When the 2023 season began for Rhett Lowder he was just beginning his junior season at Wake Forest. After going 15-0 in 19 starts for the Demon Deacons the Cincinnati Reds made him the 7th overall pick and the second pitcher taken in the draft.

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The draft being later in the summer has really crushed the chances of seeing many pitchers make their debut in the minor leagues the year that they were drafted. The amount of time off between the end of a high school or college season and the time in which players are signed can be two months and teams just aren’t willing to push guys back into a normal workload after that much time off. And that’s what happened with Rhett Lowder. Eventually he was assigned to the High-A Dayton Dragons, but the plan was never to get him on the mound and to pitch in games. Instead the plan was simply to get him more acclimated to the professional baseball life. He spent the final month of the season with the Dragons, but was never active.

For all 2023 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Rhett Lowder Scouting Report

Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: R/R

Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 200 lbs. | Acquired: 1st Round, 2023 Draft | Born: March 8, 2002

Fastball | An above-average offering that has both velocity and movement. The pitch works in the mid-90’s and will touch 97 MPH.

Slider | Another above-average pitch that has sweeping action and works in the mid-80’s.

Change Up | An above-average to plus offering that also works in the mid-80’s.

One of the more advanced pitchers in the 2023 draft, Lowder has both stuff and polish. He has shown the ability to throw strikes with all three of his pitches and he’s also got swing-and-miss stuff.

Without any professional experience there are still going to be some questions that he will need to answer. College starters go once a week, and while most guys can go to the 5-day schedule and keep their stuff, you’ve got to see it. Then of course there is the additional innings in the season and being able to hold the stuff over the course of 150+ innings that will be expected (eventually) of a professional pitcher.


Interesting Stat on Rhett Lowder

He only had two double plays in 2023 over his 19 starts. They came in back-to-back games.

25 Responses

  1. Stock

    I hope Lowder is the Reds best pitching prospect. I like Phillips and really like Petty so there could be three very good pitchers in Louisville/Chattanooga this summer. This excludes Lyon Richardson who is pretty good himself.

    Pitchers worth following this year:

    AAA: Phillips/Lyon Richardson/Carson Spiers/Christian Roa
    AA: Lowder/Petty/Julien Aguiar
    A+ or AA: Ty Floyd/Jose Acuna (I think)/Hunter Parks/Zack Maxwell

    A lot of pitching at the highest levels of the minors.

    • AllTheHype

      A couple of these guys might become solid relief options this year. Perhaps Roa, Spiers, maybe Richardson. Let them focus on their best secondary pitch, and see if they geta velo bump on the FB with shorter stints.

      • BK

        I think what you are suggesting is about a year away. Right now, the Reds need these pitchers to start. If opening day were today and everyone was healthy, the rotation would include: Greene, Lodolo, Abbott, Aschraft, and Williamson. The Reds had as many and three from this group on the IL simultaneously. So, Phillips, Richardson, Spiers, and Roa are currently needed as depth. While I expect the Reds to add a starter or two, most of this group will need to start this year.

        The Reds appear to have done as you suggested with Stoudt late last season. The Reds will need depth in the bullpen as well, but have a couple of candidates in Antone, Duarte, Cruz, and Legumina–at least some of these won’t make the opening day roster.

      • AllTheHype

        @BK, if there were no other additions to the ML SP group I’d agree. But somehow I expect a couple of additions, which then allows for injury surplus among the remaining current group and plenty of other MiL backfill.

        That might bump up the calendar for the guys who aren’t likely to stick as SPs and might be more useful now in a BP role.

      • BK

        I agree … we want more starters, I’m sure Krall wants more starters. The Athletic had an article today highlighting how many starters teams needed compared to how many are currently on the free agent market. Once we get them, we’ll have that flexibility.

    • Scooter22

      Very excited about these guys! Depth is critical and it looks we will have some.

    • DaveCT

      I’d add Stoudt to the starter list at AAA as well.

      He clearly was not ready for the ML’s last season, and struggled at AAA. However, his 2022 season at AA and AAA was pretty respectable. And given his control issues last season, he did demonstrate the ability in 2022 to have a very good walk rate of just 2.6 per 9 ip. Further, before last season, BA rated him at 60 for control. Career wise, he’s at 3.7. In fact, his control numbers are superior to Roa’s, which may not be saying a whole lot, and he does have a four pitch mix.

      This leads me to think he’ll get another chance at starting. I do realize he worked out of the bullpen at the end of the season, but I thought at the time they were just trying to give him preparation for stints in the ML bullpen near the end of the year — given the onslaught of injuries to the starters, and his failure in a starting role, there certainly was a need for someone in the pen to eat innings.

