The Reds crop of minor league starters is much more impressive than their major league rotation

Virginia Cavaliers pitcher Andrew Abbott (16) throws.
Virginia Cavaliers pitcher Andrew Abbott (16) throws. / Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

While the big league club is struggling, the Cincinnati Reds High-A affiliate up the road in Dayton has one of the most exciting teams in the minor leagues.

The Dayton Dragons have the best record (16-5) in the minors and the Reds front office is hopeful that what they're seeing is a harbinger of things to come.

The Dragons might have the best starting rotation in the minors, and while the level of competition is certainly lower, Dayton's rotation is much more exciting to watch than Cincinnati's, and that's even with Hunter Greene in the Queen City.

The Dayton Dragons starting rotation is for real.

Three of the Cincinnati Reds most impressive pitching prospect are currently on the Dayton Dragons roster. Andrew Abbott, Connor Phillips, and Joe Boyle are dealing. James Marinan and Bryce Bonnin are also on the Dragons roster.

Abbott was drafted by the Reds last year and left-hander has been absolutely dominant. It won't be long before the southpaw is promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. Abbott has 35 punch outs in 21 innings of work this season.

Reds fans were skeptical when they were told that the player to be named later in the offseason trade with the Seattle Mariners was not your typical "throw in" prospect. The PTBNL was Phillips, and the right-hander has a sparkling 3.60 ERA through four starts with 31 strikeouts over 20 innings.

Boyle brings the heat. The Cincinnati faithful have been enamored for years with the potential of fellow flamethrower Hunter Greene. Get ready to be blown away by Boyle's fastball. The right-hander has 22 strikeouts in 13 innings. Boyle hasn't allowed an earned run yet, but he has allowed 10 batters to reach via the walk. That's an area he'll have to work on.

Bonnin had been sidelined to begin the season, but the former Texas Tech Red Raider got his first start recently and pitched four scoreless innings while getting four batters to go down swinging.

Marinan hasn't has the same level of success. He does have 17 strikeouts in as many innings, but unfortunately the right-hander has been done it by the long ball. Marinan has allowed six round trippers in four starts and currently owns an ERA of 8.47.

These young pitchers will soon be climbing the ladder of the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Andrew Abbott looks to be the most polished of the pitchers currently on the Dragons roster, and it should not shock anyone if the lefty makes it all the way to Triple-A Louisville by the end of the season.

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