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Did the Twins Miss Something With Jake Reed?


Jake Reed spent his first seven professional seasons in the Twins organization. Now he’s getting his first taste of the big leagues outside the organization. Did Minnesota miss out on a potential bullpen arm?

Reed was originally drafted by the Twins in the fifth round back in 2014 out of the University of Oregon. He made a strong first impression as his college experience helped him to dominate the lower levels of the minors. Minnesota sent him to the Arizona Fall League where he continued to pitch well. Things couldn’t have gone much better in his first taste of professional action.

During the 2015 season, Reed advanced as far as Double-A and made a return trip to the AFL. Over the next couple seasons, he’d work his way to Triple-A where he compiled some decent numbers. His best Triple-A season came in 2018 as he compiled a 1.89 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. He seemed on the cusp of being called up to the big leagues for the Twins.

Things didn’t go as smoothly in 2019 as his ERA and WHIP were career worsts, but he struck out 11 batters per nine innings. Minnesota gave him a non-roster invite to big-league camp in 2020, but the COVID pandemic and no minor league season hurt Reed’s chances. Reed fell into a unique group that became first time free agents last winter even though no season was played.

Reed signed a minor league deal with the Angels this winter, but he allowed five runs in 10 2/3 innings at Triple-A. His strikeout numbers continued to be through the roof as he struck out 17 batters in eight appearances (14.3 K/9). Organizations with good scouting departments took notice as he signed with the Dodgers and that’s where he’d make his big-league debut. 

The Dodgers have plenty of pitching depth, so Reed didn’t last long on their 40-man roster. Tampa Bay, another team known for scouting, scooped him up, but he only made one appearance in their organization before being designated for assignment. Now, the Mets have picked him up and it might be a chance for him to stick with an organization.  

Both his slider and his fastball come in under the league average when it comes to velocity. However, his unique arm action and his ability to generate spin. Batters aren’t prepared to see a ball move the way it does out of Reed’s hand and this makes him more effective. His arm action allows him to release the ball low and then the spin of the ball makes hitters look uncomfortable at the plate. His strikeout rates have continued to rise in recent years and his unique style may be the biggest reason why this has happened. 

So what does the future hold for Jake Reed? Sometimes changing organizations can make all the difference and he has done plenty of changing this season. On Friday, the Mets placed Reed on the IL with right forearm inflammation, but the hope is he can get back sooner rather than later, especially with the team in the hunt for the NL East title.

Do you think the Twins missed something with Reed? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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He's bounced around enough that I don't really feel like they missed anything.  His success could be attributed to taking something from every stop he's had and molding it into his own to great effect.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad to see him succeed.  Wish it were here, but I don't have any regrets.

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The Twins have missed something with a lot of players for the past 20 years. Its a theme. I also find it no coincidence that many players from our system in the past 4 years have gone on to become vastly improved players on other teams. This whole teams culture right now, at least at the Major League level is not conducive for making a WS run. Rocco is too soft, not even keeled, soft. These are grown men you are working with Rocco, stop coddling them. Dont have a pitcher go out there and let 15 men get on base and give up 7 runs (Yankees game) and say, "oh, he goes out there and just wants to do everything for the team to win." So does the bat boy. No, he sucked, he's not good enough, and he and everyone else here is going to have to step it up if they want to make this roster next season, let alone play WS caliber baseball. Period. Im so sick of this MN nice mentality, its not a winners mentality. 

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40 minutes ago, wsnydes said:

He's bounced around enough that I don't really feel like they missed anything.  His success could be attributed to taking something from every stop he's had and molding it into his own to great effect.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad to see him succeed.  Wish it were here, but I don't have any regrets.

Perfectly said. Sometimes it takes a new voice, new experience, or getting let go for things to click. JT Chargois is another case where going overseas for a year helped him find success. Taylor Rogers spoke with him when the Twins last played against the Rays and shared that on the radio broadcast. 

