Reds power rankings: Who is the No. 1 starting pitcher heading into the offseason?

How do the Reds starters rank heading into the 2023-24 offseason?
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Nick Lodolo
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Nick Lodolo / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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1. Graham Ashcraft, Reds starting pitcher

This is far from what would be considered a consensus choice, but Graham Ashcraft had a productive enough season, especially after returning from the IL, to find himself at No. 1 on this list heading into the offseason.

Some Reds fans will argue that Andrew Abbott is the best pitcher within the organization, while others will point to Hunter Greene's elite talent to rank him atop the pitchers on Cincinnati's staff. But don't be so quick to dismiss Ashcraft.

When he's on, Ashcraft is the most effective pitcher in the Reds starting rotation. That doesn't mean he's the most talented, nor does it mean that he has the best repertoire. But every time Ashcraft takes the mound he's looking to get the batter out as quickly as possible.

The biggest hole in Ashcraft's game is his inability to get a strikeout when it's needed. Ashcraft is much more of a contact pitcher, but he was third on the team in Ks this season. Ashcraft did, however, lead the team in free passes.

Ashcraft has a low strikeout-rate (17.8-percent), but the right-hander keeps the ball on the ground. Ashcraft was in the top 77-percentile, according to Baseball Savant, in ground ball-rate.

Graham Ashcraft underwent toe surgery in September which cut short his sophomore season. In his previous seven starts, Ashcraft went 2-2 with a 2.89 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 4.9-percent walk-rate. That's the version of Ashcraft that Reds fans hope to see to open the 2024 season.

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