At this time last year, infielder Noelvi Marte was wrapping up his minor league campaign with High-A Dayton. A year later, the Cincinnati Reds top prospect is enjoying the spoils of his hard work after making his major league debut this season.
The Dayton Dragons just wrapped up their third consecutive winning season on Sunday, and the crop of young Reds prospects will head into the offseason with players like Marte, Carson Spiers, and Lyon Richardson as examples of players who made the leap from High-A to the majors in just one season.
The Reds farm system is loaded with talent, and many of their top young players are part of the Dragons roster. Which three Cincinnati Reds prospects could make the jump from High-A to The Show in 2024?
1. Reds prospect Zach Maxwell could leap from High-A to the major leagues in 2024.
Zach Maxwell is a name that most Cincinnati Reds fans haven't heard, but you will. The 6-foot-6 hurler out of Georgia Tech is a hard-throwing right-hander that could very well rocket up through the Reds farm system next season.
Maxwell has a heater that sits in the upper-90s and can touch 101 mph. Much like former Reds prospect Joe Boyle, Maxwell has an imposing persence on the mound and a fastball that he can blow by the opposition.
But, just like the aforementioned Boyle, Maxwell has some command issues. While his 36.6-percent strikeout at High-A Dayton is very impressive, Maxwell's 13.4-percent walk-rate is just as concerning. According to FanGraphs, Maxwell was striking out 14.38 batters per nine innings pitched, but he was also walking 5.28.
But Zach Maxwell was just drafted a year ago. The right-hander was selected in Round 6 of the 2022 MLB Draft and recorded multiple punch outs in all but one of the 13 appearances he made at High-A this season. If Maxwell continues to work on his control and command, the 22-year-old could make it to the big leagues in 2024.