GLENDALE -- Chris Reed was part of a heralded rotation in Double-A Chattanooga last year, and like Zach Lee and Ross Stripling is fighting to make their major league debut at some point in 2014. But whether Reed makes it, or if he stays a starter, could depend on a development of a slider.
"The slider has hard downward break when it’s on and can be an average pitch, but it tends to flatten out on him," wrote Ben Badler in the 2014 Baseball America Prospect Hanbook, where Reed was ranked the No. 8 Dodgers prospect. "Reed’s control still needs to improve, especially since he’s going to have to rely more on hitting his spots and working down in the zone rather than blowing hitters away."
Reed had a career-low strikeout rate in 2013, fanning just 106 in 137⅔ innings, and in his final nine appearances had 29 strikeouts and 29 walks to go with a 5.03 ERA.
Refining the slider could be the key to Reed making that next leap, possibly to the majors, in 2014. He has been working with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt on the pitch this spring.
"I'm trying to get that going again," Reed said. "I kind of lost it."
If he finds it again, 2014 could be a big year for the 2011 first-round pick.
Reed pitched for Team England in the qualifying round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Reed is a non-roster invitee in camp and not yet on the 40-man roster.
|2011 (Hi Class-A)
|2012 (A+ / AA)
|2014 projections - Age 24 season|
I don't think Reed sees time in the majors in 2014. What's your guess?