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You could write this exact story for a dozen guys from every organization. This is nothing. The question shouldn't even be "did the Twins miss something," it should be "did the Twins, Angels, Dodgers, and Rays miss something." This is the life of fringe MLB players. Sometimes one will hit down the line somewhere, but there are dozens of guys a year who get DFA'd, claimed, DFA'd, claimed, DFA'd, claimed, and on and on until every team who wanted to see him for themselves has done their claiming. This is just click-bait chum in the water for fans already angry with the Twins FO this year.

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Still feels like a fringe player to me. Might have a few successful years in the bullpen, but will also likely have some pretty "meh" years, assuming he sticks. He was just another guy with the Dodgers in his first taste of MLB: not bad, not great. He's had 2 good outings with the Mets, but that's way too soon to suddenly decide he's figured it out and can be a key bullpen piece. If he gives up a dinger in his next start, suddenly his numbers go to hell fast.

His minor league numbers this year aren't good: he hunted up K's but also gave up a pile of hits. His minor league WHIP is...ok, nothing special. He's 28.

Did the twins miss on him? Not really. He looks like a fringe guy who will get some chances in MLB but will probably bounce between AAA & MLB. And if the Twins "missed" on him, so did the Angels, the Dodgers, the rays...

 

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We've missed on many the last few years. Reed isn't one of them.

However I agree it's been very frustrating to see "our guys" succeed on other team's the last couple years - Littell and Wade, and seeing the Giants success ticks me off. The Cave/Gil trade ticks me off. Giving Ynoa away ticks me off. 

If other teams can pull guys off our scrap heap, I expect we should be able to do the same. So far, fail.

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As I recall, the Twins front office didn't think much of Reed's stuff and were trying to get him to change some things despite him simply dominating the minors in terms of strikeouts and ERA. For years people wondered when Reed was going to get a call up because the only issue was walks.

Other teams had a couple weeks to a couple months to look at him. The Twins had 6 years. Players who never get an opportunity at the MLB level with their original team before being picked in Rule 5 or leaving through minor league free agency rarely turn into anything so when it happens, it's worth an raising an eyebrow.

If Reed turns into something decent, it's yet another strike against the front office and coaching staff. It's the front office's job to maintain team control over players and in concert with the coaching staff they hire and employ, to evaluate players. Right now, Reed isn't walking anybody, he's striking out a lot of folks, generating good whiff rates and the Mets used him for 3 innings in an outing against the Dodgers. His results are promising lately. Just have to see.

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I enjoy seeing where former Twins minor leaguers and MLB players are and how they are doing.  Reed is one of the baseball nomads and I hope he finds a home and success.  It is important to realize how hard it is to make the jump from minor to major leagues.  Keep these articles up.  Maybe an article where you list the players and their teams and stats. 

Thanks. 

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IIRC, there was some talk about bringing him up in 2016 but he might not have been on the 40 man? And then there was more talk in 17-18 but control issues kept him down? (they also might have kicked around the idea of using him as an opener?) I remember he was exposed to the rule v and no one took him.

I'm not sure this is a "mistake" on the Twins staff. Reed is 28 and has 10 ML innings. I'm glad he's getting his chance. Reed was always a guy on the cusp of being on the 40 man, probably a classic AAAA-guy for many. It's hard for those guys to get a shot, especially if they have a demonstrable issue at AAA (in his case, control). I think the obvious times to bring him up would have been sometime in 16-18 (just by looking at his stats). In 15, he had been bumped up to AA where he struggled. He did better in AA in 16 and was promoted to AAA near the end of the season, which I assume was why he didn't get to the majors in a lost season. In 17, he had some good numbers in AAA but (IIRC) he also missed some time with injuries and the ML team's bullpen was solid enough. In 18, he was off the 40 man (IIRC) and control issues became more apparent. And then in 19, our pen was outstanding without him. Hard to bring him up.

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21 minutes ago, In My La Z boy said:

We've missed on many the last few years. Reed isn't one of them.

