2. Reds pitcher Connor Phillips has already won a roster spot for next year.
There hasn't been a better late-season addition to the Cincinnati Reds roster than Connor Phillips. The right-hander was the player to be named later in the 2022 trade that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Seattle Mariners. But Phillips is anything but a PTBNL.
Reds coaches and players were raving about Phillips' raw talent during spring training, and after a successful minor league campaign, the 22-year-old made his big league debut on September 5th.
In four starts, the hard-throwing right-hander has 26 punch outs in 20-plus inning of work. The walks have been a bit concerning, but Phillips will have plenty of time to concentrate on that aspect of his game during the offseason and spring training.
In his lat two starts, Phillips has shown a quiet confidence on the mound. The former Mariners farmhand has 16 strikeouts in his last two outings and a 3.75 ERA. Phillips' stuff is electric.
The caveat for Phillips is whether or not he'll be able to crack the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation on Opening Day. The Reds will undoubtedly trot out the third-year trio of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft. There's also fellow rookies Brandon Williamson and Andrew Abbott.
Obviously that projection hinges on whether or not Lodolo and Ashcraft are fully healthy and doesn't take into account any free agent acquisitions. But based purely on his September performance, Connor Phillips deserves a seat at the table.