Dodgers confident about Chris Reed
PHILADELPHIA -- In taking Stanford University left-hander Chris Reed with their first selection (16th overall) in the amateur draft on Monday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers broke with an unofficial moratorium on drafting prospects who are being advised by hardball agent Scott Boras, something they hadn't done since effectively wasting their 2005 first-round pick on University of Tennessee pitcher Luke Hochevar.
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However, Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White seemed confident he would sign Reed fairly quickly, quickly enough that he already was talking about the potential value of Reed pitching somewhere in the organization sometime this summer.
"I'm confident because I like the kid," White said. "He is a local kid (from Reseda). I have talked to his father a lot. He comes from a family of good people, and I take them at their word when they say he wants to be a Dodger. I never say anything is a slam dunk, but I feel fairly confident about it because they are good people.
"(Based on) everything we have talked about, he is ready to get out and get started."
Reed has been closing for Stanford, which will play North Carolina in an NCAA super regional this weekend to determine which team advances to the College World Series. White said he told Reed to enjoy that experience as long as it lasts, that the Dodgers will still be there ready to negotiate when it's over.
But White also said his long-term projection for Reed is as a starter.
"I think this guy definitely can start," White said. "I think we got fortunate that the kid was pitched out of the bullpen. We were on him a long time. He hasn't been seen a lot (by other clubs). He throws 92-95 (mph), and as you'll be able to see in the College World Series, he is big and strong, 6-feet-5 and 215 (pounds). He has a hard slider, 86-88, and a sharp changeup as well."
White said it was Orsino Hill, the Dodgers' area scout for Northern California, who first discovered Reed and then recommended him to West Coast supervisor Brian Stephenson.
White said Reed will be eased into starting, hinting that even if he does sign quickly enough to actually pitch for a Dodgers affiliate this season it might be only a couple of appearances out of the bullpen. He also said he will wait until Stanford's playoff run is complete before deciding where Reed will begin his professional career if he does sign, but college draftees typically start at Ogden, Utah, where the Dodgers have an advanced Rookie-level affiliate in the Pioneer League.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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