CONSISTENCY KEY FOR BREWERS REED
If there’s a single word to describe Brewers outfield prospect Michael Reed, it’s consistent. From month to month, week-to-week, day-to-day, even at bat-to-at bat, perhaps no player in Milwaukee’s organization was more consistent last season than the 21-year-old from Leander, Texas.
Milwaukee selected Reed in the fifth round in 2011, and he made his debut that same year, playing in 14 games for the Brewers Rookie affiliate in the Arizona League. He saw time at three levels in 2012, filling in at both Brevard County and Huntsville when an outfielder was needed early in the season, before playing 48 games in Helena.
Last year Reed came in to his own at Class-A Wisconsin. He hit .286 in 118 games, while scoring 68 runs. Coming off that strong 2013 performance, it’s been a successful spring so far for Reed, and he’s looking forward to building upon last season’s success.
“It’s been going really well” Reed said. “I worked hard in the offseason, just trying to have another good year, put together a good season. I’ve pretty much been working on hitting fastballs. Not missing the fastball, and putting a good swing on it to give myself a chance to get on base.”
As an indication of how highly the Brewers think of Reed, he’s been among a handful of players that the team has brought over from minor league camp this spring to compete in several of the club’s big league games. It’s proven to be a great experience for Reed.
“Oh it’s awesome: he said. “I get to see how the big leaguers go about their business and learn from it and hopefully one day I’ll be there and I’ll kind of have that already in my mind how they go about their stuff and how they do their work and you know it will be easier for me when I get up.”
Another aspect of Reed’s game that is key to his success is his speed. He led Wisconsin in both triples (13) and stolen bases (26) last season and is looking for more of the same this season.
“It’s a big part of my game” said Reed. “I don’t ever want to lose my speed. It’s one of my best tools. I constantly need to keep using it, whether it’s using the drag bunt, or any chance I get, use my speed in the game because it’s definitely one of my better tools.”
As for his goals for 2014, Reed just hopes to keep stacking successes and improving in all areas on the field.
“I just want to progress and I want to hit for a better average this year than I did last year” he said. “Hit for a little bit more power. just in every aspect of the game progress, and if I’m progressing I’m fine.”
The next step in that progression should be an assignment to High-A Brevard County where he’ll be a part of an exciting outfield with fellow prospects Tyrone Taylor and Victor Roache when the Manatees season opens in a little over a week.
The Brewers dropped a one run game to the Giants on Tuesday afternoon by a score of 5-4. Khris Davis went 2-for-2 with a home run. Carlos Gomez, Wily Peralta and Martin Maldonado each added a solo home run. Kevin Mattison, Brandon Macias and Nick Shaw all saw action from the minor league side, but none of the three got an at bat.
BACK FIELD NOTES
Today was my last day in Arizona. I made my way over to Maryvale one more time for the Brewers Single-A games. We had to duck out a little early to get back on the road, but I was able to catch a few innings of each game. Here are a couple quick notes from today.
– Stop me if you heard this before, but Cameron Garfield had a big day at the plate. He went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles. He also threw out the one runner I saw try to steal on him.
– Anthony Banda started the game for Wisconsin and pitched pretty well, allowing two runs over four innings. One of the runs came after he struck a batter out for what should have been the third out of the inning, but the ball got by Clint Coulter and went to the backstop. Banda then had the runner picked off of first base, but his throw sailed over the head of first baseman David Denson and the runner came all the way around to score. Banda’s fastball was only sitting between 87-89 when I was able to catch a glimpse of the gun, but he did a really good job of keeping everything down and working down in the zone.
– Francisco Rodriguez started the Brevard County game, and worked a 1-2-3 first inning, striking out two. Brandon Kintzler followed him and gave up a run in his inning on a home run.
– After the big leaguers were finished, Jed Bradley came on to pitch for Brevard. He worked four innings, and allowed just one run. He seemed to be throwing the ball well as I didn’t see too much that was hit hard against him.
– Devin Williams started the Helena game against the Langley Blaze. I was trying to keep an eye on him while at the other fields, but didn’t get to really see him throw. He went three innings.
The Brewers made a handful of moves today on both the major and minor league sides. Milwaukee optioned infielder Elian Herrera and pitcher Rob Wooten to Triple-A Nashville. The Brewers also announced the release of outfielder Greg Golson and pitcher Scott Harkin.
The Brewers have a Camp Day on Wednesday. They will practice in the morning but do not have any games scheduled. I’m making my way back to Wisconsin, but have a couple of interviews still to post so I will go ahead and keep the Spring Training Reports going through the weekend, they’ll just be lacking my backfield notes and photo galleries. Thank you all for reading over the past two weeks. I hope you’ll continue to check out MillerParkProspects.com throughout the season as we have plenty of coverage planned.