The crew over at MLB Pipeline is in full on prospect ranking mode right now. Over the last week they’ve been releasing their Top 10 prospects at each position, working their way up to Friday’s Top 100 prospect list. So far the Cincinnati Reds have had two players make their position’s Top 10 list. Carlos Jorge was named as Major League Baseball’s 10th best second base prospect, and Rhett Lowder came in at #6 on the list for right-handed pitchers.

Among the tools ratings within the Top 10, Carlos Jorge got the nod for being the fastest player on the list. He had more triples than any other second baseman in minor league baseball as he wasn’t shy about trying to grab third when the opportunity presented itself. He’s got as many triples as he does home runs in his career – 22. And he’s done that in just 198 games, with all of those being played as a teenager. He’s also stolen 86 bases, setting a career high with 32 of them in 2023.

After beginning the 2023 season in Single-A Daytona where he hit .295/.400/.483 in the pitching friendly circuit, Cincinnati promoted Jorge up to High-A Dayton for the final four weeks of the season. He got out to a slow start, posting a .399 OPS in the first two weeks. In the next two weeks he picked things back up, hitting .308/.349/.667 for Dayton to round out the year.

Rhett Lowder didn’t pitch after being the #7 overall pick in this past summer’s draft. He went 15-0 at Wake Forest in 2023 and posted a 1.87 ERA in his 19 starts. The MLB Pipeline crew noted that he had the highest floor of any pitcher in the Top 10 list. They also tabbed him, along with Phillips prospect Andrew Painter, as having the best control among this group.

Chase Petty getting back into the upper 90’s

The Cincinnati Reds started the Reds Caravan yesterday. Chase Petty is on the road with one of the legs of the tour, but before he made his way to Cincinnati to get on a bus and travel around for a few days, he spent the winter working with Baseball Performance Center and they recently shared a video of him throwing at their place and had some Trackman data under the video.

There are four fastballs listed on the chart, ranging from 98.0 to 99.0 MPH. Coming out of high school, Petty was known for his triple-digit fastball, but as a professional he hasn’t thrown nearly that hard. Instead he’s thrown in the 93-95 MPH range and gotten tons of ground balls while pounding the strikezone. While he hasn’t been a low strikeout pitcher, he hasn’t been a high strikeout pitcher, either. But if Petty can continue to generate grounders at the rate he has, while also adding in a few more strikeouts due to an increase in velocity, things could get far more interesting than they already are (and we’re talking about a guy who posted a 1.72 ERA last season without giving up a home run in 68.0 innings) as he could be one of the rare high ground ball, high strikeout rate pitchers (this combination tends to be real good).

25 Responses

  1. The Duke

    The Reds had a lot of good 19-20 year old hitters in the lower minors in 2023. Going to be real interesting to see who takes that next step in 2024 as they move up the ladder.

    • Stock

      You are so right Duke. 7 of the top 8 hitters and 8 of the top 10 hitters and 12 of the top 16 hitters will be 19 or 20 on opening day.

      I think Marte will be the only hitter in Doug’s top 25 that will graduate this year (of course I thought Steer would be the only graduate last year so what do I know).

      Marte will be replaced by in the rankings by Kurtz, Wetherholt or a surprise vastly improved player from the draft.

      I think Cam Collier will have a monster season and shoot up MLB draft boards.

      Edwin Arroyo will jump back into the top 50.
      Blake Dunn will jump into top 100 lists.

      It would not surprise me if several of Jorge, Balcazar, Stewart, Rodriguez, Cabrera or Duno jump into top 100 prospect lists.

      Pitching is much slimmer.

      Phillips and/or Richardson could remaing prospects this year or graduate. If they remain prospects they will have to pitch well to remain top 100 prospect or to achieve that level. If they pitch well though their chances of remaing a prospect are much smaller.

      I think Lowder and Petty will remain prospects and be top 50 prospects a year from now. Aguiar and Ty Floyd have a shot at becoming top 100 prospects, although this shot may be rather slim.

      Sleepers inside Dougs’ top 25: Rece Hinds and Hector Rodriguez
      Sleepers outsid Dougs’ top 25: Matheu Nelson and Ethan O’Donnell

      • Stock

        September Call-ups

        1. Lowder or Petty
        2. Dunn, Hinds or Hurtubise

      • MBS

        I think one of the AAA OF’s will also graduate. Odds are we’ll need one, and I think at least one will be ready to answer the call. Dunn’s my odds on favorite despite his 40 man status.

      • Optimist

        Lots to comment on here Stock, but 2 things come to mind.

        1 – I keep forgetting about O’Donnell, which is understandable given the later round pick, and small MiLB sample size. Still, nearly 1,000 ABs overall with clear hitting ability. Not young, not old, but if he shines this season expect a quick series of promotions.

        2 – Also expect Hurtubise to be the first callup, before September, but agree about the other Sept. additions.

      • Stock

        Assuming we don’t make any trades, and the odds of that are somewhat slim at this point:

        The Reds have 10 players for 8 positions. Last year there were never more than 2 of these players on the DL at any one time.

        April: EDLC, CES
        May: Friedl 10 days
        June: Friedl 10 days
        August: Fraley, India
        September: McLain, Candelario (2 weeks)

        If this happens this year whomever comes up will be a 5th OF/Utility player.

        I would rather keep Hinds and Dunn in the minors for everyday AB.

        If the Reds trade one or two of Steer/Fraley/India/Benson I would consider bringing up the best player available.

