Reed racks up hits after changing number

Padres No. 14 prospect homers, plates two on four-hit night

Buddy Reed had four total knocks in his previous 11 games coming into the night. (John Moore/Amarillo Sod Poodles)

By Shlomo Sprung / | May 14, 2019 1:03 AM

One might say Buddy Reed's big game at the plate was brought to you by the number seven.

In his first game after switching from No. 1 to No. 7, San Diego's 14th-ranked prospect went 4-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBIs in Double-A Amarillo's 9-8 loss to Midland on Monday night.

Video: Sod Poodles' Reed swats solo shot

"People know how baseball players are in terms of superstitions and everything," Reed said. "I definitely needed the change. It was a really cool experience."

The 24-year-old went into the game hitting .168/.256/.355 in 30 Texas League contests with 33 strikeouts in 107 at-bats. So before the game, he asked what other numbers were available and went with seven, even though he'd never worn it before.

"I've worn 23 ... 6, I think, maybe 9," Reed said. "Never 7."

On the first pitch with his fresh numeral, the 2016 second-round pick went deep to left-center field against RockHounds right-hander Joel Seddon in the second inning, his seventh dinger of the season.

"Obviously it was pretty quick," Reed said of the at bat. "I was just looking for something up, a pitch in my zone. I'm good at going the other way. I put a good swing on it and it went over the fence."

The 6-foot-4 center fielder singled to right in the third off righty Angel Duno, lined a 3-2 RBI single to right in the fifth against Trey McNutt and doubled to left off the right-hander in the seventh.

Gameday box score

Teammates saw Reed make the switch before the game and embraced it as his night at the plate progressed.

"A lot of them noticed that I shaved my face, got the new number, we wore pink batting gloves today," he said. "It was a lot of different things."

Even Amarillo manager Phillip Wellman commented on the fresh start.

"He didn't talk so much about the number," Reed said, "moreso about his confidence in me just because it's early in the season."

It marked the fifth four-hit game of his professional career. The University of Florida product most recently achieved that feat on May 26, 2018 for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore.

Reed stole 51 bases last season split between the Storm and Double-A San Antonio. In 79 California League games, he batted .324/.371/.549 with 12 homers, 47 RBIs, 40 extra-base hits and 33 swipes in 40 attempts, third in the league. He was promoted to Double-A on July 9.

"When I got moved up last year, I actually wore No. 1 in San Antonio just because I liked the jerseys being tighter," he said. "And obviously I didn't do too well."

Reed batted.179/.227/.235 in 43 games for the Missions with one homer, 15 RBIs, eight extra-base hits and 18 steals in 21 tries.

So after a slow April for the Sod Poodles, the change was welcome. And after his successful first game with the new digit, Reed said he'll be focusing on Monday's pregame routine as well.

2019 MiLB include

"We're going to see, actually. I may have to do something along the lines of shaving," Reed said. "Shoot, I don't really know. This whole day has been something special, just with the early-season struggles and stuff like that. I'll take the things I did pregame and probably do them again throughout the season."

San Diego's No. 25 prospect Owen Miller became the first player in franchise history to record a four-hit game when he singled off McNutt in the sixth. He finished 4-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. Reed followed with his four-hit effort in the following frame.

Luis Barrera, the 13th-ranked A's prospect, went deep in the ninth during a three-run frame for the RockHounds.

Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports View More