Underrated Reds prospects at each minor league level who are off to incredible starts

These four players are performing well to begin the 2024 season.
Oregon State Beavers starting pitcher Kevin Abel (23) pitches
Oregon State Beavers starting pitcher Kevin Abel (23) pitches / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Reds fans always have one eye on the major league product and one eye down on the farm. As a small market team, the Cincinnati Reds are always cultivating top talent down in the minor leagues.

This year has been no exception. While big names like Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain are absent, young studs like Cam Collier, Rhett Lowder, and Sal Stewart have been making some noise during the early-going this season.

But oftentimes is the underrated Reds prospects who slowly, but surely, find their way to The Show and make an impact on the major league club. Players like TJ Friedl, Alexis Diaz, and Fernando Cruz were relative unknowns four years ago, but are now three of the best players on the Reds' roster. Who are some of the Reds' top under-the-radar prospects this season?

Underrated Reds prospects at each minor league level who are off to incredible starts

Reds Low-A affiliate (Daytona Tortugas): Adam Serwinowski, LHP

Adam Serwinowski is not a household name at the moment, but the southpaw is dealing down at Low-A Daytona this season. The Reds' left-handed prospect is considered one of the team's top-30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, but few fans know much about the team's 15th-round draft selection from two years ago.

Serwinowski was a bit of project coming out of high school in South Carolina, but the 19-year-old has already developed into one of the best young pitchers in the Reds farm system. Through his first four starts with the Tortugas this season, Serwinowski owns a pristine 0.86 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 21 innings.

More impressive, however, might be the lefty's command and control. Serwinowski has just six free passes on the season. Walks will haunt, and it appears that the left-hander is already cognizant of that fact. If Serwinowski can maintain good command of his arsenal, he could be an intriguing follow as he continues his minor league journey this season and beyond.

Reds High-A affiliate (Dayton Dragons): Kevin Abel, RHP

Kevin Abel was a star at Oregon State, but it's been a slow ascension through the minor leagues for the 25-year-old Reds prospect. Abel, however, is off to a hot start with the Dayton Dragons this season, and that could ultimately lead to a step up in competition sometime later this season.

Most of the accolades at Dayton have been thrown the way of the Reds' top prospect Rhett Lowder; and rightfully so. Lowder has been lights out to begin his professional career with 29 punch outs in 25.1 innings of work and a 2.49 ERA.

But Abel has been flying under the radar with similar numbers. The Reds' seventh-round selection in the 2021 MLB Draft has a 2.70 ERA through four starts this season with 23 strikeouts in 20 inning pitched. Both Abel and Lowder have identical 0.95 WHIP. Lowder may receive more of the spotlight, but don't let that take away from what Abel has done this season.

Reds Double-A affiliate (Chattanooga Lookouts): Ivan Johnson, 2B

Most Reds fans have probably forgotten all about Ivan Johnson. At one time, the infield prospect was rated among the best in Cincinnati's farm system. But a lot has changed since Johnson was taken in Round 4 of the 2019 MLB Draft.

Johnson has been stuck in neutral since 2021. A hand injury followed by a shoulder ailment have derailed Johnson's development, and the 25-year-old hasn't left Chattanooga since 2022. That could change this season, however, as Johnson owns a .250/.384/.433 slash line since the 2024 season began.

Johnson plays a premium position, and while the Reds' infield is rather crowded at the moment, the Cincinnati faithful have seen how quickly injuries can change the perception of depth in an organization.

Reds Triple-A affiliate (Louisville Bats): Levi Jordan, SS

When you look at the Louisville Bats roster, there honestly aren't too many prospects in the truest sense of the word. A lot of players fall into that Quadruple-A category or have made their major league debut only to fall back into the minors after failing to find their footing.

Levi Jordan, however, could still be termed a prospect given that he's yet to find his way to The Show. Though at 28 years old, he's hardly a spring chicken by baseball standards. But Jordan, who was selected in the minor-league Rule 5 Draft, is off to hot-start with Triple-A Louisville and is hitting .383/.456/.483 with three extra base hits.

Jordan's stats are eerily similar to former Reds' fan-favorite Alejo Lopez. You're not going to see a lot of power from the former Chicago Cubs' farmhand, but if Jordan keeps hitting the way he has this season, the Reds could be forced to give him a shot as a bench bat in the big leagues.

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