When the 2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed, one of the things that the players fought for to be included were various ways to try and keep teams from service time manipulation. They did so in several ways. One of those ways was that if a player wins the Rookie of the Year award, and was previously ranked as a Top 100 prospect on two of three lists entering the season (Baseball America, ESPN, and MLB Pipeline), and also got a full year of service time (made the team out of the spring and spent all season with the club), then the club would get a pick directly following the 1st round.
Last night MLB Pipeline released their Top 100 prospect list. It featured five Reds players, led by Noelvi Marte at #21. Rhett Lowder (#34), Edwin Arroyo (#67), Connor Phillips (#70), and Chase Petty (#98) were also all ranked. Only the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs had more players in the Top 100 than Cincinnati did.
For Marte, Lowder, and Phillips – they are now on both the Baseball America and MLB Pipeline Top 100 list. That makes them eligible for the additional draft pick bonus for the Reds if they were to meet the above criteria. Given what the Reds have done this offseason it just seems incredibly unlikely that either Connor Phillips or Rhett Lowder can not only make the team out of spring training, but also remain with the club all season long. Both just seem too far down the depth chart at this point for that to happen. But Marte? You don’t have to squint too hard to see where he could make the team from the jump and stay in the big leagues for the rest of his career.
That’s not to say it’s going to be an easy task. Marte has been playing shortstop and third base in his career. At shortstop he’s competing with the likes of Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain. At third base he’s competing with the likes of (potentially) Elly De La Cruz, Jeimer Candeladio, Christian Encarnacion-Strand (potentially), and Spencer Steer (potentially). Having the designated hitter spot in the National League now does open up some additional possibilities for mixing and matching guys and creating a spot on the roster than perhaps may not have been there in the past.
While it’s possible that both Chase Petty and Edwin Arroyo could join that group of three as players who could earn the Reds an additional draft pick by winning rookie of the year, they fall into the same category as the others – it’s just incredibly unlikely that they would make the team out of spring training and remain up all season long. They, too, are just too far down the depth chart at their positions as of today.
Carlos Sanchez keeps raking
As was discussed earlier this week, Carlos Sanchez slumped a bit in December down in the Australian Baseball League, but he picked things up in January. In 11 games in 2024 with the Perth Heat, Sanchez hit .333/.465/.545 with nine walks and just five strikeouts. His club made the playoffs and he’s played in both of their games so far and he’s just kept on getting it done. He’s 3-5 with three walks, a steal, two runs scored, and his first home run of the “offseason”.
Nick Quintana retires
A little more than two years ago the Cincinnati Reds acquired infielder Nick Quintana from the Detroit Tigers in a trade that sent catcher Tucker Barnhart to the American League. A second round pick in 2019 by Detroit, Quintana had hit under .200 in each of his first two professional seasons. He found a little more success after joining the Reds organization, posting a .793 OPS in High-A Dayton in 59 games in 2022 before moving up to Double-A Chattanooga where he hit .233/.344/.354. In 2023 he was hitting .135 on June 10th when he was placed on the injured list in Chattanooga. He would miss the remainder of the season. Quintana has opted to retire, according to the team’s transaction log.