Rhett Lowder to represent Cincinnati Reds in Futures Game

The pitcher is regarded as the consensus top Reds prospect

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Rhett Lowder follows through on a pitch during spring training baseball workouts in Goodyear, Ariz., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

ALBEMARLE — Former Stanly County baseball standout Rhett Lowder is one of two Cincinnati Reds first-round draft picks selected to participate in this weekend’s 2024 MLB All-Star Futures Game.

Set at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX, the matchup starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday and will air on the MLB Network.

The Futures Game is an annual seven-inning event where every MLB team is represented by at least one up-and-coming minor league prospect; Lowder is one of nine pitchers listed on the National League’s roster.

Joining third-baseman Cam Collier in the exhibition game, the former North Stanly and Wake Forest right-handed pitcher — drafted seventh overall with the Reds’ first-round pick last year — had a 2-0 record and 2.49 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched for the High-A Dayton Dragons before getting called up to Double-A Chattanooga, where he’s made nine starts for the Lookouts.

Although the 22-year-old has slid to a 1-4 record and 6.69 ERA with Chattanooga in 39 innings pitched, he is still regarded as the consensus top Reds prospect and is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 20 overall prospect for the league.

Last week, the Albemarle native posted his first win with the Lookouts, allowing just two runs on six hits in five innings. Overall, Lowder has made 14 starts with a 5.04 ERA in 64.1 innings, giving up 71 hits but striking out 71 of the 281 batters he has faced during the year.

As just the No. 491 recruit in his high school class, he quickly worked his way up to become a three-year starter at Wake and one of the top pitchers in college baseball.

Notching the ACC Pitcher of the Year award in both 2022 and 2023, Lowder led the NCAA in wins (15) during his junior season in 19 appearances while ranking fourth in ERA (1.87). He also pitched seven shutout innings against LSU in the 2023 College World Series, eventually adding a First-Team All-American honor to his padded resume.

The Demon Deacons came away from that season with program records in regular season wins, ACC wins, ACC series wins, postseason wins and overall wins.

In a team-friendly deal last July, Lowder and the Reds agreed to terms with a $5.7 million signing bonus that comes in below the $6.28 million slot value of the seventh selection.

Cincinnati landed sixth in Baseball America’s recent list of most talented minor league teams in the country, while Lowder personally debuted at No. 34 in MLB Pipeline’s top 100. Scouts have lauded in particular his command over his slider and changeup pitches.

Depending on his continued performances and the Reds’ pitching depth, he could potentially make his MLB debut this season or next season.