The Oregon Ducks are well-known across the college football landscape as being one of the flashiest schools in the nation. With Phil Knight hailing from the halls of Oregon, Nike has long-backed the celebrated school. While football may reign supreme, it’s easy to forget that baseball isn’t far behind.
In the 5th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft, and 140th overall, the Minnesota Twins selected Jake Reed, a Junior right-handed pitcher from Duck Nation.
Reed, hailing from La Mesa, California, will be working his way towards making his much-anticipated debut. While this past weekend marks just the beginning of the journey, it’s time for Twins fans to get to know the new hurler.
Puckett’s Pond: As a California kid, did you grow up thinking that the Oregon Ducks would ever be your landing spot with so many Pac 12 schools in the area?
Jake Reed: No, I never even heard of them as a baseball program until I started the recruiting process. I knew it was a new program, and they came after me pretty hard. I fell in love with Oregon immediately.
PP: Having taken over as a closer in 2014, what is your favorite thing about your move from the rotation to the back of the bullpen?
JR: There is nothing better in sports than getting the last out in a baseball game. Hands down.
PP: Being taken in the 5th round of the 2014 MLB Draft means you didn’t have to wait too long to hear your name called, what was your draft experience like?
JR: It was awesome, my family was up here with me, and I was so grateful that the Twins gave me the opportunity. I’m glad all the hard work I put in my whole life paid off.
PP: The Minnesota Twins have a few current California-based players on the roster currently, one being Trevor Plouffe, who is your favorite all time Minnesota Twins player?
JR: Joe Mauer has always been one of my favorite players, and to possibly get to pitch to him is a dream come true.
PP: Going from the 40th round in 2011, to the 5th round in 2014, you experienced a huge jump. What are you most excited about playing professional baseball with the Twins?
JR: I’m just excited to get my career going, continue to work hard, and play the game that I love at the next level.
PP: Finally, which past or present big league player do you model your game after and why?
JR: I grew up watching Jake Peavy pitch for the Padres, I loved the way he competed and got after it on the mound.
Jake will soon be off to take the next step towards the continuation of his already strong career. As he starts out with the Twins farm system, he projects as one of the quick-to-the-big-leagues type of prospects, and could be hearing his name ring through downtown Minneapolis at Target Field in the near future.
Best of luck to Jake Reed and welcome to the Minnesota Twins, and Twins Territory.