3 Reds prospects who improved their stock immeasurably in 2023

The Reds have some high-rising prospects who'll be looking to duplicate their 2023 performance heading into next season.

Dayton outfielder Blake Dunn slides back to first base
Dayton outfielder Blake Dunn slides back to first base / Cody Scanlan/Holland Sentinel / USA
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Reds fans saw how quickly some of the organization's top prospects ascended to the big leagues in 2023. Don't worry, Reds Country, there's more on the way.

Players like Elly De La Cruz and Andrew Abbott improved their stock immeasurably in 2022, and both players had an instant impact upon their major league debut last season. The Cincinnati Reds saw a few of their top prospects follow suit in 2023.

These three Reds prospects greatly improved their stock last season. While not all of them will reach the bigs next season, if they are able to duplicate their 2023 success, a call-up in 2024 isn't out of the question.

1. Reds prospect Chase Petty improved his stock immeasurably in 2023

While Rhett Lowder and Connor Phillips may be more advanced than Chase Petty in terms of their development, no pitcher within the Cincinnati Reds organization has a higher ceiling that the former Minnesota Twins farmhand.

Petty's name has emerged in trade conversatios this offseason, but there's probably a good reason why those talks have fizzled out rather quickly. Petty had a tremendous season in 2023, and the Reds organization see the young hurler as one of their best young prospects heading into 2024.

Petty already had an above-average fastball/ slider combo heading into last season. But the right-hander is beginning to develop a changeup that could be the difference between Petty being a back-of-the-rotation pitcher or a frontline starter.

At just 20 years old, the sky is the limit for the former first-round pick. Chase Petty, who was on a pitch count this past season, posted 1.95 ERA in 16 trips to the mound while pitching at High-A Dayton. Petty got his feet wet at Double-A as well, throwing eight shutout innings for the Chattanooga Lookouts.

2. Reds prospect Blake Dunn improved his stock immeasurably in 2023

With a strong showing in spring training, Blake Dunn could sneak his way onto the Cincinnati Reds 2024 Opening Day roster. The former 15th-round draft pick was finally healthy in 2023 after back-to-back injury-plagued campaigns.

The Reds stole Dunn during the 2021 MLB Draft. The skilled outfielder had all the tools teams were looking for coming out of Western Michigan but somehow fell to the Reds at pick No. 450 after suffering a hamate injury during his senior season with the Broncos.

While injuries have slowed Dunn's progression, the right-handed hitting outfielder was healthy this past season and showcased his skills across two different levels of the minor leagues.

Dunn combined to post a slash line of .312/.425/.522 while splitting time between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattatnooga. Dunn also blasted 23 round-trippers, racked up 79 ribbies, and swiped 54 bags. The 25-year-old was also able to find time at all three outfield spots.

Blake Dunn is on the verge of making it to The Show. It's very likely, with the outfield depth the Cincinnati Reds currently have, that Dunn will begin next season in Triple-A. But as Reds fans saw with Matt McLain last season, if Dunn explodes out of the gate while playing in the Derby City, it'll be just matter of time before he makes the jump to the major leagues.

3. Reds prospect Sal Stewart improved his stock immeasurably in 2023

While the Cincinnati Reds organization and fanbase were ecstatic to see Cam Collier fall all the way to No. 17 in the 2022 MLB Draft (as they should've been), at the moment, Sal Stewart looks to be the better prospect.

Stewart, who was taken with a Compensatory Pick following the departure of Nick Castellanos during the 2021-22 offseason, owned the batters' box in 2023. The 20-year-old, who's seen as a hit-over-power prospect at the moment, showed plenty of pop last season. Stewart smashed 12 homers and recorded 71 RBI.

Stewart's most impressive stat from the 2023 season was his 84 walks. That becomes all the more impressive when you see that Stewart had more walks than strikeouts (77). Stewart had a 16.2-percent walk-rate and 14.9-percent strikeout-rate.

If Stewart can maintain that heading into 2024, the Cincinnati Reds could have a star in the making. It's rare, especially in today's day and age, to see a player with that type of plate discipline. Steven Kwan of the Cleveland Guardians has a very similar approach at the dish, but possesses nowhere near the power of Sal Stewart.

Some scouts don't see Stewart at third base over the long haul. But it's going to be his bat, not his glove, that allows Stewart make it to the big leagues. It would be ambitious to assume that Stewart would make it to the majors in 2024, but he could certainly be knocking on the door by 2025.