Friday, October 15, 2010

Anthony Reyes: A Look Back & Ahead

As a freshman at USC, Reyes was the dominant counterpart to Mark Prior as USC advanced to the College World Series.  Reyes sophmore, junior, and senior seasons at USC were cut short due to nagging elbow injuries which dropped him into the 15th round of the 2003 draft.  After missing 6 weeks due to shoulder inflammation at the beggining of the 2004 season, Reyes dominated A ball hitters and advanced quickly to AA where he continued to show the promise that he once flashed as a freshman in USC. 

As noted earlier, Reyes was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 15th round of the 2003 Amatuer Draft and quickly moved up the Baseball America Top 100 Prospect Rankings to #47  prior to the 2005 season and up to #41 prior to the 2006 season.  In 428 minor league innings, Reyes struck out 446 while walking just 101 but he was never able to translate that dominance to the major league level. The St. Louis Cardinals traded Reyes to the Cleveland Indians for Luis Perdomo on July 26, 2008. 

Reyes had success with the Tribe in 2008 by going 2-1 in 6 starts with an impressive 1.83 ERA.  By the end of the 2008 season, the Indians had high hopes that Reyes had turned a corner and could lock down a starting job in the rotation in 2009.  Reyes returned to USC prior to spring training of 2009 to work with ptiching guru Tom House in an attempt to rework his delivery to remove stress from his elbow which had been causing him discomfort at the end of the 2008 season.  Reyes pushed himself through 8 starts in 2009 but finally succumbed to the pain on May 22nd and faced the realization that his elbow would require ulnar nerve transposition surgery and ligament transplant surgery (Tommy John Surgery).  The surgery was performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum on June 12, 2009 with an expected recovery time of 12-18 months.

Anthony Reyes is currently in Goodyear, Arizona working his way back from elbow reconstruction surgery performed  by Dr. Lewis Yocum on June 12, 2009 with an expected recovery time of 12-18 months.   Reports from Tony Lastoria at Indiansprospectinsider.com are very positive and even have him hitting 96 mph on the radar gun.

Many Tribe fans may remember the Anthony Reyes of 2009.  That Anthony Reyes, according to data researched at Brooksbaseball.net, averaged nearly 87 mph on his fastball with a maximum velocity of around 90 mph.  Is this falls 96 mph a radar gun oddity for Reyes or is the increased velocity something that made Reyes the top prospect in the St. Louis Cardinal Orginzation in 2005 and 2006?   Baseball America's 2005 scouting report suggest that Reyes was up to 94-96 mph on his fastball and generally worked between 90 and 95 at the end of the 2004 season.   Baseball America's 2006 scouring report also echoes the 2005 scouting report suggesting that Reyes sat in the 92-93 mph range and occassionally hits the mid-90s.

Tribe fans can hope that the Anthony Reyes who is pitching in Goodyear, Arizona this fall is the same Anthony Reyes that reports to Goodyear, Arizona to compete for a starting job in February, 2011.



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