2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Buddy Reed

Buddy Reed – Outfielder – Florida.  Bats: B.  Throws: R.  6’4″ 210.  DOB:  April 27, 1995.  Last Drafted:  2013 – Texas Rangers (35th Round).

Scouted:

Three Game Series:  Florida Gators @ Kentucky Wildcats, March 25-27, 2016, Lexington, KY.

The major leagues are full players who were multi-sport athletes in high school and Reed looks to have his name added to that list.  While most of these athletes excelled in football and/or basketball (in addition to baseball), Reed’s other sports were soccer and hockey.  Playing for St. George’s School in Middleton, Rhode Island, Reed was the soccer team’s leading scorer, while holding down first line duties on the ice.

Reed was drafted in the 35th round in 2013 (Texas Rangers), but followed through on his commitment to Florida.  Reed started contributing from the moment he arrived in Gainesville, starting 51 games as a freshman.

It was Reed’s sophomore campaign in 2015 where he established himself as a first round talent.  Putting together a slash line of .305/.367/.433, and leading a stacked Gator team in hits (86) and triples (5), Reed earned SEC All-Defensive Team honors.

Reed went on to play for the Collegiate National Team last summer.  Manning centerfield and hitting in the 2-hole behind Louisville’s Corey Ray, Reed hit .326/.391/.354 while leading the team in runs batted in (12) despite joining the team late and playing just 12 games due to Florida’s postseason run.

STATISTICS

*Through 6.7.2016

YEAR
AVE
OBP
SLG
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
K
SB/ATT
2014
.244
.316
.286
7
0
0
6
18
38
5/10
2015
.305
.367
.433
14
5
4
47
27
56
18/26
2016
.255
.358
.397
10
6
4
32
37
58
24/26

It’s important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the training or expertise that they have.  I do, however, go to games to see these guys play live and talk to scouts.  While those scouts must reserve their reports for their employer, I can share my thoughts with you, the reader.

HITTING:  There is some wasted motion in Reed’s swing.  In the box, he starts with his hands high and away from his body.  As the pitch approaches, his load involves lowering his hands, while simultaneously bringing them closer to his body.  From that point, Reed short-arms his swing, dragging his hands through the zone with much less bat speed than he would if his swing were one fluid motion.  While Reed demonstrates good plate coverage and bat control on balls down in the zone, the aforementioned issues make it difficult for him to catch up fastballs up in the zone.  Reed has solid pitch recognition skills, which combined with his speed, makes him an offensive weapon even when while slumping.

POWER:  Because the swing lacks fluidity, it doesn’t generate much power. There is still some projection left in Reed’s frame, and if a professional hitting coach can eliminate this correctable hitch in his swing, the present doubles power could develop into 8-10 homeruns annually.

SPEED:  Combining extraordinary first step quickness with fluid long strides when in full sprint, Reed’s speed is double plus.  This tool plays on both the bases and in the field.

ARM:  Reed’s arm is above average playable at all 3 outfield positions.

DEFENSE:  Reed is a true centerfielder who will undoubtedly be able to stay there as a professional.  His speed allows him to get to balls in the gap that his peers cannot, and his strong accurate arm is a valuable asset in keeping runners from taking the extra base.

FUTURE:  While Reed lacks the pop of Corey Ray and Kyle Lewis, two of his peers in this collegiate outfield class, he shines over both defensively.  A veteran scout once told me that the two most important tools to look for in a prospect is speed and arm strength.  While those tools can be refined, they’re typically more innate than hitting and power, which have a greater capacity for development. Buddy can run.  Buddy can throw.  I see a 1st round talent who’s likely to go off the board in the 15-25 range.  His future role will depend on the development of his bat.  At his worst, he doesn’t hit enough to get past AA.  At his best, he’s a gold glove caliber everyday centerfielder who develops into an average hitter.  The conservative approach would be to say he’s a 4th outfielder/pinch runner/defensive replacement type.

 

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