Previewing the Reds' Minor League affiliates in '24

April 4th, 2024

How much do the Reds rely on their farm system to help the Major League club? One only needs to look at how many key prospects found their way into the big leagues in 2023.

Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, Brandon Williamson and Andrew Abbott were just some of the Top 30 prospects Cincinnati promoted last season. All were needed as key contributors for a team that contended all the way into the final weekend before just missing the playoffs.

Soon, it could be time for the next wave of talent to break through. Here is a look at some of the key prospects on the radar.

Triple-A Louisville

Player to Watch: OF (Reds' No. 11 prospect)
After the center fielder put together a "20-50" season with 23 home runs and 54 stolen bases last season, Dunn was named by the organization as its Minor League player of the year. A 15th-round selection in the 2021 MLB Draft out of Western Michigan, Dunn was limited to only 48 games over his first two pro seasons. But he was healthy and played a full 2023 season, producing results.

Pitcher to Watch: RHP (Reds' No. 4, No. 66 overall)
Phillips was one of the 16 players on the Reds who made their Major League debut in 2023, and he also made five starts for the Reds. His best outing was a seven-inning, two-earned-run outing for the win over the Twins on Sept. 18. There were some uneven or poor games as well. Turning 23 on May 4, the right-hander was more confident in Spring Training and will be a phone call away should the Reds’ rotation need reinforcements.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: RHP Lyon Richardson (No. 14), OF Rece Hinds (No. 16), OF Jacob Hurtubise (No. 24)

Double-A Chattanooga
Opening Day: Friday, 8 p.m. ET at Birmingham

Player to Watch: 2B
A Top 10 prospect in the organization as recently as 2022, Callihan was a third-round Draft pick from 2019 who was left unprotected and unselected in last winter's Rule 5 Draft. That came after some bad luck. He had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in '21 and suffered a thumb injury during a Spring Training car accident in '22. But there was encouragement about his '23 season, including after the 23-year-old reached Double-A in August, and there is a chance he could play his way back onto the organization's Top 30.

Pitcher to Watch: RHP (Reds No. 5, No. 93 overall)
Acquired in March 2022 from the Twins in the Sonny Gray trade, the Reds were very impressed with Petty and how he competed during his first big league camp this spring. Because he was coming off an elbow strain late in '22, all of his 2023 starts had a hard pitch count and none went beyond four innings. Petty posted a 1.72 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 18 games and 68 innings for Dayton and Chattanooga.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: RHP Julian Aguiar (No. 17), RHP Zach Maxwell (No. 27)

High-A Dayton
Opening Day: Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET vs. Lansing

Player to Watch: 3B (No. 6)
Taken 32nd overall by the Reds in the 2022 Draft, Stewart has been praised for his advanced hitting approach and ability to make contact. Although known as a hitting-first prospect, he's been trying to show his ability in the field and his versatility by playing games at second base. The 20-year-old Stewart could be moved up to Double-A if his first month is strong.

Pitcher to Watch: RHP (Reds No. 2, No. 33 overall)
Cincinnati selected Lowder seventh overall in the 2023 Draft out of Wake Forest and he came to the organization with a reputation for having great command and a plus changeup. He did not pitch professionally last year but was in big league camp for his first Spring Training. He showed that his stuff played well against more advanced and big league hitters. If he does well early on, he could move up to Chattanooga relatively fast.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: 3B Cam Collier (No. 7), OF/2B Carlos Jorge (No. 8), OF Hector Rodriguez (No. 13), SS Leonardo Balcazar (No. 19), SS Victor Acosta (No. 20), OF Ethan O'Donnell (No. 23), Jay Allen II (No. 25)

Single-A Daytona
Opening Day: Friday, 6:10 p.m. ET at St. Lucie

Player to Watch: SS/3B (No. 26)
A 19-year-old lefty hitter, Sanchez did well in the Arizona Complex League last summer and got moved up to Daytona later in the season. He then kept his momentum rolling while playing winter ball in Australia. One question for Sanchez is where he might play in the field. While mostly a shortstop and third baseman, he could see some time in the outfield in 2024 as well.

Pitcher to Watch: LHP (No. 30)
A 15th-round Draft pick in 2022, the 6-foot-5 Serwinowski has matured physically enough to go from topping 90 mph when he turned pro to reaching velocity that can max out in the upper 90s. The left-hander also has a curveball but is still in need of a third pitch as he continues to develop.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: SS/3B Ricardo Cabrera (No. 9), C Alfredo Duno (No. 10), OF Esmith Pineda (No. 28)