Cincinnati Reds Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects

A look at the Cincinnati Reds Top 20 fantasy baseball prospects.

It’s not a secret that the Reds restocked their farm at the trade deadline in 2021. Some of the prospects that they traded for (Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand) have already made significant MLB contributions while others are scattered about this list.

Despite the Reds graduating the two aforementioned names, consensus top prospect Elly De La Cruz, as well as Andrew Abbott in 2023, the organization still has one of the best farms in baseball. It may not have the top-end talent it has had in recent years but the minor league system has as much depth as you’ll see across the sport.

Top Reds Prospects

The Top Tier

1) Noelvi Marte, 3B, 22 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): .279/.358/.454/11 HR/18 SB/17.5 K%/10.8 BB%

2023 MLB Stats: .316/.366/.456/3 HR/6 SB/20.3 K%/6.5 BB%

Marte is technically still a prospect but that status should expire within the first couple weeks of the MLB season. The third baseman has been a consensus Top-100 prospect for the past several years, and although where he placed in those Top-100 lists seemingly roller-coastered every few months, it was never a doubt that Marte would at the very least be a big league contributor.

The third baseman played in three levels in 2023; Double-A, Triple-A and the majors. He hit at every level, as indicated by his stats above. It would be shocking if he ever came close to the .316 average he put up in his 35-game big league sample, but it’s encouraging to see that his strikeout rate didn’t climb too much, even if his walk rate came down more than we’d like.

Marte’s still just 22, and it’s likely that his power numbers begin to tick up while his steals trend the other way. For the next few years he can probably contribute in both categories, so long as he hangs onto an everyday role. The Reds have way too many corner infielders right now, so it’s unclear what everybody’s playing time will look like.

2) Chase Petty, P, 20 YO

2023 Stats (A+/AA): 68 IP/1.72 ERA/24.1 K%/5.5 BB%

Petty’s 1.72 ERA sparkles. And while his FIP wasn’t that pristine, it still checked in at an impressive 2.32. Why were the numbers that impressive? Well, somehow, someway, Petty didn’t allow a home run in 2023. Of course, 68 innings isn’t the largest sample size, but I had to double and triple-check that fact when researching. Some of that is probably a little luck-based, but we know that overall limiting home runs is a skill and the best way to keep runs off the board. Needless to say, the 2021 first-round pick climbed up prospect ranks in 2023.

Petty’s strikeout rate was solid, but not quite what we usually see from dominant pitchers in the minors. The 5.5% walk rate though is another big reason for his success. Most of his numbers came at High-A, so he’s likely to open up the season at Double-A in 2024.

At least in 2023, Petty didn’t pitch deep into games, usually maxing out at four frames. So it still remains to be seen what he can do when he’s pitching deeper in games and logging more innings in a season. For now though Petty looks like the type of pitcher that can be successful at Great American Ball Park, which is no easy feat.

3) Edwin Arroyo, 2B/SS, 20 YO 

2023 Stats (A+/AA):.252/.324/.433/13 HR/29 SB/21.3 K%/8.8 BB%

After being a big riser in 2022, Arroyo’s stock took a dip following the first few months of the 2023 campaign. Through May 30th, the infielder was triple slashing just .182/.234/.311, 5.7% and 24.1% walk and strikeout rates, respectively, and a .128 ISO. But from then until the rest of the season, Arroyo was one of the best hitters at High-A, triple slashing .282/.360/.485 with a .203 ISO.

So which Arroyo is the real Arroyo? It’s tough to say, but it’s encouraging for him to have such an in-season turnaround, especially for a 19-year-old at High-A. Heading into 2023, Arroyo was a consensus Top-100 prospect and by mid-season, he had fallen out of the status due to poor performance. For the most part, it feels like he hasn’t climbed back to his pre-season evaluation despite an incredible second half and is undervalued at the moment.

He will start 2023 at Double-A. Again, he’s just 20 and will be starting the year off in the upper minors. He doesn’t project to have an elite speed/power combination, but he could be above average at both. I’d expect him to find his way back onto Top-100 lists prior to Opening Day.

