BLUF: Arsenal to start but several developmental steps are needed to avoid a shift back to the bullpen.
The Player: Chris Reed (LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers) – Reed was a first round pick in 2011 after three years at Stanford, working primarily as a reliever. He posted a 7.71 ERA in three starts at High-A after signing last summer. In 2012, he returned to High-A and notched a 3.09 ERA in 35 innings, allowing 25 hits and 14 walks with 39 strikeouts. During his time in High-A, he missed almost a month with a shoulder problem but returned in late May. He was promoted to Double-A and pitched another 35.1 innings with a 4.84 ERA with 20 walks and 29 whiffs.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (6-4, 195): Tall and thin with long levers and solid athleticism. Good pitcher’s frame but doesn’t project to fill it in much more. Durability is at least a mild concern.
Delivery/Mechanics: Very tall and upright with a high leg to the balance point. Can get a little wobbly at the top at times, causing him to lose feel for the strike zone. Long stride and very deliberate delivery to the plate. Front leg is too firm at times but he shows an ability to correct this on the fly. Arm works pretty well. Has some deception with long arms and legs, and uniqueness of delivery. Lands square and can field his position.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 96, Low – 88, Average 91-92, Grade – 50/60
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 95, Low 88, Average 91-92, Grade – 50/60
Fastball (FB) Movement: Two-seam FB shows excellent sink. Very heavy pitch with good downward movement. Difficult to lift and can induce plenty of ground balls. Four-seam FB has life but not as much as two-seam. Above-average to plus movement overall with more consistent belief in the higher end of that as consistency is achieved. Grade – 50/60
Overall Fastball: Mixes two and four-seam FB well. Can rely heavily on two-seam because of sink. Pitches a lot on the outer half and must learn to work inside more frequently as SP. Overall plus pitch in future as arm strength catches up with starter’s workload and ability to manipulate movement becomes more routine. Grade – 50/60
Slider (SL): Swing and miss ability. Shows tight spin and good two-plane break. Reliable second pitch that has plus potential. Has bouts of inconsistency and will get around the outside of the ball at times, causing it to get a little loopy. Needs to stay on top and maintain hard, tight spin and bite. Regularly a plus pitch and will settle there long term. Grade – 60/60
Change-up (CH): Rarely threw in 2012. Pitch has sink when thrown well. Will slow arm at times. When arm speed is up and the grip is trusted, pitch can be average and works well to keep RHH off FB. Needs to throw more consistently as SP. Below-average right now and needs repetitions to improve. Grade – 40/50
Control: Inconsistencies in delivery can hamper control at times. Control was worse after April/May shoulder injury. Loses the strike zone at times, particularly when he reaches back for more on the four-seam FB. When in sync, can pound the lower part of the zone with good angle. Potential for plus control but currently below-average. Grade – 40/60
Command: Same issues as control. Athletic enough to develop mechanical consistency and improve command. Well below-average for much of 2012. Doesn’t locate SL or CH at all. Must improve command of all three pitches for success as SP. Iffy projection for average command, more likely below-average long term. Grade – 30/40
Summation: Tall and lean with broad repertoire of a starter. Has high-leverage lefty possibilities in bullpen as well. FB has plus potential but velocity fluctuates as mechanical consistency comes and goes. Needs to prove durability exists for SP workload. Two-seam FB can be very difficult to square; quality pitch. SL is second plus pitch with bat missing qualities. CH lags behind and needs to be thrown more to develop into reliable third pitch. Control and command are below-average and worse at times. Significant improvements with quality of strikes must be realized to reach SP ceiling. 50-50 chance to stay SP and has #4 ceiling, with 7th/8th inning lefty potential out of bullpen.
Relative Risk: Moderate. Has a big league future, but maybe not an impactful one.
Future: Should return to Double-A to start 2013 and needs to show development with command, control and change-up. Currently on track for a 2014 big-league debut.