Drive's Reyes tosses three-hit shutout

Red Sox prospect strikes out eight in first complete game

Denyi Reyes is averaging 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 11 appearances this season. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

By Marisa Ingemi / | May 27, 2018 10:01 PM

If Denyi Reyes hadn't opened eyes yet this season, his performance on Sunday should.

The Red Sox prospect tossed a three-hitter for his first career complete game as Class A Greenville blanked Columbia, 3-0, at Spirit Communications Park.

Gameday box score

"We saw everything a pitcher needs to do to be in that position," Greenville pitching coach Bob Kipper said. "He set a great tempo, both from a pitch-to-pitch standpoint. He had a wonderful rhythm with his delivery, which was very repeatable throughout the game. He established command with the fastball and was able to pitch in and out."

The 21-year-old faced only three batters over the minimum. After allowing a two-out single to Raphael Gladu in the second, he retired seven straight until Mets No. 27 prospect Ali Sanchez lined a leadoff single to left in the fifth. 

Reyes (4-3) put away the next nine batters before Sanchez doubled with two outs in the seventh. The native of the Dominican Republic set down the final seven Fireflies, striking out Mets No. 28 prospect Quinn Brodey to wrap up the first nine-inning complete game in franchise history.

Video: Drive's Denyi Reyes finishes up

"He pitched inside aggressively and elevated well above the strike zone," Kipper said. "At appropriate times tonight, he had a wonderful three-pitch secondary mix. His curveball, slider and changeup all played a big factor in his ability to change speeds throughout the game. He pitched with a level of unpredictability, he did not allow hitters to get comfortable at any speed or area of the strike zone. It was an incredible pitching performance by Denyi Reyes."

Over 59 2/3 innings this season, Reyes has pitched to a 2.26 ERA, with South Atlantic League foes hitting .216 against him. The right-hander is second on the circuit with 65 strikeouts and third with a 0.91 WHIP, having issued one or no walks in all but one of his 11 appearances.

"He has a strong ability to command the baseball," Kipper said. "He's a big guy, but he has a smooth delivery. He repeats well, which allows him to command the baseball. He doesn't let you get comfortable at any area of the strike zone. That's why he has a strong ability to elevate. He doesn't allow anyone to get comfortable at any speed, his curveball has great separation from his fastball. He tops 90, then he'll throw a 72 mph curveball."

Reyes has allowed more than two earned runs just once this season, although Sunday was the first time he pitched beyond the seventh since the Red Sox signed him in 2014. 

"A pitcher's game is something that's always evolving. There's always something you can do better," Kipper said. "Right now, we wouldn't know what that is until he is challenged at the next level. He's got all the ingredients to certainly pitch at the next level and be successful. The intangible side of his game, he has the ability to manage himself in challenging game situations. He doesn't allow an unfortunate game situation to dictate who he is on the mound. He dictates to the game."

Ricardo Cubillan drove in two runs for the Drive with singles in the second and ninth. Kervin Suarez doubled twice, scored twice and plated the other run.

Second-ranked Mets prospect David Peterson (1-3) started for Columbia and gave up two runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. He hit two batters and struck out seven.

Marisa Ingemi is a contributor to Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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