If you've been a baseball fan long enough, you know that prospects are just that until they actually reach the major leagues. As good as these players may look in the minors, it's a whole new animal when they step onto the field in The Show.
If you've been a fan of the Cincinnati Reds long enough you've obviously seen the production fail to match the hype, This happened with Brandon Larson, and more recently with Robert Stephenson and Jose Barrero.
Of course, there are times when the scouts get it right. Jay Bruce is a prime example of that, as are Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson.
Looking at the current crop of Reds prospects, there's a lot to like. But which current prospect has the makings of a star? Is there a future bust in the mix as well? How about just a serviceable major league player?
Reds prospect Sal Stewart will be a star in the major leagues
Quite frankly, there are any number of young prospects in the Cincinnati Reds farm system that you could point to and say, "That guy's going to be a star!" And hey, that's a good problem to have.
Edwin Arroyo, Connor Phillips, Cam Collier, and even Alfredo Duno all have the potential to be a star at the major league level. Side note: Since he debuted in 2023, Noelvi Marte was not included, though he's definitely in the conversation as well.
But there's something intriguing about Sal Stewart that makes him a sneaky prospect who could rise to stardom in the coming years. After spending just eight games at the Arizona Complex League in 2022, Stewart split time in Low-A and High-A this past season.
There's one huge stat that sticks out, and that was the 84 walks that Stewart was able to draw in 2023. In fact, he had more free passes than he did strikeouts. Stewart posted a 16-percent walk-rate and 14.9-percent strikeout according to FanGraphs.
Sal Stewart may be pigeon-holed positionally, and with Cam Collier likely to be step-by-step with him through the minors, the 19-year-old will probably see more time at first base than third. However, while Stewart may have below-average speed, he still swiped 15 bags last season.