You only get one chance to make a first impression, and Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect Christian Roa is doing his best at Double-A Chattanooga. The former second-round pick was named to MLB's Prospect Team of the Week after six innings of one-hit baseball last week.
Roa, who was with High-A Dayton for the majority of the season, made his Double-A debut at the end of August. In two starts for the Lookouts, Roa is 1-0 with 14 punch outs and three walks over 11 innings of work.
Most of Roa's professional career has been marred by various injuries, but the right-hander has shown that, when healthy, he possesses the type of repertoire that could work very well at the backend of the rotation.
Reds prospect Christian Roa has made quite the first impression at Double-A.
Between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga, Christian Roa has made 19 starts this season. The 23-year-old served multiple roles during his time in college, including reliever, swingman, and starter.
The Cincinnati Reds have been grooming Roa to be a starter, but the Texas A&M alum could fill a role similar to what we've seen from Luis Cessa this season and Jeff Hoffman in the past. Both Cessa and Hoffman have worked out of the bullpen and as part of the rotation in the past.
Roa isn't an overly-hard thrower with a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s. But it's Roa's changeup and curveball that will make or break his ascension to the big leagues.
If he's deemed healthy by the Reds medical staff after the season, Roa should certainly be part of the Arizona Fall League. Perhaps more than any other pitcher in the Cincinnati farm system, Roa would greatly benefit from more reps against some top-notch competition.
Christian Roa has a long way to go before making it to the major leagues. In fact, Reds fans shouldn't expect to see him until next September at the earliest. It's far more likely that the Cincinnati Reds continue to develop Roa over next season in the minors with an eye toward 2024 as the prospect's entry into The Show.