However I agree it's been very frustrating to see "our guys" succeed on other team's the last couple years - Littell and Wade, and seeing the Giants success ticks me off. The Cave/Gil trade ticks me off. Giving Ynoa away ticks me off. 

If other teams can pull guys off our scrap heap, I expect we should be able to do the same. So far, fail.

This front office has taken guys off other teams’ “scrap heaps” and gotten good performances out of them. Wisler, Smeltzer, Cron, Schoop, Rhyne Harper, Matt Magill, Adrianza, Oliver Drake, Brandon Kintzler. There are some others. None are obviously pillars of the organization, but if that’s what you’re using the waiver wire for you should probably fire everyone involved with the draft. 

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We have had pluses and minuses just like most teams.  We got Odorizzi for nothing.  The one that looks like a pretty big negative at the moment is Luis Gil.  He looks legit.  Man, I would like to have him here next year.  It happens,  Was Chicago's FO monumentally incompetent when they traded away Tatis Jr. or is it part of the risk of trading prospects away?

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1 hour ago, KFEY93 said:

What are you having trouble with? Did you not watch that game? Or read the press conference after? 

I don’t see how leaving a young guy out to get shelled is coddling him. Because it isn’t. 

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1 hour ago, prouster said:

This front office has taken guys off other teams’ “scrap heaps” and gotten good performances out of them. Wisler, Smeltzer, Cron, Schoop, Rhyne Harper, Matt Magill, Adrianza, Oliver Drake, Brandon Kintzler. There are some others. None are obviously pillars of the organization, but if that’s what you’re using the waiver wire for you should probably fire everyone involved with the draft. 

Schoop, Cron, Kintzler, Magill, Adrianza, Wisler and Drake all had MLB experience and many of them had 5+ years of MLB experience. Then there's Smeltzer, who was part of the Brian Dozier trade. Enormously false narrative you've created.

Of all the names you mentioned, only one was a MiLB free agent or Rule 5 pick. That was Ryne Harper, who the Twins subsequently DFA'd and traded for the Nationals' 9th round pick from the previous year, Hunter McMahon. For the record, Harper owns a 1.78 ERA in 25.1 IP for the Nationals this year and pretty good in 2020 except a couple games where he was hung out to dry which killed his overall stat line so it seems like that could be considered a mark against the Twins front office as well. Speaking of guys the Twins let go, why not add Wisler back into this? He's putting together a nice overall season and the Twins let him walk for nothing so Wisler is as much an indictment of the Falvey as he is a credit to him.

Rule 5 picks almost never turn into anything so when you see multiple Rule 5 picks out of the Twins being successful this year (Baddoo and Wells) and you add in a couple other recent potential poor judgements like Wisler, Reed and potentially trades with Wade and Harper plus a bad season were every single one of those players would have been very valuable to the Twins, you get some fair criticism.

I'm not saying Reed won't be figured out and clobbered, but if he does find continued success, it's extremely damning on the front office who had every opportunity and every reason to give him a chance but never did. Identifying and maintaining control over young talent is the most important thing in Falvey's job description.

 

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2 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

If the Twins kept every player on the 40 man this site whines about, they'd have around 100000 players on their roster at this point.

Yeah, and at least 350 of them would be good players.

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4 hours ago, bean5302 said:

Schoop, Cron, Kintzler, Magill, Adrianza, Wisler and Drake all had MLB experience and many of them had 5+ years of MLB experience. Then there's Smeltzer, who was part of the Brian Dozier trade. Enormously false narrative you've created.

Of all the names you mentioned, only one was a MiLB free agent or Rule 5 pick. That was Ryne Harper, who the Twins subsequently DFA'd and traded for the Nationals' 9th round pick from the previous year, Hunter McMahon. For the record, Harper owns a 1.78 ERA in 25.1 IP for the Nationals this year and pretty good in 2020 except a couple games where he was hung out to dry which killed his overall stat line so it seems like that could be considered a mark against the Twins front office as well. Speaking of guys the Twins let go, why not add Wisler back into this? He's putting together a nice overall season and the Twins let him walk for nothing so Wisler is as much an indictment of the Falvey as he is a credit to him.

