What's new with Reds' Top 30 prospects

August 13th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Mark Sheldon’s Reds Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

PITTSBURGH -- The rebuilding of the Reds at the big league level has zoomed at hyperspeed this season. Prospect after prospect have come up and made big contributions, making the club surprise contenders.

What has the organization and experts bullish on the Reds' chances to keep their window of contending open beyond this season? There are even more elite prospects coming, with some on the verge of being ready for their promotions to Cincinnati.

MLB.com colleague Jonathan Mayo compiled the Reds' Top 30 Prospect list while Mayo, Jim Callis and Sam Dykstra collaborated on MLB Pipeline's Top 100. 

Even casual Reds fans likely knew the previous crop of prospects from Elly De La Cruz to Matt McLain to Andrew Abbott. Now they can get familiar with the next wave.

Here’s a look at the Reds top prospects:

1. Noelvi Marte, 3B/SS (No. 24 overall)
2. Rhett Lowder, RHP (No. 44)
3. Edwin Arroyo, SS (No. 61)
4. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 1B/3B (No. 72)
5. Connor Phillips, RHP (No. 73)

Biggest jump/fall

Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the preseason list:

Jump: Lyon Richardson, RHP (Preseason: 30 | Midseason: 15)
After he missed all of 2022 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Richardson moved quickly up the system in '23, going all the way from High-A Dayton to the big leagues. Despite a rough debut, in which his first two pitches in MLB were hit for homers, the organization remains high on Richardson.

Fall: Bryce Hubbart, LHP (Preseason: 20 | Midseason: NR)
Hubbart got a slow start to '23 after not heading to Single-A Daytona until May, then missing a month with an injury. When he's been on the mound, he's had trouble throwing strikesen route to a walks-per-nine-innings ratio of 9.0.

New to the list

Here are the players added to the Top 30 from outside the organization:

No. 2 Lowder, ('23 Draft)
No. 12 Sammy Stafura, SS (Draft)
No. 16 Cole Schoenwetter, RHP (Draft)
No. 21 Hunter Hollan, LHP (Draft)
No. 30 Esmith Pineda, OF (int'l free agent)

Impact callup

A recent addition to the Top 100, Phillips was terrific in his first six Triple-A starts (1.95 ERA, .206 BAA, 10.4 K/9), albeit with spotty command, after missing a ton of bats in Double-A. He didn't have a strong performance in his seventh, and most recent, outing.

The Reds didn’t make a trade to bring in a starter and they’re hoping Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene can return and make an impact. Still, Phillips’ stuff can get big league hitters out, too.

Best tools

Players are graded on a traditional 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.

Hit: 55 -- Cam Collier
Power: 60 -- Marte
Run: 65 -- Stafura
Arm: 70 -- Logan Tanner
Defense: 60 -- Arroyo (Mike Siani, Alfred Duno)
Fastball: 60 -- Phillips (Chase Petty, Ty Floyd)
Curveball: 60 -- Schoenwetter
Slider: 60 -- Chase Petty
Changeup: 60 -- Lowder
Control: 60 -- Lowder