Lookouts' Reed not "worldly," but ready for MLB Futures Game
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Chris Reed was selected to play for the "World" team in this Sunday's MLB Futures Game in Kansas City, but the designation doesn't really fit the Chattanooga pitcher.
"He's from around where I grew up in California," Lookouts' pitching coach Chuck Crim said of the 22-year-old left-hander. "I wish we had him playing for the U.S. team this weekend."
The confusion stems from the city listed as Reed's birthplace: London, England. He says it's about the only "worldly" thing about him.
"I think I moved (away from England) when I was less than a year old. My dad finished working there and came back to the U.S.," Reed said. "I'll probably be the least worldly guy on our team, that's for sure.
"I'll have to brush up on my Spanish before we head out."
It's likely Reed will only get to throw one inning if he sees the mound in the rising-star showcase, but that won't be much different than his normal routine.
The former Stanford reliever is midway through a tedious three-year process of stretching out his arm to be a big-league starter, so he's grown used to a quick hook.
"It's just a matter of him getting used to the talent, getting used to the different types of talent, and actually growing with it," Crim said of Reed's development. "I'd love to have him out here for six or seven innings, but right now he's going to be out there for just three innings at a time."
The short leash has been the most frustrating part of the adjustment for Reed, who's either been in the lead or been tied when he was pulled in four of his five Double-A starts.
He's record thirteen strikeouts and given up just two earned runs in his fifteen innings since arriving in Chattanooga, but he's yet to pitch deep enough into a game to get a win.
"They ask me all the time, 'Hey, you want to go the full game?'" Reed said with a shrug. "I'm always do, but you have to be smart about everything. This is my first full season in the pros, and it's definitely a grind. It's a lot different than college baseball."
That mature mindset has been one of the keys to Reed's success, and one he had prior to becoming the Dodgers' top pick in the 2011 draft. In fact, it was Reed who chose his longer path to the pros.
"I told all the team's before the draft that I wanted to be drafted as a starter," he said. "It's just something I like to do. I prefer the routine and the position, so I'm willing to sacrifice by spending some time in the minors before getting to the majors."
Crim described Reed as "nearly there" in terms of having major-league talent, and said the youngster has done an excellent job developing a third pitch to keep hitters on their toes as he goes deeper into games.
Crim believes the patience Reed has shown fits the mold of the strong mental makeup needed to be a successful big-league pitcher. Now it's only a matter of time before that patience pays off.
"He's a tremendous makeup kid. He's a pro's pro, really," Crim said. "He's just a smart kid, a solid kid. I don't think he's going to allow any outside stuff to affect him. As long as he does that, the game's going to take care of itself."