It is officially prospect list season. Two of the big players in the prospecting world have released their 2024 Top 100 Prospects lists in the last 30 hours. Baseball Prospectus put their list out on Wednesday and Baseball America dropped their list on Thursday morning. Both lists featured three Cincinnati Reds prospects.
Noelvi Marte is the top rated Reds prospect on both lists. Baseball Prospectus had the infielder rated at the #25 spot. Baseball America had him a tad higher, checking in at #23 overall. Getting 114 at-bats in the big leagues fell about a week short of at-bats to have Marte no longer qualify for prospect lists (130 at-bats is one of the cutoff points), but he didn’t reach that mark and is technically still a prospect and eligible for the 2024 Rookie of the Year award.
After beginning the year in Double-A with Chattanooga, Marte was promoted to Triple-A Louisville in late June after returning from the injured list. He would spend just under two months with the Bats in Triple-A before he was called up to join the Reds on August 19th. During his time in the minors in 2023 he hit a combined .279/.358/.454 with 18 stolen bases, 20 doubles, 4 triples, and 11 home runs in 92 games.
He pinch ran on his first day in the majors, but began to see starts the next day and never looked back. He would play in 35 games with Cincinnati until the season came to an end and he didn’t skip a beat. In his time with the Reds down the stretch he hit .316/.366/.456 with 7 doubles, 6 more steals, and he hit 3 home runs.
Both lists also feature the Reds 1st round pick in 2023, Rhett Lowder. The right-handed pitcher came in at #49 on the list from Baseball Prospectus and at #60 overall from the crew at Baseball America. Lowder did not pitch after being the 7th overall selection in the draft. He went 15-0 at Wake Forest during his junior year and posted an ERA of 1.87. In his 120.1 innings he allowed 90 hits, walked just 24 batters, and he racked up 143 strikeouts.
The last player from the Reds organization to make each list is also a pitcher. Connor Phillips, like Marte, made his debut with Cincinnati in 2023 during the second half of the season. Baseball America had him at #78, while the group at Baseball Prospectus had him ranked 72nd. The right-handed starter began his season in Double-A where he made 14 starts with a 3.34 ERA and 111 strikeouts to go along with 27 walks in 64.2 innings pitched. He then moved up to Triple-A where he pitched in 11 more games, but saw his ERA jump to 4.69 with 43 strikeouts and 30 walks in 40.1 innings. Needing anyone who could throw a baseball 60′ 6″ down the stretch, the Reds called Phillips up in September and he made five starts for the big league club. He struggled, throwing just 20.2 innings in those outings with a 6.97 ERA, 13 walks, and 26 strikeouts.
Both publications also had an article that featured guys who just missed the list and no Reds prospects appeared on it. However, Baseball America also included a list all of the players who received votes from someone on a Top 100 list – the writers all submit a top 100 list and then begin discussing the players in order to form the list that eventually gets published. To note – while I do write a monthly Reds column for Baseball America I have no input at all with any of their prospect lists. While Cincinnati had just three players in the Top 100, they had an additional seven players get at least one vote from someone as a Top 100 prospect. Perhaps the most surprising there was Alfredo Duno given his age and that he has not played outside of the Dominican Summer League.