5 Reds prospects to watch at Double-A Chattanooga in 2023

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Noelvi Marte
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Noelvi Marte / The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY
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3. Reds prospects to watch at Double-A Chattanooga in 2023: Connor Phillips

Outside of Christian Encarnacion-Strand, there might not have been a prospect who received more buzz this spring than Connor Phillips. The player to be named later in last spring's trade with the Seattle Mariners looks like a top-end starter.

There's every reason to believe that Brandon Williamson, Levi Stoudt, and Andrew Abbott can all be effective starts in the major leagues. But Phillips may be actually outperform all of them this season.

While his ascension up the ladder seems unlikely to end in Cincinnati this season, Phillips could put himself in prime position to be a starter on next year's roster if he's able to excel with the Chattanooga Lookouts to start the 2023 season.

Phillips is just 21 years old, but this young man knows how to attack the strike zone. According to FanGraphs, Phillips owned a 31.7-percent strikeout-rate in 2022 and opponents only hit .218 off the right-hander in stops at both High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga.

The next step for Connor Phillips is command his fastball. A 14.0-percent walk-rate is unsustainable at the big league level, but last year's was Phillips' second full season playing professional baseball. Some scouts believe that Phillips will eventually wind up in the bullpen, but the Cincinnati Reds are focused on keeping him as a starter.