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.

11 Responses

  1. Optimist

    It’s almost FO malpractice if they are NOT considering Marte along these lines. Very doubtful we see CES at 3b, if ever, so it’s really down to Marte, Candelario and, hopefully rarely, EDLC. Unless Marte flops thru April, I’d expect 450 PAs, and the majority or starts at 3b – say 100 games, and 20-30 as DH and a few PH/late inning defensive switching. Reduce the DHs if he’s out of contention for the award.

    Remaining question is if 450 PAs will be enough to win the award, but even 2nd/3rd place gets an international pick, and they seem to be using those wisely as well.

    • Rick in Va

      What is an international pick? I think that provision was adopted when an international draft was still under discussion, but it wasn’t adopted. So I don’t think we have international picks, just international free agent spending money. Does anyone know whether something else had been substituted for the “international picks”?

    • RedBB

      I think you should have a little more faith in Krall and co. The date they brought up Marte last year was no accident. It allowed him to preserve his rookie status in preparation for a a run at ROY in 2024 and a prospect promotion pick. Pretty much every GM has this in mind these days in reality and it has produced 3 draft picks (out of a possible 4) in he last 2 years for teams which is huge (Seattle, Baltimore and Arizona).

      • Optimist

        Yes – I suppose it’s irrelevant, but I wonder if the disincentive works as well, particularly for pitchers. Would anyone keep a top-100 prospect pitcher in MiLB until the 60-day limit passes? IOW, if Petty or Lowder are simply lights out going into the AS break, would the Reds delay a promotion until August 2, when they otherwise could have been up in mid-June to mid-July? It’s a bit bass-ackwards, but it will be worth watching who the callups are on August 2nd, particularly for the teams falling out of contention who won’t have the “every game counts” urgency.

      • Old Big Ed

        Optimist, the August call-up still must qualify as a “rookie” in the subsequent year. Per MLB.com:

        A player shall be considered a rookie unless he has exceeded any of the following thresholds in a previous season (or seasons):

        • 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues.
        • 45 total days on an active Major League roster during the Championship Season (excluding time on the Injured List).

        The 60-day limit in the PPI scenario only comes up, then, if the “pre-rookie” spends at least 15 days on the IL. If (say) Rece Hinds is killing it all year at AAA, and the Reds on July 15 need a RH-hitting RF (both of which are possible), then they will call Hinds up and not worry about his rookie status for 2025.

        The Reds intentionally called up Marte when they did, so as to keep his rookie status for this purpose. I think a couple of other teams did, too, but I can’t remember what team (maybe the Angels).

        It’s still a longshot to think any one player will be the National League ROY. Marte was 11-1 when I looked, so it’s at least something to watch and it was worth it for the Reds to take a flyer on the possibility. I think Marte will be a star, but others don’t share my optimism.

        The Reds, incidentally, did a similar thing for Johnny Bench in 1967, when he was a late call-up. They played him every day for about 3-4 weeks, then eased up as the season wound down to keep him ROY eligible under the then-existing rules for 1968. No incentive was involved; they just wanted him to have a chance to win it.

        As a result, Young Big Ed immediately became a catcher.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    It isn’t going to be near easy seeing the Reds getting this draft pick.

  3. MK

    Watched a few of Perth games and Sanchez. In the four games I’ve watched, Carlos has played short once and third base three times. His defense has been solid making just one fielding miscue, while at short. Wonder if his play will allow him to move faster up the system as this league is probably comparable to rookie level +

    Daniel Duarte was DFAed by Texas yesterday.

  4. Greenfield Red

    Seems to me, Marte is the starting 3B going in to Spring. A lot can happen, but I think he is currently the guy who will have others nipping at his heals if there is any trouble.