The Cincinnati Reds had an abundance of rookies take the field in 2023. With over 20 first-year players seeing the field this season, the fact that Cincinnati finished with a record above .500 should give Reds fans a lot of hope heading into 2024.
But who was the best rookie performer for the Reds this season? Don't forget that players like Spencer Steer and Fernando Cruz, though they debuted in 2022, were still considered rookies this past season.
Obviously ranking every single rookie that took the field would be absurd. No offense to Jake Wong and Randy Wynne, but those two did not make the cut. Who were the Cincinnati Reds Top 10 rookie performers in 2023?
10. Connor Phillips, Reds rookie pitcher
Poor Connor Phillips. He'll remember that outing against the St. Louis Cardinals during the final weekend of the season in which he walked three batters on 12 consecutive pitches. But don't let that define the rookie hurler's first taste of the big leagues.
Phillips was added to the Reds roster as an injury replacement while half of the staring rotation was on the COVID-19-relatetd injured list in September. The right-hander had been dealing all season in the minors and got his shot to shine in the majors with five starts during the final month of the season.
Obviously, Reds fans saw why there had been some hesitancy with calling Phillips up so early; his command and control still need some work. But fans also got a glimpse of why the Cincinnati coaching staff is so high on the 22-year-old as well.
Connor Phillips has the type of repertoire that will play at the major league level. I would love to see Phillips begin next season back in Triple-A. The Cincinnati Reds have enough horses to get through the first couple of months of the 2024 season while Phillips gets to make some adjustments against minor league hitters before returning to The Show.