San Diego Padres minor league reliever Gerardo Reyes has called it an early season in the Mexican winter league, but not before dominating the competition.
San Diego Padres fans saw a number of relief pitchers make their Major League Baseball debuts in 2018, including Robert Stock, Trey Wingenter, and others. A few more are expected to get their first taste of major league action in 2019, including Gerardo Reyes. Reyes was added to the 40-man roster last week, protecting him from the upcoming Rule-5 draft.
From his side-armed delivery, mid to upper-90s fastball, and sweeping slider, there is a lot to like about Reyes, a pitching prospect who flies well under the radar in this unbelievably deep San Diego Padres farm system.
Reyes has added some impressive work to his resume since the end of the 2018 MiLB season, returning to his native country to compete in the Mexican winter league. In 19 contests for Yaquis de Obregon, Reyes logged 18 scoreless innings, giving up just nine hits and seven walks while striking out 20 hitters.
Yaquis de Obregon currently sits in first place in the second half of the season with a 6-2 record (24-19 overall) but as The Athletic’s Dennis Lin pointed out on Saturday, the season is over for Gerardo Reyes as he looks ahead to the 2019 season and making his major league debut at some point during the season.
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Reyes split his 2018 season between Lake Elsinore and San Antonio, spending the majority of his time at the Double-A level. There, he struck out more than 11 hitters/9 innings, gave up one home run in 36 innings, and held opponents to a .218 average in a very tough Texas League.
Walks are an issue with Reyes (between 10-12% walk rate in each of his last three seasons) and his groundball rate has dropped at each of his stops in the minor leagues, finishing Double-A with a 37% groundball rate, however, the 5’11” reliever has been able to overcome this with his high strikeout numbers and ability to keep the ball in the yard.
He is the exact type of player that I love to watch. Undrafted out of the JUCO ranks and never placed on a top prospect list, yet here he is on a Major League Baseball 40-man roster, one step away from pitching at Petco Park for the San Diego Padres.
Congratulations to Reyes on a dominant Mexican league performance and best of luck in spring training!