Prospects who struggle for an extended period risk dropping off the radar, particularly in a loaded system like the Padres'. For a time, Buddy Reed was a cautionary tale along those lines. The 2016 second-round pick was considered the No. 14 prospect in the San Diego system after he was
Prospects who struggle for an extended period risk dropping off the radar, particularly in a loaded system like the Padres'. For a time, Buddy Reed was a cautionary tale along those lines. The 2016 second-round pick was considered the No. 14 prospect in the San Diego system after he was taken out of the University of Florida. But he fell out of the team's top 30 after hitting just .234/.290/.396 with six homers and 12 steals in 88 games for Class A Fort Wayne.
Early on in 2018, however, he's becoming a success story all over again.
The Padres outfield prospect has been named the California League Offensive Player of the Week for April 16-22 after going 15-for-24 (.625) with four homers, five doubles, nine RBIs and nine runs scored over five games for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore.
Over that seven-day stretch, Reed led all Minor Leaguers with 15 hits, nine extra-base hits, a 1.333 slugging percentage and a 1.958 OPS. This is his first Minor League Player of the Week award.
The 22-year-old has hit safely in nine straight games with the Storm, dating back to April 12. His standout performance of the week came last Tuesday when he hit two homers (including an inside-the-parker) and two doubles and drove in six runs as part of a 4-for-5 night in Lake Elsinore's 9-1 win at home over Inland Empire. Those four hits tied a career high for a single game, and he matched the total the very next night when he went 4-for-4 with two doubles in a 6-5, 10-inning win over the 66ers.
After opening the season 3-for-22 (.136) in his first six Cal League games, Reed is hitting .413/.431/.698 with four homers, six doubles, 13 RBIs and five steals in 15 total contests. The Bronx native showed signs of a breakout in the Australian Baseball League this winter, hitting .326/.363/.659 with 10 homers, four triples and eight doubles in 31 games with Canberra.
Speaking to MiLB.com after his two-homer game, Reed credited some of his work with Storm hitting coach Doug Banks in helping him carry his gains stateside.
"We shoot a lot of ideas back and forth with each other," the switch-hitter said. "And it's just being ready for a pitch in your zone, no matter what pitch it is. It's obviously baseball, but a pitcher's best pitch is a fastball. We're trained as baseball players to hit the fastball, but even the pitches that are not in the zone that aren't fastballs, whether it's a slider, curveball, changeup or any other off-speed pitch and it's in your zone and you're on time. It's almost like a two-part swing in a sense where you can be on time, get your foot down and adjust."
• View the Pitcher of the Week winners »
The result has been more contact -- Reed's strikeout rate is down from 28 percent to 24.6 -- and a lot more loud contact. It's still April, but he trails his home run total from last season by only two, while his isolated slugging percentage (ISO) has jumped from .161 at Fort Wayne to .286 with Lake Elsinore. Showing that added power over a longer stretch would go a long way for the 22-year-old, whose highest praises are typically saved for his plus speed.
Reed wasn't the only San Diego prospect to receive honors for his dominance last week. No. 28 prospect Austin Allen was named Texas League Player of the Week after going 11-for-22 (.500) with two homers, three doubles and four RBIs in six games for Double-A San Antonio.
Below is the complete list of Minor League Offensive Players of the Week for April 16-22:
|League ||Player ||Team ||MLB ||Stats |
|International ||Rafael Bautista ||Syracuse ||WAS ||.522/.542/.652, 6 G, 12-for-23, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 3 SB |
|Pacific Coast ||Brett Nicholas ||Round Rock ||TEX ||.370/.455/.889, 7 G, 10-for-27, 2 2B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 9 R, 5 BB, 5 K |
|Eastern ||Brendan Rodgers ||Hartford ||COL ||.520/.538/.800, 6 G, 13-for-25, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 SB |
|Southern ||Austin Dean ||Jacksonville ||MIA ||.520/.571/.960, 7 G, 13-for-25, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 3 K |
|Texas ||Austin Allen ||San Antonio ||SD ||.500/.577/.909, 6 G, 11-for-22, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 2 K |
|California ||Buddy Reed ||Lake Elsinore ||SD ||.625/.625/1.333, 5 G, 15-for-24, 5 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 9 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 SB |
|Carolina ||Ryan Aguilar ||Carolina ||MIL ||.533/.667/.733, 5 G, 8-for-15, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 1 R, 5 BB, 4 K |
|Florida State ||Jimmy Kerrigan ||Fort Myers ||MIN ||.409/.444/.818, 6 G, 9-for-22, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K |
|Midwest ||Nick Yarnall ||Great Lakes ||LAD ||.500/.522/.773, 5 G, 11-for-22, 0 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 1 BB, 4 K |
|South Atlantic ||Calvin Mitchell ||West Virginia ||PIT ||.467/.500/.773, 7 G, 14-for-30, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 SB |
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.