Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): Absolutely dominating raw stuff and a true closer’s mentality that could be an elite high leverage arm.
The Player: Addison Reed (RHP, Chicago White Sox) – The White Sox third round pick in 2010 Reed has made a meteoric rise to the big leagues. After pitching in rookie ball in 2010, Reed started in Low-A in 2011 before rocketing through High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A en route to a big league cameo late in the season. In Chicago he allowed ten hits and one walk in 7.1 innings while striking out twelve.
Body: Big kid with a durable body that is built for durability in any role. Strong core and legs helps generate impressive velocity.
Makeup: Works hard at his conditioning and strength training, has a defensive back mentality out of the bullpen with a short memory and doesn’t let the ups and downs of the game get to him.
Delivery/Mechanics: Has some classic drop and drive in his delivery as he uses his legs well to help generate velocity and take some pressure off his arm. Plus-plus arm speed, comes from a low-3/4 arm slot with a bit of a slinging action that adds some deception to his raw stuff.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 97, Low – 92, Average – 95-96, Grade – 70/70
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 97, Low 91, Average 94-96, Grade – 70/70
Fastball (FB) Movement: His delivery lacks effort which helps his fastball explode on hitters. He can sink it some but he relies heavily on his straighter four-seam fastball. Grade – 50/50
Overall Fastball: Grade – 60/70
Slider (SL): Throws a hard biting slider that can be a true swing-and-miss pitch when he stays on top of it. Began throwing it in the strike zone and using it as a chase pitch in 2011. Still needs some consistency to finish off the development. Grade – 50/60
Change-up (CH): Doesn’t use as much in relief but had average potential in the past. Mostly a show-me pitch against left-handed hitters. Lacks feel for the pitch and it likely will not develop further at this point. Grade – 40/40
Control: Pounds the strike zone with his fastball and can throw his slider for strikes at will. Not afraid to get after hitters on the inner half or up in the zone and seems to relish working ahead in counts. Grade – 60/70
Command: Took a major step forward in 2011. Began locating his four-seam fastball to both sides of the plate more consistently but still must learn to work low early in counts and command his slider against left-handers. Grade – 40/50
Summation: The move to the bullpen returned Reed to a role he was successful in at San Diego State. Both his fastball and slider play up in a relief role and he could ultimately have two at least plus pitches to work with. His mentality and makeup fit extremely well in relief. Profiles as a true closer on a championship level club.
Relative Risk: Low. Though relievers generally carry some element of risk as variable commodities, Reed has already reached the big leagues and his power fastball-slider should make him successful immediately.
Future: Reed is ready to step into high leverage roles for the White Sox and he should open the season in the big league bullpen. With Chris Sale and possibly Matt Thornton still in the bullpen he may not get the opportunity to close right away but he should be viewed as the closer of the future on the South Side. A refinement in his command and the consistency of his slider could quickly elevate him to one of the elite relievers in baseball.