Rhett Lowder's quick promotion could see him leapfrog this Reds prospect

That didn't take long.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Rhett Lowder
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Rhett Lowder / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Anybody's who's been paying attention to the Cincinnati Reds minor league system for the early-part of the 2024 season was not surprised to hear the news that dropped on Wednesday. Rhett Lowder, the Reds first-round draft pick from 2023, is heading to Double-A Chattanooga.

Lowder was utterly dominant in his first taste of professional baseball during his stint with the Dayton Dragons. Lowder, who's been praised for his maturity and command, started five games for the Reds' High-A affiliate. Lowder logged 25.1 innings and struck out 29 batters while walking just six. The right-hander posted a 2.49 ERA and received a well deserved call-up to Double-A Chattanooga.

The question now becomes whether or not Lowder will leapfrog some of his fellow Reds prospects. Julian Aguiar and Chase Petty both began the 2024 season at Double-A, but if Lowder continues his dominance, he won't only pass those two Reds prospects, but he'll leave Connor Phillips in the dust as well.

Reds prospect Rhett Lowder could leapfrog Connor Phillips

Last season, both Phillips and Andrew Abbott were in the same spot that Lowder finds himself right now. Both Phillips and Abbott dominated the competition at the minor league level, and eventually both pitchers made it to The Show.

Abbott's advanced age and repertoire allowed the University of Virginia product to debut first. Abbott pitched well enough to maintain a spot in the Reds rotation along with fellow rookie Brandon Williamson. Phillips received a late-season call-up after injuries hit the Reds roster hard during the months of August and September.

While Phillips tried to work his way into the starting rotation during spring training, the right-hander was ticketed to begin his 2024 season at Triple-A Louisville. Since his arrival, Phillips has continued to struggle with the one thing that has given him fits for his entire professional career — walks.

In 25 innings of work this season, Phillips has 19 strikeouts and 18 walks. The 23-year-old owns a 8.64 ERA and 2.000 WHIP. Until both those numbers come down, Phillips will remain in Triple-A. He's been outplayed so far this season by Lyon Richardson and Carson Spiers, plus Williamson is returning from injury later this week.

Lowder, who's currently the team's No. 2 prospect, will likely get at least one, and maybe two month's worth of starts at Double-A before the Reds even consider moving him up another level. But make no mistake, last year's first-round pick is coming, and unless Phillips gains control and command of the strike zone, he's very likely going to be passed on the depth chart.

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