Profile: RHP - 6'4" - 220lbs -BT:L - TH:R - 2011 Age: 22
• FB 91-93: Run is small but it breaks late, command within strikezone. (55-65)
• SL 80-82: Corner-to-corner break, misses low, good horizontal plane, plus tight rotation and late break. (60-70)
• CH 83-85: Kind of straight and the arm action is inconsistent. (35-40)
Reed had to perform in the shadows the anointed one, Stephen Strasburg, during his tenure at San Diego State. But while the national media was focusing it's attentions solely on Strasburg's blazing 100mph fastball, Addison was quietly gaining notoriety from the rest of the scouts for his solid fastball, impressive slider and polished command. During his junior year he converted on all twenty of his save opportunities as San Diego's closer, frequently ensuring that Starsburg's game ended as unblemished as they began.
On the mound the 6'4" Reed is a drop and drive pitcher who has impressive command of what is a pretty high effort delivery. He works from a low 3/4 slot and slingshots the ball across his body. That's not good for the long-term health of his shoulder, but it really helps his slider, which is an impressive pitch regardless, play up even more because it becomes very difficult for hitters to pick up. Addison also gets his arm into the much dreaded inverted W position on scap load, further increasing injury risk.
His fastball is a good one, and he throws it both hard with a little late break. I have him at 91-93 but that could certainly play more like 93-95 out of the bullpen. It's still flatter than ideal and he doesn't get any sink on the pitch which will make him a bit fly-ball prone in all likelihood, but it's still a good pitch. More than anything, he commands it extremely well and can work with it anywhere in the strikezone. It's not a perfect fastball, but it's good.
His slider is his primary off speed pitch and it's a good one. The pitch has corner-to-corner break and it breaks late. Combined with the tight rotation he gets and the arm slot from which he throws it, it's a very difficult pitch for hitters to differentiate. I'm pretty confident it'll play plus, and could be plus-plus. His changeup right now is a less polished offering because he didn't need it much in college and therefor didn't get the reps necessary to perfect it. He wont necessarily need it out of the bullpen at the MLB level either but improving the consistency of his arm action would help to make it an offering he could at least show left handed hitters to keep them honest.
The fact that Reed made an impressive Rookie Ball debut is nice. It's also pretty meaningless. A polished big-time college pitcher should be dominating kids who are generally in the 16-19 year old range. Still, it's better to see than if he had gotten shelled.
I don't frequently just fall in love with a guy, but Reed has me hooked. Yes, he's a big injury risk IMO, but the fact that he'll be working primarily as a bullpen option should help to reduce the risk of injury. I see him as a high probability back-of-the-bullpen pitcher.
Corey Ettinger is a Senior Writer for Baseball Digest as well as a proud contributor to both 612Sports.net, 312Sports.com, and 313sports.com. He also provides extensive analysis of the American League Central Division at his own blog, AL Central In Focus. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Coreyettinger for the latest updates, random thoughts and general tomfoolery.