The Cincinnati Reds have sent a number of young pitching prospects to the the hill in 2023. Andrew Abbott, Brandon Williamson, Carson Spiers, and Connor Phillips have all shown flashes during thier introductory season in the major leagues.
But one pitching prospect who's yet to get his feet wet in the bigs is former second-round draft pick Christian Roa. The 24-year-old hurler is currently down on the farm at Triple-A Louisville.
Roa has his detractors, with chief among them being the inordinate amount of free passes, but the right-hander is strike thrower. Roa is likely to be added to the Reds 40-man roster this offseason, and could be looking for a role on next year's team.
September surge has Reds prospect Christian Roa looking to secure an offseason roster spot.
Christian Roa has had a rather mundane minor league career to this point. Drafted in 2020, Roa never received any time in the minor leagues until 2021 due to the cancellation of the 2020 season.
Roa started 33 games through his first two seasons and owned an ERA of 3.55 with a 26.4-percent strikeout-rate according to FanGraphs. This season, however, that strikeout-rate has jumped to 31-percent despite the fact that Roa is now facing top-notch competition.
Unfortunately, with that uptick in strikeouts has come and uptick in ERA and walk-rate as well. Roa's earned run average through stops at both Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville this season has ballooned to 5.16, and the right-handed owns a 16.6-percent walk-rate as well.
But the month of September has been very kind to Roa. Over his past four starts, Roa has seen his ERA come out to just 3.66 and his 3.77 FIP is nearly identical. Roa is punching out 16.02 batters per nine innings pitched and owns a strikeout-rate near 40-percent.
Christian Roa's recent performance will almost guarantee that he'll be added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster in order to protect the Texas A&M alum from the Rule 5 Draft this winter. Look for Roa to make some noise during spring training, and there's a chance the right-hander could crack the Opening Day roster as a reliever.