4) Rhett Lowder, P, 21 YO

2023 Stats: N/A

The Reds took Lowder with the seventh overall pick in the 2023 draft. The righty threw a ton of innings (120.1 to be exact) this past spring for Wake Forest, so he didn’t make any appearances at the professional level.

Coming into the draft, Lowder was viewed as one of the “safer” options., given his polish as a college arm. He’s a high-floor pitcher, yielding a three-pitch fastball, slider and change-up mix. The fastball checks in in the low-to-mid 90s. He had a dominant final season at Wake Forest, making 19 starts and finishing off the year with a 1.87 ERA. He punched out 143 in those 120.1 frames while only walking 24.

It’s unclear what level he will start in for the 2024 campaign, but High-A is a possible starting point. That being said, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Lowder move quickly through the minors. His above-average pitch mix combined with his polish make him a candidate to be on the fast track to the big leagues, and we know that the Reds need the rotation help.

5) Carlos Jorge, SS, 20 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A, A+): .282/.374/.464/12 HR/32 SB/22.2 K%/11.6 BB%

On upside alone, especially from a fantasy perspective, there is an argument that Jorge could be behind only Marte in this system. The shortstop produced at a very high level at both rookie ball stops (173 wRC+ in 2021 DSL and 151 wRC+ in 2022 CPX), and followed that production up with an impressive 2023 campaign across two levels.

Jorge has plus power and speed, and both showed up in 2023 with the then 19-year-old putting up a .181 ISO with 12 home runs and 32 steals across 109 games. Perhaps most impressively, he posted a double-digit walk rate while keeping the strikeout numbers in check. The speed/power numbers are certainly intriguing. He did struggle upon his promotion to High-A, so expect him to kick off the season at the level.

At 5’10”, there isn’t a great track record of a shortstop this height sticking at that position. It’s likely he moves to either second base or the outfield at some point, which would hamper his fantasy value some.

6) Cam Collier, 3B, 19 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A): .246/.349/.356/6 HR/5 SB/23 K%/12.4 BB%

The Reds used the 18th pick of the 2022 draft to take the teenage Collier. It was only nine games, but Collier showed off his offensive capabilities with a .370 average and two home runs at the CPX that following summer.

The numbers from Collier in 2023 don’t jump off the page. For someone who is heralded for having mammoth power, it didn’t show up at Single-A, with Collier finishing the year with just a .110. For an MLB reference, that’s the number that Whit Merrifield notched in 2023.

But it’s important to remember that this was an 18-year-old in Single-A. For the most part, he held his own, and his walk and strikeout numbers are encouraging. The surface level numbers are just fine, and it’s likely you can buy low on Collier, who is a 19-year-old that could potentially break out in High-A in 2024.

7) Connor Phillips, P, 22 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AA, AAA): 105.0 IP/3.86 ERA/33.3 K%/12.3 BB%

2023 MLB Stats: 20.2 IP/6.97 ERA/27.1 K%/13.5 BB%

Phillips was one of the biggest pitching prospect risers during the 2023 season. In his age-22 campaign, the right-hander seemingly struck out everyone at Double-A. He made 14 starts there, recording a 39.1% strikeout rate and a 3.34 ERA. It’s important to remember that he was likely aided by the tacky ball at the level, as was Andrew Abbott, but it is impressive nonetheless.

From there, he made 10 starts at Triple-A and his performance fell off. He still struck out 24.2% of batters, but his walk rate climbed to nearly 17%. Naturally, his ERA jumped up to 4.69 ERA. These types of numbers don’t exactly scream “Get this kid to the bigs”, but Phillips earned a promotion anyway due to the lack of starting pitching on the big league roster.

Phillips will probably start the year in Triple-A. The Reds rotation is much healthier than it was to close out 2023, and the team remains active in the starting pitcher market this offseason, even after adding Nick Martinez. Long-term, Phillips offers major strikeout potential – even during his stumbles at Triple-A and in the bigs, he was still getting punchouts. But there is enough reliever risk in the profile here to prefer the arms listed above.

