After dominating for the Dayton Dragons in 2016, the Cincinnati Reds sent Jesus Reyes to Daytona to begin his 2017 campaign. His first two starts had some good and some bad. In 12.1 innings between the two games he walked just one batter and struck out 11. That was the good. Seven runs were charged against him, though, and that was the bad. The next two outings went better from a runs scored perspective. Reyes allowed one run in each start, combining for 11.0 total innings. For the month he posted a 3.47 ERA in those four starts in 23.1 innings that came with five walks and 18 strikeouts.

The month of May got out to a nice start. On the 4th against Fort Myers, Jesus Reyes threw 7.2 shutout innings. Things weren’t as smooth the next time the right hander took the mound. Florida touched him up for six earned runs in 4.0 innings. It was merely a blip on the radar, though. Over the next three starts he allowed just five earned runs. That also came with 19 strikeouts in 18.0 innings pitched. In 29.2 May innings, the 24-year-old posted a 3.34 ERA with eight walks and 26 strikeouts.

After a week off, Jesus Reyes took the mound against Dunedin. June didn’t start out well as the Blue Jays tagged him for three earned in 3.2 innings pitched. It would be another eight days before Reyes took the mound, but the rest did him well. On the road at Florida he threw 8.0 shutout innings in what was his best start of the season. With some time off for the All-Star break the righty returned to the mound eight days later and this time the rest didn’t help as he was charged with seven runs in 3.2 innings. Reyes finished out June by allowing three runs in 4.2 innings against Lakeland. It was the worst month of the season, posting a 5.85 ERA in 20.0 innings with nine walks and just 15 strikeouts.

July got out to a solid, but unspectacular start. Jesus Reyes allowed two earned, but three more unearned scored, in 6.0 innings to begin the month. He followed that up by allowing one earned in 6.2 innings with a walk and five strikeouts. That was his final start for Daytona before the Reds promoted Reyes to Double-A Pensacola. On the 14th he made his first start for the Blue Wahoos and fired 5.0 shutout innings. It was mostly more of the same over the next three starts to round out the month. In 18.1 innings he allowed just four runs with four walks and 16 strikeouts. During the month, his most dominating of the year, he posted a 1.75 ERA. That came in 36.0 innings with 11 walks and 29 strikeouts.

August began with two starts of 5.0 innings and three earned runs in each. A week later Jesus Reyes would take the mound against Mississippi and allow three more runs, but this time of 3.0 innings. He allowed two runs over 6.0 innings with five strikeouts against Jackson. Over the final two starts of the regular season he allowed four runs in 9.1 innings with six walks and four strikeouts. In that final five week stretch he posted a 4.76 ERA in 28.1 innings with 14 walks and 23 strikeouts.

For all 2017 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Jesus Reyes Scouting Report

Fastball | Jesus Reyes throws both a 2-seamer and a 4-seamer. The 2-seamer is the go-to offering between the two and works in the 93-95 MPH range with good sinking action to it. The 4-seamer will reach as high as 98 MPH.

Slider | His second pitch, Reyes throws his slider in the low-to-mid 80’s. It’s got 11-5 action and is an above-average offering.

Jesus Reyes is one of the better success stories from the Reds scouting and developmental team. Undrafted out of ASA College in New York, he signed with the Reds in August of 2014. He’s worked his way up through the system and performed well enough to earn a spot on the 40-man roster earlier this offseason.

He’s a big time ground ball rate pitcher, getting well over 60% last season, and nearly 70% in his 51.2 innings in Double-A. Jesus Reyes shows two above-average pitches, but his lack of a third offering means he’s very likely a reliever in the future. His stuff could play up out of the bullpen, where elite ground ball rates could play very well. The Reds may keep him in the rotation for 2018, at least to start the season, in order to get him innings, but don’t be surprised if he makes his way to the bullpen at some point in the near future.