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MLB Draft 2011 Prospect Profile: Chris Reed, LHP, Stanford


I am nothing if not diligent. Even though I dislike this pick at No. 11 more than any suggestion so far, I feel it only fair to you fans out there to profile Chris Reed, the Stanford Cardinal closer who was quickly rumored to be in negotiations to reach a pre-draft deal with. The Astros just as quickly denied the rumor, but it's still out there.

What is Reed? He's been used as a reliever in college, but there are some experts who think he could transition into a starting rotation in the pros. He's got good makeup and is a very smart player, which helps his makeup. His fastball velocity is reportedly up to 92-94, but when I saw him pitch, he was around 90-91. And that's out of the bullpen, too. Expect him to lose a bit pitching every fifth day in the majors.

His two secondary pitches, a hard slider and a good cutting change, are solid pitches. It makes you wonder why Reed wasn't in Stanford's rotation, but that's neither here nor there. He's got potential to make the transition to the starting rotation, which is why he'll get drafted pretty high. My only problem is he seems like a second round pick, not the 11th best prospect in the draft.


In this, I think Reed's floor is pretty high. He could easily be a Drew Storen/Huston Street type reliever who moves up quickly to anchor the back end of a rotation. Unlike some relief prospects, he's got three legitimate pitches, which means he's got a high probability to be successful back there.


On the other hand, the downside is his ceiling just isn't very high. With that velocity, even if he successfully transitions to be a starter, he profiles as a middle rotation guy, not a staff ace. And that's assuming his arm holds up to the extended workload of a starting pitcher.

Will the Astros pick him?  If so, where?

As I went over when I was discussing the rumor, it sounds like something the Astros would do. Reed just doesn't seem like a good value here, especially since there are players with higher ceilings on the board. I don't like it, I don't like it one bit, but I also will not be shocked if the Astros pick him.

Where is he projected to go right now?

Keith Law did not have him listed.

Deep Leagues did not have him listed.

Jonathan Mayo had him at No. 27 to the Reds.

Perfect Game USA did not have him listed.

Baseball America did not have him listed.

John Sickels did not have him listed.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

Below the jump

Keith Law:

Reed adds a sharp, short slider in the 82-84 mph range to that fastball and will show a very hard-fading changeup in the upper 70s, throwing strikes with all three pitches but not yet showing the fastball command he'll need to start in the big leagues. He comes from a slot just under three-quarters and repeats his delivery well enough to start, although he could stay upright longer and get more downhill plane on the fastball.

Baseball America:

Reed is listed at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, but scouts say he has grown and gained strength from last year to this year. His fastball varies from 89-91 mph some nights to 92-94 on others, and he has touched 96. He'll show a power slider and above-average changeup, but all of his stuff needs more consistency.