After dominating for the Dayton Dragons in 2016, the Cincinnati Reds sent Jesus Reyes to Daytona to begin his 2017 campaign. His first two starts had some good and some bad. In 12.1 innings between the two games he walked just one batter and struck out 11. That was the good. Seven runs were charged against him, though, and that was the bad. The next two outings went better from a runs scored perspective. Reyes allowed one run in each start, combining for 11.0 total innings. For the month he posted a 3.47 ERA in those four starts in 23.1 innings that came with five walks and 18 strikeouts.

The month of May got out to a nice start. On the 4th against Fort Myers, Jesus Reyes threw 7.2 shutout innings. Things weren’t as smooth the next time the right hander took the mound. Florida touched him up for six earned runs in 4.0 innings. It was merely a blip on the radar, though. Over the next three starts he allowed just five earned runs. That also came with 19 strikeouts in 18.0 innings pitched. In 29.2 May innings, the 24-year-old posted a 3.34 ERA with eight walks and 26 strikeouts.

After a week off, Jesus Reyes took the mound against Dunedin. June didn’t start out well as the Blue Jays tagged him for three earned in 3.2 innings pitched. It would be another eight days before Reyes took the mound, but the rest did him well. On the road at Florida he threw 8.0 shutout innings in what was his best start of the season. With some time off for the All-Star break the righty returned to the mound eight days later and this time the rest didn’t help as he was charged with seven runs in 3.2 innings. Reyes finished out June by allowing three runs in 4.2 innings against Lakeland. It was the worst month of the season, posting a 5.85 ERA in 20.0 innings with nine walks and just 15 strikeouts.

July got out to a solid, but unspectacular start. Jesus Reyes allowed two earned, but three more unearned scored, in 6.0 innings to begin the month. He followed that up by allowing one earned in 6.2 innings with a walk and five strikeouts. That was his final start for Daytona before the Reds promoted Reyes to Double-A Pensacola. On the 14th he made his first start for the Blue Wahoos and fired 5.0 shutout innings. It was mostly more of the same over the next three starts to round out the month. In 18.1 innings he allowed just four runs with four walks and 16 strikeouts. During the month, his most dominating of the year, he posted a 1.75 ERA. That came in 36.0 innings with 11 walks and 29 strikeouts.

August began with two starts of 5.0 innings and three earned runs in each. A week later Jesus Reyes would take the mound against Mississippi and allow three more runs, but this time of 3.0 innings. He allowed two runs over 6.0 innings with five strikeouts against Jackson. Over the final two starts of the regular season he allowed four runs in 9.1 innings with six walks and four strikeouts. In that final five week stretch he posted a 4.76 ERA in 28.1 innings with 14 walks and 23 strikeouts.

For all 2017 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Jesus Reyes Scouting Report

Fastball | Jesus Reyes throws both a 2-seamer and a 4-seamer. The 2-seamer is the go-to offering between the two and works in the 93-95 MPH range with good sinking action to it. The 4-seamer will reach as high as 98 MPH.

Slider | His second pitch, Reyes throws his slider in the low-to-mid 80’s. It’s got 11-5 action and is an above-average offering.

Jesus Reyes is one of the better success stories from the Reds scouting and developmental team. Undrafted out of ASA College in New York, he signed with the Reds in August of 2014. He’s worked his way up through the system and performed well enough to earn a spot on the 40-man roster earlier this offseason.

He’s a big time ground ball rate pitcher, getting well over 60% last season, and nearly 70% in his 51.2 innings in Double-A. Jesus Reyes shows two above-average pitches, but his lack of a third offering means he’s very likely a reliever in the future. His stuff could play up out of the bullpen, where elite ground ball rates could play very well. The Reds may keep him in the rotation for 2018, at least to start the season, in order to get him innings, but don’t be surprised if he makes his way to the bullpen at some point in the near future.


12 Responses

  1. CP

    Good stuff Doug. Any chance they set this kid up with Mario Soto and try to teach him a change-up?

    He may be blocked from the rotation anyways, but no reason to not give up on this kid fulfilling his ceiling as a SP too quickly. Especially while he is succeeding.

