3 Reds prospects who are poised for 2024 breakouts

Which young Reds players are set to take a big step forward during the upcoming season?
Cincinnati Reds prospect Sal Stewart
Cincinnati Reds prospect Sal Stewart / Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/GettyImages
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3. Julian Aguiar

Everyone throughout Reds Country is excited to see Chase Petty and Connor Phillips; as they should be. There are even members of the Cincinnati fanbase who believe that last year's first-round draft pick, Rhett Lowder, will make his major league debut in 2024. And, they may be correct. But don't sleep on Julian Aguiar taking a big step forward during the upcoming season.

When it comes to top prospects, Aguiar took the road less travelled. The 22-year-old was a 12th-round draft choice in the 2021 MLB Draft after playing for Cypress Junior College. In 2022, the right-hander appeared in 25 minor league games and showed that he had the ability to get swings and misses.

Aguiar proved that his success that season wasn't a fluke after putting up terrific numbers in 2023 while splitting time between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga. Aguiar made 25 starts last season and posted a combined ERA of 2.95 while punching out nearly 27-percent of the batters he faced.

Aguiar also did a nice job of keeping the ball in the ballpark. In 125 innings pitched, Aguiar only served up eight gopher balls. Once he made the jump from High-A to Double-A, opposing batters were able to touch him up a bit more, but Aguiar was still able to get plenty of Ks and even saw his walk-rate go down.

The Cincinnati Reds have a plethora of good, young arms in their farm system. And while Petty, Phillips, and Lowder all received an invite to major league camp this spring, Aguiar will be part of that group too. A strong showing during spring training could catapult the right-hander into great things heading into the 2024