Top Reds prospect popped for PEDs with lengthy suspension

The Reds will be without their top prospect for half of the 2024 campaign after he tested positive for a PED.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Noelvi Marte fields a groundball during spring training workouts, Monday,
Cincinnati Reds infielder Noelvi Marte fields a groundball during spring training workouts, Monday, / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Few teams have generated more buzz than the Cincinnati Reds, and it's not hard to see why. They were one of the more surprising teams in the league last season, finishing over .500 and remaining in the playoff race for much of the season thanks in large part to young players breaking out.

The Reds have an exciting young core led by Elly De La Cruz, Spencer Steer, Matt McLain, and Hunter Greene and after a strong offseason, entered the spring as a potential NL Central favorite.

After signing Jeimer Candelario this offseason, many wondered what the Reds were going to do with so many infielders. While it looked like they had a crazy log jam, that issue has worked itself out in the most unfortunate way possible with prized infield prospect Noelvi Marte being suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Boldenone, a PED.

Reds lose top prospect due to PED suspension

Marte was the main piece acquired by the Reds in the trade that sent Luis Castillo to the Mariners. With this news breaking, the Reds might be starting to regret that trade as Castillo has been an unbelievable get for the Mariners.

Marte made his MLB debut in August of last season and performed admirably, slashing .316/.366/.456 with three home runs and 15 RBI. He also stole six bases and saw time at three different infield positions.

The 22-year-old seemed to have a good shot at being Cincinnati's everyday third baseman with Candelario likely making the move across the diamond to first base, but now, Christian Encarnacion-Strand likely factors in at first base moving Candelario back to third.

The Reds have tremendous infield depth so losing Marte isn't as catastrophic for them as it would be for other teams, but it's still a big blow to lose their top prospect according to MLB Pipeline for half of what was looking like his first full MLB season.