Cincinnati Reds Preparing to Welcome Back Top Prospect After PED Suspension

After being suspended for 80 games for a failed PED test, the Cincinnati Reds are preparing to welcome back top prospect Noelvi Marte.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Noelvi Marte hits a pitch during live batting practice at spring training workouts at Goodyear Ballpark on Feb. 20.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Noelvi Marte hits a pitch during live batting practice at spring training workouts at Goodyear Ballpark on Feb. 20. / Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports
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After being suspended for a failed PED test in spring training, Cincinnati Reds' top prospect and infielder Noelvi Marte is preparing to return.

The Reds have played 66 games this season, meaning that Marte has 14 major league games left to serve on his 80-game suspension. The team has sent him to Triple-A Louisville to begin a rehab assignment.

Marte's suspension came as a shock to the baseball world in the spring, as he is supposed to be one of the young cornerstones of the Reds roster. Instead, he will have missed the first half of the season, and he's also ineligible for the postseason should the Reds get there.

The hope now is that Marte can be productive upon return and that he can help the 32-34 Reds get back into the National League playoff race. It remains to be seen how he'll be utilized by manager David Bell upon return, and how he'll be regarded by his teammates.

Marte made his major league debut in 2023. He played in 35 games for the Reds, hitting .316 with three homers, 15 RBI and six stolen bases.

Because he hasn't played enough games to graduate out of the MLB Top 100 prospect list, he enters the year as the No. 28 overall prospect in baseball (No. 2 in the organization).

The following comes from a portion of his MLB.com prospect profile:

Just 22 for all of the 2024 season, Marte is still a bit mercurial as a player, but he made strides in being a more consistent offensive performer last season. The Reds challenged him to make better swing decisions when he got to Triple-A and he showed more aptitude in making adjustments, which led to his callup to the big leagues. In the Minors, he’s never struck out much and continued to draw walks, which will help him improve his ability to tap into his considerable raw power. It still shows up mostly to his pull side, but he’s shown he has the acumen to drive the ball to all fields.

Marte is largely an above-average runner who can steal a base here and there, but he did register some elite-level sprint speeds during his big league debut.

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Brady Farkas

BRADY FARKAS

Brady Farkas is a baseball writer for Fastball on Sports Illustrated/FanNation and the host of 'The Payoff Pitch' podcast which can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Videos on baseball also posted to YouTube. Brady has spent nearly a decade in sports talk radio and is a graduate of Oswego State University. You can follow him on Twitter @WDEVRadioBrady.