The minor league baseball season is about seven or eight weeks in depending on which level you want to look at (Triple-A began before everyone else). And with that, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel has updated his Top 50 prospects in baseball. He also included five pitchers and five hitters who “just missed”. The Cincinnati Reds had three players make the Top 50 and one who made the just missed group.

Since the start of the year, 12 players who were in the top 50 have lost prospect status and are no longer eligible for the list. Another five players who were rated between 51-100 on McDaniel’s preseason list also lost their eligibility for the list. Keep that in mind when looking at the movement of players on the list – it’s not necessarily as big of a climb over others as it may seem since some players aren’t eligible now who were two months ago.

With all of that said, the Reds top prospect remains the same guy here. Noelvi Marte, who was at #35 in the spring, is now up to #23. He has moved up 12 spots despite being suspended for a failed PED test and having not have played a game yet this year. He will be eligible to return on June 27th. And he’s eligible to start playing in minor league games on a “rehab” assignment 20 days prior to he’s eligible to return to the big leagues.

The next Cincinnati prospect on the list was someone who made a big jump up the list – Sal Stewart. The infielder has spent the season with the High-A Dayton Dragons this year. Through the first 37 games of the year he’s hitting .283/.410/.425 with 10 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 27 walks, and 26 strikeouts in 156 plate appearances. Splitting time between second and third base, he’s only made one error so far this season. McDaniel moved him up from #71 on the list to #31 on the list. That’s a lot better than where Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen ranked Stewart a month ago, when he put Stewart 35th in the REDS organization…..

The last Reds prospect that made the top for on the ESPN list was Rhett Lowder. Cincinnati’s 1st round pick last summer began the year in Dayton, but he was promoted up to Double-A Chattanooga two weeks ago and is scheduled to make his third start with the Lookouts later tonight. Entering the season he was rated as the 65th best prospect in the game according to McDaniel.

Chase Petty began the year as the #70 prospect on the ESPN list. He was on the “Just Missed” section among the five pitchers. He’s been with Chattanooga so far. After a poor start in April he has been dominant so far in May. Last week I took a look at his most recent two starts and wrote about just how impressive he looked while facing Birmingham twice in the same week.

19 Responses

  1. Justin T

    Marte has not played and moved up 12 spots. They must use the Nick Krall evaluation system.

    • Luke J

      A lot of top prospects graduated, so they are no longer ranked ahead of him. And some have performed poorly. So sometimes, not playing means you move up the list.

  2. SultanofSwaff

    Nice to see Stewart getting recognition. Can’t wait to see him next week in Beloit.

  3. Klugo

    And the second pick of the draft.
    (Waving tiny Reds flag)

    • RedBB

      Charlie Condon or Bazzana could start right now over some of our hitters…

  4. LDS

    Prospects on the list is about all Reds fans can point to. To paraphrase the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, “look at all our highly ranked prospects. Pay no attention to the team on the field”.

    • Rednat

      I agree. We have had “top prospects” in the past but they seem not to ammount to much on the hitting side at least. Makes me wonder if we are not drafting the right guys? Are we not develooing them properly? Are there juat not a lot of good hitters out thrre?

  5. Roger Garrett

    Tyler sets today after not starting Sunday and being off Monday with Maile taking over behind the plate.Ford hits 4th today and well its OK cause we got a win Monday.

    • Mauired

      Yup. It’s amazing how Bell can get away with malpractice and keep the job. Instead of just having Stephenson in lineup to DH the day games, he has some scrub in. When Reds score two runs today and lose again, will Bell learn anything. Absolutely not. Just continues to make loser moves over and over.

  6. Mauired

    Good to see there’s still more talent on the way. I think next year’s rookie class might rival all the debuts of 2023.

    The one guy I’ve never been quite as high on as many is Sal Stewart. He definitely has very good contact and on base base skills which is pretty important to scoring runs and winning games. But the rest seems just ok. Reminds me of Jesse Winker. He’s mostly singles, doubles, and walks with little speed or homerun power. I haven’t heard about his defense being standout either.

    They have Jeimer for the next two years and Marte. And they also have Collier and Cabrera in A ball. That’s alot of 3rd basemen. Stewart has played a lot of 2nd. But with his lack of speed, I get the feeling he would be India pt 2 at the keystone. He would also be stuck behind McLain.

    • Optimist

      TBF, it’s irrelevant to label guys in A/A+ as being “stuck behind” anyone. Either years away from MLB and so many changes in the interim, or if they’re very, very good, they’ll simply force their way out of being “stuck behind”.

      Only 1 or 2 exceptions each season justifiably leap several levels or blast onto the scene straight from the draft – Skenes looks to be this season’s example.

      FWIW Winker has had a fine MLB career – even with some unusual ups and downs. If Stewart meets or exceeds that, the Reds have done very well.

      • Mauired

        I agree with Winker. He was good when healthy. I guess I just regard Collier, Marte, and even Cabrera as better prospects with more speed or power.

        I don’t think they are years away. Cabrera might be a couple years away, but Marte, Stewart, and Collier all could be battling Jeimer for 3rd base at bats at some point next season.

      • Mauired

        Arroyo might be in the mix next season as well over at 3rd for the Reds.

  7. Pat

    And this is supposed to get us excited???

    • Jason Franklin

      I am pretty sure it’s not Dougs job to get you excited. 🙂 He is just sharing the updated listing.

      • Doug Gray

        If my job were to get Reds fans excited these days I’d be homeless.

  8. Chris Rhaye

    I tracked Eric’s preseason Reds rankings vs. the consensus year-to-year a few weeks back, and it looks like there’s a legitimate bias going on, starting in the 2022 offseason; note that using The Board isn’t helpful, because he tends to move players around during the season, which hides some of the bias as guys get ready to debut. During his “Top x Prospects” offseason rankings, he was consistently rating Reds prospects multiple tiers below consensus starting in 2022 (for the 2023 season), and has continued to do so this year.

    I’m not sure why it’s happening, if it’s a conscious bias against the Reds scouting/development or something else entirely (perhaps just a dislike of the types of players the Reds tend to draft/develop — see Stewart and Collier); I honestly suspect it’s the latter, as his rankings tend to value star power over stable regulars (see: Allan Cerda, 2022). Regardless, it’s disappointing since Fangraphs used to be one of the best free resources for prospect scouting.

    As an aside, I still can’t believe that Eric labelled Sheng-en Lin as a pitcher in his scouting report while acknowledging the Reds are developing him as a hitter; it’s one thing to prefer a player as a pitcher, but ignoring the team’s intended development path in a writeup is extremely puzzling to me.