Jesus Reyes signed with the Cincinnati Reds on August 28, 2014. He had gone undrafted as a 21-year-old out of ASA College in New York. If you’ve never heard of the college before, you aren’t alone. The school has had several players drafted over the last 10 years, though.

With the late signing date, Jesus Reyes didn’t debut until 2015 when he pitched the entire season in Arizona as a 22-year-old. He had some success there, pitching 50.1 innings with a 3.40 ERA. Last season he moved up to Dayton and that’s when he took a real step forward, working between the bullpen and rotation. With the Dragons he posted a 2.40 ERA in 93.2 innings pitched and seemed to get better down the stretch. Between those two seasons he posted a ground ball rate of 57% and 62%. For context, the Major League average ground ball rate is usually around 47% in a given season.

This season the Reds have the 24-year-old right hander in Daytona’s rotation. While he’s considered old for the level he’s at, this matters a little bit less for pitchers than it does for hitters. With the Tortugas this season he has posted a 3.78 ERA in 15 starts, already a career high. He’s improved his walk rate for the third straight season, dropping his walk rate down to 7.6% this season to go along with an 18.8% strikeout rate.

Once again, he’s generated a very high rate of grounders. This season he’s just a tick over 60%, ranking 6th best in the Florida State League among pitchers with at least 40.0 innings pitched. Many of the ground balls that he gets are a result of his sinker, which works in the 92-94 MPH range that shows very good sinking action. He’ll reach the mid-90’s at times and has been up to 98 MPH. The main secondary offering he goes with is a slider in the mid-80’s. That pitch can show good, hard biting action at times and also helps generate plenty of grounders.

What’s in the future for Jesus Reyes

In the long run, it’s likely that Jesus Reyes winds up in the bullpen. He’s had a lot more success against right handed hitters than left handed hitters in his career, and that’s still holding true in 2017. But, as a reliever you can see two above-average offerings with his sinking fastball and slider coming out and both playing up from where they are now. Already showing strong velocity, in shorter stints it could take another tick upward and he could really let it go rather than pace himself as a starter. A mid-90’s sinker that routinely touches higher along with a hard biting slider could play very well in the future.

13 Responses

  1. Chris

    Doug
    Curious as to yours as well as the board’s thoughts on the following:

    1. Who should we/are we going to be looking to shop in the next few weeks? Are cozart and Iglesias only two real pieces we are listening to offers for? Is Feldman worth anything to contenders? What about storen? Is Hamilton a fixture or can we move on? What about either Schebs or Duvall, do you think they hold real value and could/should be moved for more prospects and/or to open spot for Winker?

    2. Who on your prospect list do you see us calling up to give mlb time to during remainder of this season?

    3. Do you see Senzel as mlb starter for the 2018-2019 season? If so, does Suarez hold tradeable value?

    Thanks to all in advance.

    • Matthew O'Neal

      I would think that: 1) Cozart is probably 90% likely to be traded. If Castillo and Bailey continue to give good starts, I think Feldman should be shopped for the right return, mainly to free up a spot for BobSteve, Garrett, or Reed. I think they should listen on Cingrani. As well as give Wood to anyone who may want him.

      2) I would say that Romano and Hernandez are the only two that see significant time with Cincinnati off of Doug’s list. Winker, Ervin, and Stephens might see some time too, but I doubt anything exemplary.

      3) He’s under control for 3 more years, so I think that you base his value off of what your middle infield is doing once Senzel is ready for the call up. If Peraza/Herrera/whoever are thriving up the middle, you may look to trade Suarez. If one of the up the middle guys are floundering and Suarez would upgrade over them, I think you keep him.

      • Josh

        I hate to say it but I don’t feel like Herrera will ever be an MLB starter. I mean he has yet to really push the envelope plus he is constantly dealing with shoulder issues. I wouldn’t trade Suarez until we are forced the guy has made improvements across the board from his approach to the defensive side. Plus he is fairly young.

    • Wes

      I think Herreras hurt but if he’s ever fully healthy again- he can surely be a viable option. Most of us wrote of stephansen last year when he was hurt and now he’s back up pretty high on most lists.

      I’m also back on the finish last train again. I think reds current team is too good to finish last and I’d like to see them unload a couple pieces even if they get a below market return.

      • Josh

        Dilson is also 23 compared to Stephenson which is 20. I’m not saying there is no chance Dilson turns out but at this rate he won’t be starting with the big league club next season either. I actually bet we see Shed Long make it over Dilson.

      • Doug Gray

        I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see Shed leapfrog Dilson. His game is better all-around, for sure. Dilson has been hitting of late, though. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps it up given his history, which may mean he gets the first crack at second base, perhaps. But, Herrera has very little room for error. He’s all bat, pretty much, and so he’s got to hit. Toss in that Shed is right there behind him and, well, there’s little room for Herrera to stumble along any further.

      • Wes

        Yup only 23. Michael Brantley was the centerpiece in the Cleveland trade when they delt sabathia. He was a bust for several years until it finally clicked around age 26. That seems a common theme in baseball much more than any other sport

      • Doug Gray

        That’s because baseball isn’t as purely athletic of a sport as the others. You certainly have to be athletic, but there’s a lot more to it than simply being a great athlete.

  2. Steve

    Doug, nice article on Reyes. He had been used as both a starter and reliever the first 2 years in the organization and primarily a starter this year. He threw 93 innings last year and is already at 85 now. Do you see him getting shutdown after another 5-6 starts or moving to the bullpen soon to watch his innings? He could probably move up faster in the organization as a reliever, but provides depth as a starter/reliever. I think he should be kept as a starter for now.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think they’ll shut him down or move him to the bullpen. He began last season in extended, so he threw more than 93 last year, they just didn’t count the ones in the first five weeks of the season that were thrown out in Arizona.

  3. DaveCT

    Reyes’ improvement seems to be moving pretty consistently in the right direction. With Lopez, another nice sleeper coming on. Doug, his delivery seems to have a bit of extra effort to it from the video. Is this correct? Given his age, we may see him pushing up quickly. Nice article. Thanks.

  4. Jim Delaney

    I don’t expect the Reds to make many movement the July trade deadline. I think the Reds ownership and front office need to see what the starting pitching looks like the rest of the season and the play of the regular 8 as well. If the Reds play over .500 baseball in 2nd half. Ownership may move up the time to contend window. Duvall, Schebler, Suarez, Ilglesias, have likely exceeded Reds expectations if they continue to show they part of the nucleus to build around contending next season is viable. Also, the supposed CUBS juggernaut seems like fools gold now.. there starting pitching is showing a lot of cracks, they don’t have too if the order hitters, there defense at certain positions are well below average and the Addison Russell MLB domestic case investigation definitely seems to be taking its toll…