Cincinnati Reds Prospects: 2024 Midseason Top 30 Update


It’s been a pretty rough year for the Reds. At the big league level, injuries to Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Matt McClain and Brandon Williamson have left a mark, while a slew of other regulars and semi-regulars have been on and off the IL.

The bad news has stretched to the minors, as well. Two of the Reds’ top four picks in 2023 (Ty Floyd and Hunter Hollan) have been out all season with injuries. Shortstop Edwin Arroyo has also yet to debut because of a shoulder injury. Some of the pitchers expected to provide depth in Triple-A (Connor Phillips and Lyon Richardson) have had significant control issues.

But the Reds do continue to have a solid farm system thanks to a mix of hitters who aren’t far from the majors and high-ceiling bats that are still a few years away. Rhett Lowder and Chase Petty give the club a nice pair of starting pitching prospects atop the rankings, too.

Baseball America subscribers can see the full updated Reds Top 30 here. Notable risers, fallers, new additions and injury updates are below.

Notable Risers 

Ricardo Cabrera, SS/3B

Cabrera’s ultimate defensive home is a mystery, but he’s got a chance to hit enough that it won’t matter. He has the ability to hit for average and shows solid present power, although his raw power will likely continue to tick up as he matures. Defensively, his arm is inconsistent at shortstop and third base and his range is limited. He’s playing more third than shortstop for now, but if his consistency doesn’t improve, he’s more likely to end up in the outfield, at second or first base eventually.

Sheng-En Lin, 3B/SS/RHP

Lin has made an adept transition to playing pro ball in the U.S. He’s been one of the more productive hitters in the Arizona Complex League, demonstrating the power-speed potential that made him one of the Reds’ top signees in its 2023 international class. After playing shortstop and center field last year, he’s focused on third base and shortstop this season. He’s probably not a shortstop long-term, but third base, second base or an outfield spot are all options. Lin has begun a throwing program to return to the mound. The plan is that once the ACL season is over, Lin will get on the mound and pitch in the post-draft complex informal games, as his two-way potential is still a focus for the Reds. He’s touched 98-99 mph as an amateur.

Adam Serwinoski, LHP

Serwinoski’s fastball is often too good for the Florida State League. His combination of solid velocity (93-96 mph), above-average life and a funky delivery has allowed him to succeed with a pretty limited arsenal, as when he locates his fastball, he can flip a lineup twice by challenging hitters. His slider needs further development, but he is starting to throw it more. Most scouts see him as a leverage-inning reliever, but considering his age (20) and limited experience, starting gives him a chance to better develop in the lower minors.

Notable Fallers

Connor Phillips, RHP

Phillips was part of the Reds’ MLB rotation late last season. Now he’s been sent to the Arizona Complex League to try to reboot his 2024 season after a catastrophic first half. Phillips walked almost a batter an inning in Triple-A, and his demotion came after hitters hit .411 against him in June. Phillips’ stuff hasn’t really backed up, but his control has. Few pitchers have had more bad misses, as Phillips regularly misses the zone by a foot. His chances of remaining a starter are diminishing, but his fastball/slider combo is still big league quality, but only if he has at least fringy control.

Leonardo Balcazar, SS

Balcazar, 20, is coming off a significant knee injury that ended his 2023 season prematurely. In his return, he’s not as explosive athletically, at least yet. His lower half seems to have thickened up a little bit as well. Balcazar has just five extra-base hits and no home runs in his first 48 games. The hope is he’ll regain his 2023 form as he gets further away from knee surgery, but it’s been a struggle at High-A Dayton so far.

Lyon Richardson, RHP

Richardson’s velocity took a big leap in 2023, which helped him rocket to Triple-A as he came back from Tommy John surgery. The 24-year-old lost a couple of ticks of that velo jump this year, now sitting 94-96 mph after regularly sitting at 96-98 last year. His stuff is still big league caliber, but much like Phillips, his bottom-of-the-scale control has to improve for it to be effective.

Notable New additions

20. Jay Allen II, OF

BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

Track Record: Allen is a new addition, but also a returnee to the Top 30. The 30th pick in the 2021 draft, Allen ranked No. 7 on the Reds’ Top 30 going into 2022 and No. 15 in 2023. He dropped off the Top 30 last offseason after hitting .154 at High-A Dayton in a season ruined by a thumb injury. He started the 2024 season on the IL with a sore knee, but since returning to the lineup he’s been of the Dragons’ most consistent hitters.

Scouting Report: Allen is making more contact while hitting the ball harder than he did before. Part of that is he’s finally healthy, but he’s also making better swing decisions and doing a better job of punishing pitchers who try to come in on his hands. He’s begun playing corner outfield spots after playing center field exclusively in his first three pro seasons. He’s at least an average defender in center and plus in the corners. The former high school quarterback also has a plus arm.

The Future: Allen once again looks like a well-rounded potential fourth outfielder or even a potential regular who can help a team with his speed, defense and a solid offensive approach.

Scouting Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Speed: 60 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 60

27. Luis Mey, RHP

BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

Track Record: Mey has long had a claim to being the hardest-thrower in the Reds’ organization, which is impressive for a team that has Hunter Greene in the system. But until this year, Mey was also notable for the amount of hard contact he gave up. He’s made a big step forward in 2024, and now is mowing down hitters in the Midwest League. Hitters slashed .233/.403/.417 against Mey last year. This year, they’ve hit .134/.304/.159.

Scouting Report: Mey continues to sit at 99-100 mph and can touch 101 in most outings. His two-seamer isn’t particularly lively, so if hitters can look for the fastball, they can often catch up to it. Mey’s improved ability to locate his 85-87 mph above-average slider has left hitters much less comfortable and made him way less predictable. He’ll run his slider in on a righthanded hitters’ hands sporadically, which can lead to hitters bailing out of the box on a pitch that swoops into the zone for a called strike. More often, however, he uses it down and away as a chase pitch. Mey has been much better against lefthanded hitters this year, but his sinker/slider approach can get a little predictable to a quality lefty.

The Future: Mey’s exceptional arm speed gives him a path to a useful big league relief role, even if he’s a 2018 international signee who’s yet to pitch in Double-A. This year has been a big step in his development, but he has to continue to refine his arsenal and improve his well below-average control to keep moving up.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Control: 30

Significant injuries

Edwin Arroyo, SS

Arroyo is slated to miss the entire season as he recovers from shoulder surgery after he tore his left labrum in spring training. He’s on the 60-day injured list.

Alfredo Duno, C

Duno is on the seven-day injured list with a broken rib. He is recovering at the Reds’ Arizona Complex League and hopefully will return to action by the end of August.

Ty Floyd, RHP

Floyd, the 38th pick in the 2023 draft, was shut down in spring training and eventually had shoulder surgery that will cost him the entire 2024 season. He’s on the full-season injured list and will not return to action until 2025.

Hunter Hollan, LHP

Hollan had a leg/foot injury that he battled while pitching at Arkansas, and he had knee surgery right before the 2023 draft. He’s made it back from that, but a shoulder injury has meant he’s spent the entire 2024 season on the 60-day injured list.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone