Despite Cy Young-caliber performance by Sonny Gray, this Reds trade looks better & better

Mainland's Chase Petty is the 2021 South Jersey Baseball Player of the Year.
Mainland's Chase Petty is the 2021 South Jersey Baseball Player of the Year. / Adam Monacelli/Courier-Post via Imagn
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When the Cincinnati Reds traded their most consistent and reliable starting pitcher to the Minnesota Twins prior to last season, the fanbase knew that the prospect the club received in return would have big shoes to fill.

Chase Petty, a former first-round pick, was the young pitching prospect Cincinnati received in exchange for Sonny Gray.

And while Gray looks to be headed toward another All-Star appearance and his first Cy Young Award, Petty is quietly going about his business in the minor leagues.

Despite Cy Young-caliber performance by Sonny Gray, this Reds trade looks better & better.

This season, Chase Petty has made four starts covering 16 innings while pitching at High-A Dayton. Petty has allowed just 10 hits and one earned run and has now thrown 12 consecutive scoreless innings, while walking only two batters during that stretch.

While Andrew Abbott, Brandon Williamson, and others have made their way from the farm system to the big leagues, it's arguable that the Reds haven't seen a better pitching performance throughout their entire pipeline this season than what they've received from Petty.

According to MLB Pipeline, Petty ranks as the Reds eighth-best prospect, and after Abbott made his debut this past week, is the team's best pitching prospect currently in the minor leagues.

Petty was once known for his triple-digit fastball, much in the mold of Cincinnati Reds ace Hunter Greene. But Petty, at just 20 years old, has now seen his heater settle somewhere in the mid-to-upper 90s. Rather than just throwing the ball as hard as he can, Petty is learning the nuances of becoming a true pitcher.

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The right-hander pairs his fastball with an above-average slider, which acts as his main swing-and-miss offering. As fans have seen with pitchers like Greene and Graham Ashcraft, harnessing that third pitch will be crucial to Petty's development. He's currently looking to develop a changeup.

After posting moderate numbers last season in 25 appearances spread across Low-A Daytona and High-A Dayton, Chase Petty has been one of the Cincinnati Reds most dominant pitching prospects so far this season.

Though Sonny Gray is currently chasing a Cy Young, and his presence on the mound would be a welcome sight for a young Reds team that suddenly finds itself in playoff contention, the front office made the trade with an eye on the future. Petty's continued development will only help make this trade look better and better with each passing day.

Reds all-time best starting lineup based on WAR. dark. Next. Reds best lineup (WAR)