Texas Rangers Minor League first baseman Tyreque Reed had a big game last night for the low-A Hickory Crawdads, going 4 for 5 with a home run and 5 RBIs. This is part of a larger trend for Reed, who has really gotten his bat going over the last two months.
Reed, who turned 21 in June, was the Rangers 8th round pick in the 2017 draft out of Itawamba Community College. Huge (he’s listed at 6’2”, 260 lbs.) and raw, Reed’s power potential excited, but as a bat-only guy with a lot of swing-and-miss in his game, he was going to have to mash to get on the radar.
Reed did mash in the AZL after being drafted, putting up a .350/.455/.617 slash line over 145 plate appearances, and after staying in extended spring to start the 2018 season, he was assigned to Hickory in early May of this year. Reed made his debut with a bang, registering a pinch hit home run in his first plate appearance for the Crawdads.
Despite the fast start, Reed struggled initially, and with an OPS hovering around 700 at the end of June, our attention shifted elsewhere. As the summer heated up, though, Reed has heated up as well, improving each month — after slashing .200/.243/.414 in May and .247/.316/.400 in June, Reed put up a .301/.396/.542 line in July and has a .361/.418/.689 slash line so far in August. Perhaps most encouraging is his improving K rate — after fanning 54 times in 169 plate appearances in the first two months, Reed has, since July 1, struck out just 36 times in 163 plate appearances.
The Sally League is a long way from the majors, and Reed still has a ways to go to really get on folks’ radars. But he’s mashing right now at an age-appropriate level, and showing improvement as the season goes on. Assuming he continues to finish strong, we can view 2018 as an encouraging season for Reed.