stock

    The third player is Cole Schoenwetter. Schoenwetter was an overslot draft pick in 2023. If he starts in Daytona next year it is a pretty solid sign that the Reds love where he is at currently.

    • DaveCT

      Very, very savvy pick, and one that could put this draft over the top for the club.

    • BK

      Schoenwetter was the player I was most surprised didn’t make Doug’s list.

      • Doug Gray

        I’ve had a few questions about this one, both here and other places. I’ll go ahead and answer the question about why I left him off here: A guy with no professional experience who has questions about his control and his ability to carry his stuff beyond the middle of his high school outings is someone that I simply need to see more from against professionals before ranking in the Top 25 of what I consider a deep system. He’s the kind of guy who could go from unranked to top half of the list a year from now. But he’s also the kind of guy who sounds like he could throw 52 innings next year and walk 45 batters. Simply put – I just don’t know what kind of guy he is right now.

  11. DW

    Doug, your list is always superior to MLB.com’s, in my opinion. Nicely done as always.

  12. DaveCT

    Marte’s power may take off next season, if one of BA’s studies is a good indicator.

    They put together a list of guys with greatest increases in both exit velocity and 90th percentile exit velocity (2022-2023), the latter of which is reportedly the one you want to look at.

    Marte had one of the best increases the 90th percentile measures, going from 103.1 106.8 (+3.7) that was tied for 7th in the minors.

    You could almost see it happen across this past season, too, as he was putting together decent at bats but not really hitting the ball too hard. By the end of 23, he seemed like he was crushing the ball.

    They had a whole series of articles like this (behind the pay wall) but are well worth the info. While he didn’t write this story, there’s also this guy named Doug who shows up there periodically, too.


  13. JaxDan

    I believe that I counted 7 Shortstops on the list. Which is great to where they can move to another position. But just like in the past there is only 1 catcher and I would assume that he will be in the Arizona League in 2024.

    I really hope that one of these step up. I just don’t see any being a C1


    • DaveCT

      Burns’ defense is considered elite. If he can hit similar to Barnhart or Hanigan at their peak, he could be a number one.