  2. Wes

    He’s 24. If he belongs in bullpen then he should moved to pen. Let him Adjust and get him ready for the show

  3. Drew

    I’ll be curious to see how his velo is affected by moving to the pen. If he can get his two-seamer to the mid-90s with consistency, he could be a lock-down kind of guy (provided he gets the walk rate down).

  4. CP

    I just got to thinking about when the window for Reyes getting a look at Cincy might be. This year there is already a very good number of players that need exposure in Cincy in the rotation and bullpen both. Considering this, I’m in no hurry to push Reyes to the bullpen too early and rush him along to Cincy.

    Rotation: (Assuming that Disco, Finny, Bailey, Castillo are there already)
    Romano, Stephenson, Mahle, Garrett, Reed, Stephens, Davis

    There is only 1 spot open to begin the year for all these guys to get a look next year. Of course injuries or poor performance may open up more, and some of these guys may get slide over to the pen. But that doesn’t really help when considering how few spots are open there too.

    Bullpen: (Assuming Iglesias, Lorenzen, Peralta, Hughes are there already)
    Brice, Hernandez, Weiss, Shackelford, Herget

    There are some minor league signings like Crockett & Mantiply as well. That means there are 7 plus guys competing for the couple spots left in the pen as well. Add in the rotation guys that may get moved to the pen and it’s even more. All this to say, I’m in no hurry to move Reyes to the pen and speed up his eta to Cincy unless leaving him as a SP is hurting his development. Let him keep working as a SP in AA next year and reward him with a call to AAA in the 2nd half if he performs. I agree that his ultimate landing spot may very well be the pen, but doing this will keep his eta to Cincy in 2019 where there may be a little more of a chance for him to get a look. Still a lot of sorting that needs to happen next year among the pitchers.

  5. MK

    When at Dayton he spent some time as the closer.

    My concern with Jesus is his slight build which is another reason to think of the pen. He throws hard but as one my old coaches would say, he doesn’t have much butt behind it.

    • Doug Gray


      To expand, the reason he gets a 4th option year is because it will only be his 5th season playing. Next year will be his 6th, so even if the Reds don’t use his option this year, he will no longer qualify for a 4th option year.

  6. Roscoe P. Coletrain

    Starters the Reds have that are more suited for the bullpen: Jackson Stephens, Rookie Davis, Kuery Mella, and we can possibly add Cody Reed, Amir Garrett and Brandon Finnegan in as well.
    That starting pitching depth in the minors quickly vanishes.
    Douglas, how many others listed as starters look to have the profile of a reliever?
    In your latest top-25 prospects, if Reyes is moved away from starting, there are only 5 pitchers left in the top-25 as starters. There is Mahle, Greene, Santillan, Gutierrez, and Lopez, all RHP’s.
    At what point do the Reds make the conversions on these starters to make them relievers as the starting depth will sure take a hit when it is done?

    • Doug Gray

      I think for some of the guys, that conversation has already begun to happen. Garrett and Reed. Maybe Stephenson, though I think he bought himself some time with his second half as a starter. Most teams wait until the last possible minute to transition starters to relievers. You get more work as a starter, and thus, tend to develop faster.

      • Roscoe P. Coletrain

        Stephenson’s August and September have to give you (us) some confidence about him going forward. He looked like a different pitcher those two months than what we had seen up to that point. He looked good in some outings and looked very sharp in others.
        I don’t know if it was one of those clichés like “the light finally coming on” or “finally getting it” come into play for his transformation.
        Hopefully, the label of “hardhead” can be discarded. Stephenson, as a newlywed, cannot be hardheaded going into a new marriage. Maybe lessons in real life transferred to the baseball field too for him in 2017. And 2018 is Stephenson’s breakout time. It would be good timing. I wouldn’t like to see Stephenson moved to the pen. Garrett and Reed I understand by way of circumstance and need may find themselves there.

      • Doug Gray

        Stephenson still had some hiccups in regards to walking guys. But, where he found a lot more success was what happened when he was in the zone – guys weren’t able to just tee off on him.

        With Garrett – I’m really interested to see how he rebounds in 2018. He pitched in 2017, hiding an injury, and I think he could be prime for a rebound with better health. I’m just not sure what to think about Reed. The stuff is good, but the execution hasn’t been for quite a while.