Expectations are heightened for the Cincinnati Reds heading into the 2024 season. After overcoming the odds in 2023 and winning 82 games with a roster comprised of mostly first and second-year players, the Reds are not sneaking up on anyone next season.
Little-to-nothing was expected from Cincinnati a year ago. They'd just traded their two top starters (Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle) the summer before, Joey Votto was on the injured list, and their biggest free agent signing was Wil Myers.
Fast-forward to the upcoming season, and Reds Country has their sights set on Cincinnati winning the National League Central. That's a bold prediction in and of itself, but one that's certainly attainable given the current state of the division. Let's look at a few more bold predictions for the Reds as they're set to embark on spring training ahead of the 2024 season.
Reds infielder Noelvi Marte wins the NL Rookie of the Year Award
Let's start out with a bold, but not extremely bold prediction. Noelvi Marte ended his 2023 season with a 16-game hitting streak and his rookie status intact. While the Reds infield depth raises questions about whether or not Marte will begin the 2024 season in the big leagues, the 22-year-old will let his bat do the talking.
Jeimer Candelario's presence may push Marte off the hot corner to begin the 2024 season, but the skilled infielder will receive plenty of playing time next season. And unlike the group of rookies from last season, Marte does not face competition from his own teammates.
Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, and Elly De La Cruz all received votes from the BBWAA, and quite frankly probably hurt each other's candidacy for the award. Ultimately, no one was going to catch Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll, but perhaps either McLain or Steer would've received more votes if they'd been the sole rookie contributor for their team.
Surely, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto will be in the mix, as will Miliwaukee Brewers' budding star Jackson Churio. Paul Skenes (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Pete Crow-Armstrong (Chicago Cubs) will get some consideration as well. But in the end, look for Marte to be hoisting the trophy next fall.