3 surprising prospects who will shine at Reds spring training

Which Reds prospects will wow the coaching staff and fans this spring?
Cincinnati Reds Blake Dunn runs to the dugout
Cincinnati Reds Blake Dunn runs to the dugout / Cody Scanlan/Holland Sentinel / USA
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The Cincinnati Reds saw a number of prospects shine during last year's spring training. Though they didn't make the Opening Day roster, players like Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Matt McLain laid the groundwork last March that led to their eventual call-up as the 2023 season went along.

While it seems unlikely that many, if any, prospects will actually make this year's Opening Day roster, several young players could position themselves very well for a midseason call-up with a strong showing in Goodyear, Arizona.

The Reds have brought along several highly-touted prospects to Major League spring training this year, and there's always a handful who make a strong impression on the backfields and in minor league games. Which three surprising prospects who will shine at Reds spring training?

Zach Maxwell, Right-handed pitcher

Zach Maxwell will be part of Reds Major League spring training next month, and with good reason. While many fans throughout Reds Country have yet to really hear much about the towering right-handed hurler, the opposing hitters who faced Maxwell at both Low-A Daytona and High-A Dayton are unlikely to have very nice things to say.

Maxwell was dominant for both the Daytona Tortugas and Dayton Dragons last season. In 34 combined appearances, Maxwell struck out nearly 36-percent of the batters he faced and posted a respectable FIP of 3.24. The opposition barely hit over .200 off Maxwell last season.

Maxwell was one of several Reds players who were invited to participate in the Arizona Fall League a few months back. The Georgia Tech product logged 12.1 innings in nine games and posted a 2.19 ERA while striking out 22 batters. Maxwell uses a fastball/ breaking ball combo and does struggle with command, but the raw tools are there.

It seems highly unlikely that Zach Maxwell will actually be part of the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster when the team departs from Goodyear. But a strong showing during spring training could springboard the 6-foot-6, 275-pound right-hander to a spot in the Reds bullpen by the end of the 2024 season.