This red-hot pitching prospect is the lone bright spot on Reds' Double-A roster

This Reds prospect continues to shine with the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee pitcher Zach Maxwell throws live batting practice during spring
Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee pitcher Zach Maxwell throws live batting practice during spring / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Last season, the Cincinnati Reds entered the season with one of the more loaded prospect classes in recent memory. Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and Noelvi Marte highlighted this star-studded list of top young talent.

But as the 2023 season went along, these top prospects all reached the big leagues. They would lose their prospect status, except Marte, leaving the Reds with a not-so-loaded prospect class for 2024.

As such, the Reds' Double-A affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts, have been left with a roster that doesn't really compare with the 2023 team. Despite this, there are a few names that have caught the eyes of dedicated Reds fans.

This fast-rising pitching prospect, Zach Maxwell, is the lone bright spot on Reds' Double-A roster

The Lookouts' most impressive player over the first month has been the Reds' 2022 sixth-round draft pick, Zach Maxwell. The 6-foot-6 pitcher has thrown 9.1 innings without allowing an earned run. He's also second on the team with 19 strikeouts.

Obviously, Reds fans will begin to wonder when Maxwell could be elevated from Double-A. The next logical step, if he can continue this domination for another few outings, would be a promotion to Triple-A Louisville. But the Reds may even look to jump him straight to Cincinnati if his hot start continues.

Would a jump straight to the big leagues be problematic? Some may think so, but there are a few reasons the move could make sense. Maxwell is a reliever, and those types of players typically move through the minor leagues faster than starting pitchers.

The 23-year-old could also fill a hole in the Reds bullpen. Following Tejay Antone's elbow injury and Ian Gibaut's continued presence on the IL, the Reds have used multiple pitchers thus far, but none of dominated quite like Maxwell has in Chattanooga.

Is Maxwell's promotion to Cincinnati likely? No, but Maxwell is excelling for the Lookouts through the first month of the 2024 season. Maxwell is definitely a name that Reds' fans need to get familiar with.

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