MiLB Player of the Week Spotlight: Reds' Rhett Lowder

May 1st, 2024

Since being selected with the No. 7 overall pick in last year's Draft by Cincinnati, Rhett Lowder has found that one of the biggest adjustments going from the college game to being a pro is -- time. The 22-year-old says he has a lot more free time on his hands these days than he did just a year ago, but filling it hasn't been too much of challenge. He's sleeping more.

It appears the extra rest is doing wonders for Lowder, who was named Minor League Player of the Week in the Midwest League after posting his second outing of the season without allowing an earned run for High-A Dayton. MLB's No. 31 overall prospect went a career-long six frames while scattering three hits and a walk and set a new career high with nine punchouts. The lone run that the right-hander yielded was unearned and came off a fielding error by the right fielder.

"I got to get my feet wet a little bit last year. I came up to Dayton. I didn’t play after I got drafted, I was on the development list. But I got to see how the game worked and what the schedule was like," Lowder told Kevin Millar, Siera Santos and Ryan Dempster on MLB Network's Intentional Talk. "I have a lot more time on my hands now. But, I mean, it’s the same game. That's the mentality I’m trying to keep. It’s the same game, I’m doing the same stuff I’ve always done, you just got more time to do it.

"I sleep a lot. But, I get to the park pretty early to do my stuff and knock some stuff out. But, I should probably cut back on the sleep."

Cutting back won't be necessary if the Wake Forest product continues to produce like he has early on this season. The Reds' No. 2 prospect sports a 1.86 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and .183 batting average against with 20 strikeouts against six walks through his first four starts (19 1/3 innings). He's yielded one earned run and one walk or fewer in three of those outings.

"I’m starting to realize that these guys that I’m playing against get paid to do this so the talent is obviously going to be there," Lowder told the panel on Intentional Talk. "But like I said, I’m just trying to keep it the same game and the same mentality each day."

Lowder spent three years in Wake Forest’s weekend rotation, improving considerably each year. He won ACC Pitcher of the Year honors his sophomore and junior seasons and led Division I arms with 15 wins finishing fourth in ERA (1.87) and strikeouts (143) -- posting a 0.95 WHIP over 120 1/3 frames -- last year, while leading the Demon Deacons to the Men's College World Series for the first time since 1955. After being selected seventh overall by the Reds in the 2023 Draft, the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder signed for $5.7 million.

"It was a dream come true," Lowder said. "Draft day is crazy, it’s a lot of emotions, leading up to it I was pretty cool, calm and collected. I was pretty confident that I was going to fall to a good spot. But then, you know, when Draft day comes it’s a crazy day, it’s nuts. But hearing your name is a dream come true."

The Reds hope their first-rounder continues to dream. The extra rest is serving him well.