        I just think that long term Hurtubise is only good enough to be a 4th or 5th OF on this team. If enough players were traded and he gains a bit more power again this year, maybe he could be a full time ML regular. But to do that the Reds would have to trade him or several of the people in front of him. I consider Steer, Fraley, Friedl, Benson and Dunn ahead of him. Hinds is probably ahead of him.

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree Duke and Stock. I think Stewart, Hector, and Collier will have huge years. Can’t count out Cabrera, Jorge, Duno and other youngsters either.

        The one guy who probably on his last chance is Hendrick. Unless he cuts his strike outs by 25% or more, 2024 should be his last year in the Reds system… does he not have to go on the 40 man next Winter?

      • DaveCT

        Optimist, what I note about O’Donnell every time is that we likely got a better value at the 6th pick in 23 than we did with the 2nd pick the year before (Justin Boyd). This is a statement about O’Donnell, of course, but also speaks to the incredible depth in last year’s draft, given the 2020 draft which influenced many players to wait three years.

      • Optimist

        Stock – agree about the priority of Dunn/Hinds/Hurtubise, in that order. Just think Hurtubise is the first callup – he’s on the 40-man, he profiles as an excellent 5th OFer, he’s essentially competing with Fairchild for the spot, and he’s ahead of Dunn & Hinds in experience. If he hits his ceiling a-la Steven Kwan, the Reds have hit the jackpot.

        Still, much more likely that Dunn and Hinds exceed him in MLB careers.

      • The Duke

        I’m already out on Hendrick. When I saw him in Dayton last year it looked like he had no idea what he was doing at the plate. Swing hard and pray. Wouldn’t be in my Reds top 30.

  2. Stock

    Why am I so excited about Petty:

    When I look at his GB% I think of 2 pitchers: Logan Webb and Framber Valdez

    Comparision 1: Petty in Dayton/Framber Career/Webb Career.

    Player/% K’s/ K% – BB%/GB%/FIP
    Ch Petty/64.1%/19.3%/58.5%/3.2%/2.27
    Framber/62.7%/14.5%/62.9%/8.9%/3.61
    L Webb/65.6%/16.7%/58.4%/5.8%/3.16

    Comparision 2: Petty in Dayton/Framber 2023/Webb 2023.

    Player/% K’s/ K% – BB%/GB%/BB%
    Ch Petty/64.1%/19.3%/58.5%/3.2%/2.27
    Framber/63.6%/17.7%/54.2%/7.1%/3.50
    L Webb/67.8%/19.2%/62.1%/3.6%/3.17

    All the things I look at are good to great thus far.

    His BB% is fantastic. His GB% is fantastic.

    His pitches thrown for strikes is good.

    His K% is average but that is all he needs if he gets a GB% of 58%.

    He needs to make sure he gets his innings up to 130 or so this year and he is ready to pitch 160 in 2025.

    • MBS

      Petty is the real headline here. If he can dial up the heat, and continue to induce ground balls, look out.

      I’d love to see Petty get 5+ IP per game. He and Lowder should be big additions in 25.

    • DaveCT

      A guy throwing high 90’s, generating large volumes of ground balls, and possibly registering more K’s … Sounds like Kevin Brown to me.

      I’ll take a flyer on a Kevin Brown-type of arm in a salary dump trade for Sonny.

      • DaveCT

        True that!!

        Can’t wait to get back down to T-Mobile Park (an amazing ballpark) to see him pitch again.

    • The Duke

      Petty > Connor Phillips for me. He needs brought along a good ways still, but he’s the highest upside pitcher we have in the minors right now, even over Lowder.

  3. Tom

    Blandino trying to become a knuckleballer – a rotation piece in AA then?

    • MK

      Tom, I have heard that Bench had an agreement with the Reds that he would never have to catch a knuckleballer.

      • Optimist

        The Bench story is that someone (Sparky?) mentioned they might acquire Phil Neikro, and Bench replied “then go ahead an trade me”. Was not going thru the big glove/PB exercise, but IIRC caught him in a few AS games.

  4. MK

    I alway cringe a little when I hear our guys going to one of the max velocity, max spin rate facilities as they seem to lead to Tommy John surgery issues.

  5. MBS

    From @JustBaseball guys prospect write up

    “Petty’s high-effort, high-velocity heater as a high school arm had evaluators somewhat worried about his chances to stick as a starter and shoulder the required workload. He answered that concern by adjusting his fastball to be more of a two-seamer that features plenty of arm side run in the 93-95 mph range.

    The pitch features more run than sink, picking up slightly above average ground ball rates, but would probably be more effective with more drop or heaviness. While he did not give up a ton of damage on the pitch, his extremely low whiff and chase rates on the fastball could be further exposed if he is not picking up more than a 47% ground ball rate with it.”

    So is the radar gun going off again because he’s no longer throwing a 2 seamer? Maybe they feel he’ll be better off with an upper 90’s 4 seam, to go with his wicked slider? I’m looking forward to watching him pitch deeper into games this year.

    • Doug Gray

      We’ll have to wait and see what he comes out pitching like in April with the Lookouts.

    • DaveCT

      The Reds love their guys throwing at the top of the zone. It’s a DJ staple.

      So, one more moderate possibility, not an either/or, is that they want Petty to add that option to his repertoire.

      Imagine a barrage of sinker, slider, slider, sinker … 100 mph four seamer at the top of the zone.

      C’ya.