The first Monday of each month we’re looking at how the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects are performing. We’ve checked the calendar and that just so happens to be today.

The Position Players

It’s worth noting a few things here. First, Alfredo Duno is on the injured list with a fractured rib. He’s been out for the last five weeks. Second is that for players like Blake Dunn and Jacob Hurtubise, these are only their minor league stats, but for Noelvi Marte it’s only showing his big league stats. Third is that the stats shown are for all levels of the minor leagues these guys have played at this season, but only their current team is listed.

It’s been a tough year for the Reds farm system. A lot of their top prospects have struggled to hit this season. Some of them have struggled to remain on the field, too, as injuries have hit a few of them. But not everyone is struggling.

Sheng-En Lin now has two months of games under his belt this season and he’s been fantastic. The infielder has hit .330/.444/.464 with tons of walks, a good number of stolen bases, and splits that are about as even as you could ever imagine for an 18-year-old left-handed hitter (.333/.435/.444 against lefties, .330/.446/.468 against righties). While he did slow down at the plate in June, he still hit .318/.416/.429 during the month. And of note, as I wrote at Baseball America this week, when the complex league season is over, the Reds are going to put him back on the mound.

Another guy who began the year out in Arizona, Sammy Stafura had a big start to the year in Arizona and put up an OPS of 1.031 in 15 games before being moved up to Daytona. While he’s slowed down with the Tortugas, he’s hitting .263/.379/.368. He’s been making more contact in Daytona than when he was in Arizona, and his .748 OPS is 71 points higher than the league average.

One of the bright performances early on in the year came from Jay Allen II. The outfielder was hitting .294/.417/.523 at the end of the game on June 15th. But he’s gone into a 1-36 slump since, with that one hit being a bunt single on June 29th. His OPS has dropped 122 points during that stretch and he’s now hitting .243/.390/.429.

Rece Hinds had a tough start to the year, but he rebounded well in May as he put up an OPS of .921 after having an OPS of .581 in the 28 games in March/April. But in June he went into another big slump. Hinds walked just three times in June and had 38 strikeouts in 95 plate appearances. All of that added up to a .180/.221/.360 line in 22 games played.

The Pitchers

To say it’s been a tough year for the Reds top pitching prospects would be an understatement. Their top three guys all have ERA’s on the season over five, and the fourth rated prospect is out for the year with shoulder surgery. Another guy, Jose Acuna, has only thrown 8.2 innings this season as he’s battled a few injuries.

Rhett Lowder got out to a strong start this season when he was with Dayton, but after making five starts for the Dragons where he posted a 2.49 ERA he was moved up to Double-A Chattanooga and he’s run into a lot of struggles. In his first three starts he allowed 20 hits, four walks, hit a batter, and 15 earned runs in 11.2 innings. Since then he’s been better, but he’s still had two hiccups as he allowed eight runs in 7.2 innings over back-to-back starts in mid-June. In his most recent six starts with the Lookouts he’s posted a 4.55 ERA while allowing 33 hits in 27.2 innings. Overall in Double-A his ERA is 6.69 and his WHIP is 1.59.

Connor Phillips, who along with Lowder, was the Reds top pitching prospect depending on which publication you wanted to follow, has been going through struggles that have been so bad that the team sent him all the way back to Goodyear. His ERA is 10.11 after 14 starts in Triple-A Louisville and he had more walks+hit batters than he had strikeouts.

Chase Petty had a terrible start to the year, posting an ERA of 9.56 in April. But he rebounded well in May as he made six starts with a 3.08 ERA. June saw him post a 4.50 ERA in five outings. But it came with plenty of inconsistency and a walk rate higher than he’s ever had in the past – he walked 14 batters with just 20 strikeouts while facing 109 batters during the month. His ERA currently sits at 5.16 and his WHIP is 1.52.

Zach Maxwell got out to a great start this year. In his first 16 outings of the year he allowed two earned runs in 16.2 innings, had nine walks, and he struck out 31 batters. Only two of those innings came with Louisville, but both of those innings were perfect ones with two strikeouts in each. Since then he’s been inconsistent at best and his walk rate has gone way up. Following those first two outings with the Bats he walked 12 batters in 4.2 innings and had an ERA of 9.64. He’s rebounded a bit over the last three weeks, walking just one batter in 5.0 innings and has nine strikeouts and a 3.60 ERA in that time.

Thoughts

With the Arizona Complex League well underway, and the Dominican Summer League now a month in, there have been a few more good performances to talk about within the Reds farm system. Still, if we’re looking at the big picture, this season to this point has been very poor for the organization’s minor league system.

There are five hitters in the Dominican Summer League with an OPS over 1.000 who are getting regular playing time. Two others are over the .900 mark.

On the mound there are some non-top 25 guys having strong years. Nestor Lorant has a 1.31 ERA in 55.0 innings with Daytona. Adam Serwinowski has a 2.91 ERA in 52.2 innings for the Tortugas. Jose Montero has a 2.64 ERA in 58.0 innings with Daytona…. are you picking up on the theme here?

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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4 Responses

  1. The Duke

    Stock Up: Sal Stewart, Sheng-En Lin, Sammy Stafura, Alfredo Duno, Julian Aguiar

    Stock Down: Rhett Lowder, Connor Phillips, Cam Collier, Carlos Jorge, Chase Petty

    Apparently get more S names and fewer C names, lol.

  2. Andrew

    I still have confidence Lowder will figure it out. Some folks were antsy and wanted him as a starter this year, and even in today’s MLB, that’s an aggressive path. Let him develop and he will be in the opening day rotation in 2026.

  3. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    Easily could have started this article with, “Please don’t shoot. I’m just the messenger.”

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    I think when the new top RLN 25 prospect list will be shown, it will be containing many changes after this nomerous struggles but new guys having a good season…