The Cincinnati Reds have designated Cody Reed for assignment. While he never fulfilled his promise in Cincinnati, there are plenty of reasons why another team should give him a shot.
Pitching prospects are an absolute roller coaster. Every high draft pick and can’t miss pitching prospect gets labeled as a future top of the rotation arm. Cody Reed was once labeled the same way – the next can’t miss arm – when he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Johnny Cueto.
On Monday, however, Reed found himself designated for assignment by Cincinnati and will likely be moving on to a new team, hoping to unlock his potential. For every Walker Buehler, there is a Cody Reed. More like five Cody Reeds, especially considering another former top prospect, Carson Fulmer, was recently DFA’d and picked up by the Pirates.
Reed has little in terms of a recent track record. Over the last two seasons, he has only thrown 15.2 innings as he worked back from injury. He will likely be a reliever moving forward but he has the potential to be a very good one as he is a left handed pitcher with a high octane fastball. That alone will get him consideration from a number of teams analytic and scouting departments.
He comes armed with an above average and blistering 94.6 MPH on his heater and stands at an imposing 6’5″ on the bump. Reed also has one of the lower spin fastballs in baseball which helps him generate a ton of ground balls. Admittedly you have to play with the filters, but in 2018 Reed had a 61% ground ball rate which was top 10 amongst all pitchers (min. 40 innings). That alone should pique the interest of rebuilding teams thinking they can turn him into Zack Britton-lite.
Reed’s primary pitch is actually a slider that he throws 51% of the time. Looking at Statcast’s slider movement board, Reed’s slider has above average vertical and horizontal movement. The pitch averages 88 mph and pairs well with his sinking fastball. Here’s the slider in action creating a weak grounder that turns into a double play.
Reed hasn’t been very effective the last two seasons due to injury. After a little research and some squinting, you can see that he has plenty of potential to contribute at the MLB level. Teams can dream on turning him into a sinker/slider bullpen weapon that generates ground balls with ease.
Whether it is a rebuilding team or a contender remains to be seen, but someone should take a shot at former Cincinnati Reds reliever Cody Reed.