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Reed, Manatees turn rare triple play
No. 15 Brewers prospect makes leaping grab to start historic play
04/14/2014 10:51 PM ET
Michael Reed hit .286 with 23 doubles, 13 triples and 26 steals in 118 games last year. (Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)

Brewers prospect Michael Reed may not have the size and strength of a defensive end, but he certainly has the speed of a running back and the agility of a wide receiver.

And even though the right fielder didn't follow in his father Benton's footsteps to play professional football, the genes he inherited sure are coming in handy on the baseball diamond.

Reed made a highlight-reel catch at full sprint -- he called it a "running, leaping, over-the-head catch" -- before assisting on a triple play in the Class A Advanced Brevard County Manatees' 8-5 win over the Lakeland Flying Tigers on Monday.

"It was a pretty cool experience," Reed said. "I have never been part of a triple play before so it was pretty neat to be a part of it.

"My dad being an NFL player, he was very quick and he ran a very fast pro shuttle. I've always been quick off the start and I get to full speed quickly. When you make that first step on your read, you're trying to get up to full speed as fast as possible to take that good angle toward the ball. My genes probably had a lot to do with that play."

Lakeland first baseman James Robbins led off the fifth inning with a double to center field and catcher Austin Green followed with a walk.

Left fielder Jeff Holm then hit a deep fly ball to the right-center field gap. Reed, the No. 15 Brewers prospect, chased it down and almost overran the ball as it began tailing back toward the first-base line. He reached back to make the grab and then planted his right hand on the warning track to brace himself before coming to a sliding stop.

The 21-year-old then fired the ball to shortstop Orlando Arcia, ranked fourth on the Brewers, who stepped on second base to double off Robbins for the second out and then slapped the tag on Green -- who had already rounded second -- to complete the triple play.

"Right after I threw the ball in, I looked at my hand," said Reed, whose father was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1986 and started with the New England Patriots the following year. "I tore it up pretty badly on the track and it was bleeding. I didn't really know what happened after that, I just heard the crowd screaming so I knew something good happened.

"I knew I had a shot at a double play, but then [center fielder] Tyrone Taylor came running over and said, 'You just got a triple play, man.'"

It was the first triple play in the Florida State League this year and the first since Bradenton accomplished the feat in the ninth inning of a 5-3 win over Charlotte last Aug. 11.

It also gave Reed, selected by the Brewers in the fifth round of the 2011 Draft, his third outfield assist in 10 games. He made nine outfield assists -- including one double play -- in 107 Midwest League games in 2013.

"Defense is definitely one of the key parts of my game," the 190-pound right-hander said. "I'm always working on my defense and I have to keep that part of my game for the rest of my career. I hope it will help me get to the big leagues."

Manatees starter Tyler Wagner (3-0) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits and two walks while striking out three batters over 6 2/3 innings. Left fielder Victor Roache hit his second homer of the year and first baseman Garrett Cooper reached base three times, plated two runs and scored twice.

Lakeland's Edgar De La Rosa (0-3) surrendered four runs -- three earned -- over three frames. He yielded three hits and four walks.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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