Levi Stoudt's rough outing illustrates cautionary tale of rushing prospects

Cincinnati Reds assistant pitching coach Alon Leichman talks with starting pitcher Levi Stoudt
Cincinnati Reds assistant pitching coach Alon Leichman talks with starting pitcher Levi Stoudt / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Cincinnati Reds starter Levi Stoudt had a bad day at the office on Wednesday afternoon. Appearing in his first major league game, the right-hander took a lickin' in the first inning.

The Tampa Bay Rays showed no mercy, batted around, and recorded seven runs before the Reds even got up to bat. Stoudt righted the ship over the next three innings and allowed just one more run to cross the plate.

It may not be accurate to say that Stoudt was "rushed" to the big leagues. After all, the 25-year-old had seen time at three different levels of the minor leagues. But after just 30 innings of work at Triple-A, Stoudt proved to be no match for major league hitters.

Levi Stoudt's rough outing illustrates cautionary tale of rushing prospects.

Now, I get it. Not every prospect is built the same. There's definitely some truth to that. But patience is essential when it comes to developing quality major league players. Even Hunter Greene had 14 starts at Triple-A before making his first start last season.

There are Reds fans who already want to see Andrew Abbott skip over Triple-A and receive an invite to The Show. Again, I get it. Abbott is arguably the hottest prospect in the Cincinnati farm system at the moment. The left-hander has a 1.15 ERA in three starts and a ridiculous 64.3-percent strikeout-rate according to FanGraphs.

Now, if you want to suggest that Abbott needn't spend another inning in Double-A, that's fair. But it would be incredibly unwise on the part of the Reds development staff to rush Abbott to the big leagues. Provided he finds success in Triple-A later this season, perhaps a September call-up is in order.

And it's not just pitchers. There's rumbling from the Reds fanbase about getting Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand to the big leagues as soon as possible. McLain, I can get behind, but De La Cruz and Encarnacion-Strand need more seasoning in the minors. That's especially true of Encarnacion-Strand as he'll be learning a new position.

It's tough to watch your favorite team struggle, especially when they've exceeded expectations to this point and the idea of adding talented, young players sounds like it could really help. But patience is of the utmost importance.

The Cincinnati Reds don't have the greatest track record when it comes to developing young talent. So rather than jumping the gun, perhaps it's best for the Cincinnati faithful to take a deep breath and realize that all of these top prospects will be called up in due time.

Next. Why are some Reds fans upset about Greene's extension?. dark