Anyone who watched the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in July and saw Cardinals top prospect Alex Reyes start for the World Team got a very good glimpse of what the right-hander can do on a big stage. Now they’ll get to see it in games that count, as the Cards called up the No. 9 prospect on MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 list on Tuesday to take Michael Wacha’s spot on the roster.
The 21-year-old Reyes — he turns 22 at the end of August — won’t be taking Wacha’s spot in the rotation. That job will be given to Cardinals No. 2 prospect Luke Weaver (No. 94 on that Top 100), who is expected to be called up to make his Major League debut on Saturday at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. Instead, Reyes will be pitching out of the bullpen, quite possibly for the remainder of the big league season. Truth be told, that could be the perfect place for him, at least in the short term.
Reyes’ arm is certainly fresh, so it’s not a matter of watching his workload. After serving a 50-game suspension for marijuana use, he has thrown just 65 1/3 innings this year. And in that span, he’s struck out 93, or 12.8-per-nine innings. At the same time, he’s walked 32, a rate of 4.4-per-nine. That’s actually a touch under his career rate of 4.6, but it’s easy to see what the issue has been for Reyes as a starter: command.
The stuff has never been in question for Reyes since he signed out of the Dominican Republic (after returning there following growing up in New Jersey) in December 2012. He has one of the most electric fastballs in the game, one that sits in the mid-to-upper 90s and touches triple digits fairly regularly, as he did three times in his 1 2/3 …
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