Rule 5 picks almost never turn into anything so when you see multiple Rule 5 picks out of the Twins being successful this year (Baddoo and Wells) and you add in a couple other recent potential poor judgements like Wisler, Reed and potentially trades with Wade and Harper plus a bad season were every single one of those players would have been very valuable to the Twins, you get some fair criticism.

I'm not saying Reed won't be figured out and clobbered, but if he does find continued success, it's extremely damning on the front office who had every opportunity and every reason to give him a chance but never did. Identifying and maintaining control over young talent is the most important thing in Falvey's job description.

 

True, not all of the names listed came directly from waivers. You got me there. The only narrative I’m advancing is that the current front office has acquired fringe guys from other teams that performed well for a period. If you disagree with that, then I don’t know what to tell you. A lot of folks here seem to have a pretty selective memory that only includes what they want it to. 
 

Edit: As I thought I remembered, Cron and Drake were both waiver wire pickups, as was Adrianza. Kintzler, Magill, and Harper were signed as minor league free agents with spring training invites. Schoop was a MLB free agent, and Smeltzer came in the Dozier trade. So if you want to accuse people of fabricating “enormously false narratives,” it would be wise not to peddle false information. 

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Last year, I spent 15 minutes and scanned the 40-man rosters of every team to count the number of former Twins out there on other teams. The number? 36. That's not a typo. And what struck me was that about 20 MLB teams had at least one former Twin.

I don't think there were a half dozen of those players that you would have added to the Twin's 26-man at the expense of removing the player we had at the same position, pitchers included. And there probably were not more than 10 guys that you would have jettisoned someone on the 40-man to make room for them.

What did I conclude from that? Well, almost nothing, other than that there sure are a lot of Harpers, Magills, and Granites floating around out there.

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4 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

You could write this exact story for a dozen guys from every organization. This is nothing. The question shouldn't even be "did the Twins miss something," it should be "did the Twins, Angels, Dodgers, and Rays miss something." This is the life of fringe MLB players. Sometimes one will hit down the line somewhere, but there are dozens of guys a year who get DFA'd, claimed, DFA'd, claimed, DFA'd, claimed, and on and on until every team who wanted to see him for themselves has done their claiming. This is just click-bait chum in the water for fans already angry with the Twins FO this year.

The reason you sign a bunch of these guys to fill out rosters because you never know who is gonna put it all together or go on a successful run. Hard to match mixing experience with success.

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3 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

If the Twins kept every player on the 40 man this site whines about, they'd have around 100000 players on their roster at this point.

Whines is a pretty strong indictment against your fellow brethren here during one of the biggest failed seasons ever according to expectations. I just want them to keep the ones that seem to magically be excellent the minute they don another jersey. Identify talent and coach it up, and construct a winning roster. It is quite fair to whine about the failure this year. We aren't in the player personnel department. We are in the rabid fan department. 

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Just now, In My La Z boy said:

Whines is a pretty strong indictment against your fellow brethren here during one of the biggest failed seasons ever according to expectations. I just want them to keep the ones that seem to magically be excellent the minute they don another jersey. Identify talent and coach it up, and construct a winning roster. It is quite fair to whine about the failure this year. We aren't in the player personnel department. We are in the rabid fan department. 

There are multiple threads and comments (some repeated over and over and over and over and over......) about multiple fringe players and their "success" outside of MN......Like, they'd have to cut about 10 players from the current roster to hold them all (imagine doing that at the start of the year)......

I have no issue with reasoned discussions about failures, but this is a ridiculous example, imo. As are many of the second guesses here.

I get it, the season has sucked. But the anger and mean comments (not in this OP, btw) and repetition is tedious at best (and a massive turn off from joining in for many former long time posters).

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