Redman thriving in transition to pitching

Reid Redman (above) fires a pitch in a game earlier this season. (Photo by Tom DiPace)

By Zac Vierra / Jupiter Hammerheads | July 17, 2014 11:05 AM ET

Following the 2012 season, Reid Redman was released by the Tampa Bay Rays after just one year as an infielder for the Princeton Rays in the Appalachian League. Redman was heading back to home to Texas when he got a call from the Miami Marlins asking him to come to a tryout.

When Redman arrived at the tryout he was under the impression that he would be trying to earn a job as an infielder but Miami had something different in mind: they wanted him to pitch.

The only problem was that Redman was not a pitcher. He never took the mound while playing at Texas Tech. In fact, his only pitching experience was three or four innings back in high school.

"I told them I thought they had the wrong guy," said Redman.

Turns out the Marlins knew what they were doing. After having him throw out of the bullpen the Marlins signed Redman to a contract.

Now in just his second year as a fulltime pitcher at any level, the 25-year-old from Midland, Texas is a Florida State League All-Star and has been a consistent arm out of the Hammerheads' bullpen this season.

As of July 17th, Redman leads Jupiter relievers in ERA (2.87), strikeouts (43), saves (4) and WHIP (1.09). In what has been a tough season for Jupiter, Redman's progression into a pitcher has been a bright spot.

"I think I have definitely made some progress throughout the season. I know this has just been a season of learning what I need to do to have success. I think I had success early and I look forward to continuing the success and continuing to work on things," he said.

Redman is one of 14 current Hammerheads who were on the team's opening day roster and with the exception of a brief call up to Double-A Jacksonville for appearance, he has been with the team all season.

On May 20th, they day closer Joseph O'Gara was called up to Jacksonville, Redman was called out of the bullpen to try and preserve a 4-3 lead in the 9th inning. He retired all three batters he faced to earn his first save of the year and ever since Redman has been the primary closer for Jupiter.

"It has been fun," Redman said about being the closer. "I have tried to just keep the same mentality and just go out and attack the zone and throw strikes. I have tried not to put a whole lot of extra pressure on myself but obviously they say getting the last three outs can be the hardest to get but at this point I really don't have enough experience to really know any different so I just try go out with the same mentality every day."

Redman did not allow a run in seven appearances in May which is why he found himself replacing O'Gara again; this time on the Florida State League south division all-star team.

Pretty impressive for a guy who threw his first professional pitch just a year prior in June of 2013.

Redman certainly has made the transition from position player to pitcher look easy. In 2013 with short-season Batavia, he posted a 1.91 ERA. As of July 17th he has allowed just 18 earned runs in 68.1 innings as a pitcher and has struck out 70 with only 18 walks.

He credits his success to coaches such as Jupiter pitching coach Joe Coleman, Batavia pitching coach Brendan Sagara and Marlins minor league pitching coordinator Wayne Rosenthal.

"All those guys have been really good to me and have helped me with my development," he said.

Redman has also been able to gain some tips from major leaguers such as Brad Penny, Kevin Gregg, Jacob Turner and Brad Hand who have all had rehab stints with the Hammerheads this season.

 "They have all been really good to us and it's really good for me, since I don't have that much experience, being able to pick their brains about how they would react in different situations," said Redman.

But Redman's transition has also had its challenges, especially going from playing every day to the uncertainty of when his number will be called out in the bullpen.

Baseball runs in Redman's family. His father Dale also played at Texas Tech along with his younger brother Hunter who is now a catcher in the Dodgers organization. Redman has been playing since he was a young boy but it was mostly as a position player. Now as a pitcher he gets to see things from the other side.

"I liked being able to play every day as a position player but at the same time pitching has just been so new and so fun. It has been cool to see a different side of the game that I have never seen," he said.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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