      As we’ve seen with my ‘insistence’ Roa would not be protected, I am likely completely incorrect and he’ll start the year in the pen. BA’s scouting info coming into the 23 season stated, though, he’d require at least one and probably two years to develop as a starter. And, we can sure use the depth.

      • BK

        I would love to see Stoudt start, though I think the Reds signaled they view him as a relief when they sent him to the pen late last year, and he was well short of prior inning totals.

        That said, I misread the Red’s smoke signals regarding Roa, too. Thanks for being wrong with me. I like having company!

  2. Doc

    From a fan’s perspective, not getting to see top draft picks until the next year is a downer. Perhaps, though, when a top pick player gets assigned to a team and gets travel and work routine under his belt without pressure of performance, maybe it is a good thing in the long run. Maybe no pressure to perform right away will save arms by reducing too much effort under tension.

  3. BK

    I’m super excited about Lowder. He has great stuff, but more importantly, he can pitch. Hopefully, it won’t be long before he becomes a stalwart in our rotation. We seem to have a good wave of pitching about a year away from the big leagues.

    • Greenfield Red

      BK, you are right. It is a testament to the job Nick Krall has done in the last couple of years that so many youngsters, with very high hopes, have arrived to MLB, several of whom are pitchers, and you (and I and others) can see an upcoming “wave”.

      In fact, I can see wave after wave to come in the next 4 to 5 years.

      • DaveCT

        I especially enjoy the fact that just a year back, there were quite a few peeps decrying the lack of pitching depth, as the high octane guys had graduated and most of the guys coming up from Lo-A weren’t high profile whatsoever (Petty notwithstanding). Yet here we are. Aguiar and Acuna are much better appreciated now, but I’m not sleeping on Javi Rivera and others from that Lo-A class who are coming back from injuries (Juan Franco, Tanner Cooper).

      • Greenfield Red

        Right Dave. Add in Lin, Duno, Carbrera, Collier, Stafura, Hector, Pineda, Balcazar, Acosta, Shoenwetter, Carlos Sanchez, Adolpho Sanchez, and more who are 19 and under. I don’t follow this stuff for a living, but I’ve never seen anything like it in my armature opinion.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    Should Lowder be considered an untouchable in Reds organization ? or Could be a piece of trading?

    • Old Big Ed

      There used to be a rule that a team could not trade a draft pick until at least a year after signing him, or something fairly similar. I think that rule still exists, probably as an ancillary to the rule against trading draft picks before the draft.

      Even if that rule is now gone, the Reds just paid Lowder $5.7 million a few months ago, so you’d think that they at least watch him pitch a professional game before trading him. He pitched 120 innings last season in college, so there really wasn’t any point in the Reds trying to rush him later on in the season.

      • PTBNL

        Let’s give the guy a chance to pitch for the Reds before thinking about including him in a deal. He could be a quick riser in the organization and be exactly what we would want to TRADE for. A, at this point, unproven pitcher would not bring as much as his future value could be.

    • AllTheHype

      For a team that needs starting pitching, trading the top starting pitching prospect is probably not the best idea.

  5. Scooter22

    I think the Reds pitching is well set for a lot of years. Of course, we need as much depth as we can get. A veteran starter may be needed for the next year or so, but please don’t spend much on another Eric Milton (some moons ago), Mike Minor or Luke Weaver.

    They did not serve the purpose.

    • ScoopsReds

      It would be nice to see SPs Greene and Lodolo improve. I’m not sold on Greene being anything but a solid #3 from what I saw in 2023.

      Dint get me wrong, I like him and he’s outstanding for Ks……but he get hammered, A LOT

  6. Jim Delaney

    Still wish we had Joe Boyle as a Future starter option .. still have a bad feeling the Boyle trade will come back to haunt the Reds for years…

    • Stock

      I am with you Delaney.

      That said I really like Greene, Petty, Phillips and Abbott a lot.

      Lodolo, Ashcraft, Williamson and Lowder would be in the 2025 rotation for many teams but I think the Reds will need to convert several of these to opener’s or RP.

      I also leave room for a healthy Lodolo and Lowder to move up to the first group with an outside chance that Ashcraft can enter this group.

      Basically, the Reds are loaded.

    • Optimist

      I am a Boyle fan as well, and will follow him with the A’s, but the am intrigued by the possibilities and intentions shown. Namely, Moll has proven very good to excellent, and if the Reds can unlock the secret to stocking the bullpen top to bottom, they will be taking a huge step into serious playoff contention, beyond simply getting there.

      Yes, Boyle’s ceiling is extremely high, but anything short of that and the Reds will have done very well in this deal, particularly if it’s the first in several such acquisitions.

      Finally, as Stock notes, it’s an indication that they’re well into developing starting pitching since they can trade starters from depth in the system. When is the last time they’ve done that?