Minnesota Twins Top 20 Prospects: #15 Jake Reed
By Paul Overbee
Jake Reed‘s raw talent is worthy of excitement. His approach to the game is icing on the cake for the Minnesota Twins.
#20: Travis Blankenhorn #19: Wander Javier #18: Stuart Turner
#17: Jermaine Palacios #16: Mason Melotakis
Building upon his success as an Oregon Duck, right-handed relief pitching prospect Jake Reed has the tools to be a successful relief pitcher. His natural talents on the mound alone could lead to a successful major league career. Yet, when faced with a challenge, Reed has been receptive to criticism and adapts as appropriate, making him an ideal candidate for growth going forward.
Name: Jake Reed
Position: RP Age: 23
Height: 6’2’’ Weight: 190
Throws: R Bats: R
In 2011, the Chicago White Sox were the first Major League team to show interest in Jake Reed by selecting him 1,221st overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. Only a high-school player at the time, Reed opted to continue his development in college instead of signing with Chicago.
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In college, Reed built on his high-school success. In his final season at Oregon, the righty went 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA, 13 saves and 34 strikeouts over 37 innings. The Twins found themselves in a win-win scenario by drafting him in 2014: they acquired a talented bullpen arm, plus they get to hold this acquisition over a division rival.
The transition into Minnesota’s organization initially went much better than anticipated. In his first stint between Rookie League Elizabethton and Class A Cedar Rapids, Reed grabbed three wins with a 0.29 ERA, 39 strikeouts and eight saves over 31 innings. Over that same time, the righty exhibited strong command, only issuing three walks.
The Minnesota Twins found themselves in a win-win scenario by drafting Reed in 2014: they acquired a talented bullpen arm, plus they get to hold this acquisition over a division rival
Following a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga, Reed faced the biggest challenge of his career. While facing a higher caliber of batter, the righty was no longer seeing the same successes that had defined his career. After 33 outings, his ERA had expanded to 5.64. After receiving a demotion to Class A,
Reed worked with pitching coach Ivan Arteaga
. The coach identified a potential cause, a shorter stride during Reed’s delivery. After working with Arteaga to return to his natural stride, he was able to post a 1.65 ERA over his next 27 ⅓ innings.
Next: Top Prospect #17: Jermaine Palacios
Reed’s numbers suggest that he will be a contributor to the bullpen in the future. His slider, change-up, and 94-97 mph fastball make him a compelling option going forward. Of course, a player should be defined by more than his raw talents. Though Reed’s challenges in baseball are likely far from over, the righty’s adaptability should put the minds of fans at ease.