As we continue our look at players the Rangers could grab with one of their first round picks (#23 and #30 overall) in the 2013 MLB Draft, which kicks off next week, today we profile lefthanded pitch Cody Reed.
Reed is a 6'5", 220 lb. lefthander who just finished his second year pitching for Northwest Mississippi Community College. Reed was undrafted both out of high school and after last season, but he is a helium guy right now because of his recently-discovered ability to throw 95 mph. Baseball America ranks him at #104, though they say he could go in the top 50-100 picks, and Reed doesn't make Mayo's top 100. Keith Law, however, has Reed ranked at #37, and grades both his fastball and his curveball as plus pitches. Scout.com has Reed ranked at #55, and says his slider is above average...I'm assuming that ESPN and Scout are both talking about the same breaking ball, and are just labeling it differently.
Jim Callis's most recent mock draft mentions Reed as a possibility to Texas, and both Callis and Law mention the Yankees have an interest in Reed. The community mock draft at John Sickels' site saw Reed go to Texas at #23.
Reed is a little reminiscent of 2010 supplemental first rounder Luke Jackson, who BA had ranked #126 in their pre-draft rankings, but who Texas grabbed and gave mid-first round money to. Jackson, like Reed, was relatively new to pitching, was athletic and projectable, and saw a big jump in velocity from the year before he was drafted. Reed also could be compared to Will Lamb, who the Rangers took in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft, even though he wasn't high on the pre-draft rankings of BA and the like. Lamb was a two way player in college, an athletic and projectable lefty whose velocity fluctuated a lot but who Texas felt had significant potential. Jackson has worked out better so far than Lamb, but both pitchers are examples of the sort of raw, inexperienced, projectable, high-ceiling arms that the Rangers will oftentimes target in the draft, a mold that Reed fits in.
So this is the type of arm the Rangers like to take chances on, someone very raw, inexperienced, but big, athletic and with a bunch of upside potential. Reed is someone who would be several years away, but could pay off in a big way if he were to click.
UPDATE -- In Keith Law's v3.0 Mock Draft, which just went up today, he has Reed going to Texas at #30.