Prospects Dynasty Managers Should Know

8) Sal Stewart, 3B, 20 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A/A+): .275/.396/.415/12 HR/15 SB/14.9 K%/16.2 BB%

Stewart is a bat-first prospect who has performed at each of his stops in the minors. He performed across the board in 2023 and walked more than he struck out. Defensively he may end up at first which means he will really need to hit to have MLB value, but he has the potential to do just that.

9) Ricardo Cabrera, SS, 19 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (CPX, A): .346/.475/.531/5 HR/24 SB/19.8 K%/12.9 BB%

Cabrera only logged 44 games in 2023 but made an impression in them, and is probably the biggest riser on this list. The stolen bases jump off the page and it’s worth noting that he was only caught twice. He will likely open up in Single-A to start 2024.

10) Ty Floyd, P, 22 YO

2023 Stats: N/A

The Reds took the righty Floyd with the 38th selection of this year’s draft. Like Lowder, the recent draftee didn’t make it into any games post-draft. He struck out 120 in 91 innings this past season for LSU.

11) Hector Rodriguez, OF, 19 YO

2023 MiLB Stats: .293/.343/.495/16 HR/18 SB/18.8 K%/5.6 BB%

Rodriguez hit well in 2023, and someone entering their age-20 season and likely to start at High-A is someone worth keeping tabs on. That being said, he stands at just 5’8″, so his in-game power is probably going to take a step back against better competition.

12) Blake Dunn, OF, 25 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A+, AA): .312/.425/.522/23 HR/54 SB/23.3 K%/11.1 BB%

It’s difficult to find anyone who produced as well as Dunn in the minors in 2023. The problem is he’s never played above Double-A and is heading into his age-25 season. I’m always skeptical that these types of profiles will play at the MLB level, but it has happened before.

13) Lyon Richardson, P, 23 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A/AA/AAA): 69.1 IP/3.50 ERA/34.5 K%/13.1 BB%

2023 MLB Stats: 16.2 IP/8.64 ERA/14.8 K%/18.5 BB%

Richardson had good run prevention run in the minors but not in a handful of starts in the majors. His minor league walk rate is too high for my liking and despite great strikeout numbers, it feels likely that his career path will soon lead him to the bullpen.

14) Alfredo Duno, C, 18 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (DSL): .303/.451/.493/6 HR/6 SB/21 K%/19.5 BB%

Duno performed well in his debut DSL performance and his reported power was on display with a .191 ISO. He will skyrocket up lists if he hits like this in the CPX in 2023 and there is an argument to put him in the Top 10.

15) Reece Hinds, OF, 23 YO

2023 Stats (AA/AAA): .269/.330/.536/23 HR/20 SB/32.8 K%/7.4 BB%

The triple slash and counting stats from Hinds jump off the page and there is an argument that he should be ranked higher on this list. He strikes out too much, though, and it seems doubtful he will steal bases like this in the bigs.

The Next Five

Although these prospects do not crack the Top-15, dynasty managers should keep their eye on these five players.

Jay Allen II21 YO– Allen II has an intriguing power/speed combo, but it hasn’t shown up in games, and injuries cost him most of 2023.

Sammy Safura – 19 YO – The Reds took Stafura at 43rd overall in the 2023 draft and went over slot to sign him. He really struggled in his professional debut but it was only 12 games.

Victor Acosta – 19 YO – Acosta skyrocketed up prospect lists following a strong DSL performance in 2021 before stumbling in 2023. Right now he’s a low-power, high-walk, stolen base threat with room to grow. A decent buy-low in dynasty leagues.

Cole Schoenwetter – 19 YO – The Reds took Schoenwetter in the fourth round of the 2023 draft and signed him over slot. He’s a right-hander with a starter’s mix and his entire minor-league career in front of him.

Leonardo Balcazar – 19 YO – Balcazar was firmly on the ascent in 2023 with a strong start at Single-A before an ACL tear in mid-May cost him the rest of the season. How he bounces back will determine whether or not he jumps up this list.


Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on X)

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