Editors Note: As we start to organize our notes for our Team Top 10 lists (starting Oct. 2nd), we thought we would release some of the more impressive players that our scouts have seen live over the spring and summer. We start the series off with St. Louis Cardinals right-hand pitcher, Alex Reyes.
A member of the Mount Rushmore of the best minor league pitchers in the game (Lucas Giolito, Tyler Glasnow, Julio Urias, and Alex Reyes), Alex Reyes is quickly moving up prospect lists as his performance is starting to support his scouting report.
To start the season, Reyes dominated the Florida State League by striking out almost 14 per nine while not giving up a home run in 63.2 innings. The dominating performance continued upon his promotion to the Texas League where he continued his impressive strikeout rate while posting a 3.70 ERA. His control is getting better but it’s still inconsistent, resulting in an inflated 4.3 walks per nine across his 20 starts in 2015.
The Cardinals know that they have something special in Reyes and will continue to move slowly with him. He’ll just turned 21 at the end of the week and while there is a chance he sees St. Louis in 2016 it could come in the bullpen (ala Carlos Martinez). All he needs is time to harness his plus arsenal. When it comes, it’s going to be special.
Scouting Report: When you see Reyes on the mound, three things jump out at you:
- The smooth mechanics that are born out of extreme athleticism that with time, should allow him to repeat them consistently. When he does, and it’s happened several times, he can put up monster numbers. For instance: on June 17, Reyes faced 25 batters and struck out 13 while walking one; on August 14, Reyes faced 19 batters, striking out 10 and walking one.
- A power arsenal that consists of a fastball that sits 94 to 98 MPH, but usually hits triple digits at some point during each game and a curve ball that might be outlawed in five states. The curve ball is a classic 12 to 6 downer but thrown at 78 to 81 MPH. With the increased velocity, it has a slightly sharper break than a traditional curve ball. The change-up is his third pitch and also thrown hard at 88 to 91 MPH. I think over time, it could be just as effective as his curve ball.
- Mound presence. It’s hard to describe it in words, but when you see Reyes pitch, he has it. He commands the diamond, looks the part and provides a level of moxy that elite athletes bring.
Reyes has the arsenal and athleticism to be an ace. He just needs time to develop more consistent control and fastball command. Once it’s there, watch out.
Fantasy Impact: Reyes was a buy-low candidate last year but no more. He’s a top 10 prospect and rising. You still have to believe that his command and control will improve, but his extreme athleticism and smooth delivery points to high probability that it will happen. I’m anxious to see who’s face on Mount Rushmore will shine the brightest on our Top 100 list next year. I could very easily be…