Reds Prospect Watch: Rhett Lowder's Double-A debut, Jay Allen stays hot, Alfredo Duno

While the major league club is struggling, the Reds' minor league teams are put up big numbers.
Daytona Tortugas catcher Alfredo Duno (16) throws to second base during practice
Daytona Tortugas catcher Alfredo Duno (16) throws to second base during practice / David TuckerNews-Journal / USA TODAY
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It's been a struggle for the Cincinnati Reds of late. The big league ball club is in the midst of a tailspin having lost 10 of their last 11 games and have fallen near the bottom of the National League Central. Were it not for the awful start of the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati would be looking up at all four division rivals in the NL Central standings.

It's difficult to be optimistic at the moment, but if you're looking for a silver lining amidst the chaos, Reds fans will be happy to know that some of the organization's best young prospects are off to red-hot starts in the minor leagues this season.

Reds Prospect Watch: Rhett Lowder's debut for Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts

Last year's first-round draft pick, Rhett Lowder, is moving on up. It was reported last week that Cincinnati's top pitching prospect was taking the next step in his pursuit of making it to the big leagues as the Reds moved Lowder from High-A Dayton to Double-A Chattanooga.

This is rather similar path to what Andrew Abbott took, and it's quite possible that Reds fans could see Lowder on a major league mound later this season. The right-hander took the ball for the Chattanooga Lookouts on Saturday against the Tennessee Smokies.

Lowder worked five innings, allowed three runs on six hits while striking out five batters and walking just one. The North Carolina native was 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in five starts with the Dayton Dragons earlier this season. Fans in southeast Tennessee may want to get out to AT&T Field while they can, as Lowder's trajectory may have him on the way to Triple-A Louisville sooner rather than later.

Reds Prospect Watch: Jay Allen II stays hot for High-A Dayton Dragons

After an injury-plagued 2023 season, Jay Allen II is making everyone forget about his past struggles with a dynamite start to the 2024 season. Allen played just 31 games split between the Arizona Complex League and High-A Dayton last season, and posted a meager .164/.320/.250 slash line.

Fully healthy, Allen is off to a red-hot start in 2024. In 21 games for the Dragons, Allen is hitting .342/.457/.632 and has nine extra-base hits, including six home runs. Last week, Allen was 5-for-18 with a .992 OPS. A three-sport athlete in high school, Allen is beginning to gain a lot of traction and could be headed for a promotion in the near future.

Reds Prospect Watch: Alfredo Duno is

He's just 18 years old, but Alfredo Duno is already proving to be a problem for the pitchers in the Florida State League. The Reds' top catching prospect, who skipped over the Arizona Complex League, is riding an eight-game on-base streak in which he's hitting .333/.417/.500.

There is a great deal of optimism surrounding Duno. While Tyler Stephenson has shown flashes of being a balanced big league catcher, the Cincinnati faithful are hopeful that Duno can surpass Stephenson on the depth chart and eventually become that hit-first catcher that the Reds have been lacking since Devin Mesoraco's All-Star season in 2014.

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