Evan Reed | Pitcher | #57
2014 salary: Pre-arb
2013 statistics: 4.24 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 23.1 IP, 2 HR, 8 BB, 17 K, 3.09 BB/9, 6.56 K/9
Projected role: Middle relief
Evan Reed remains perfect proof that throwing hard does not automatically make you a good pitcher. His fastball, which averaged 95.5 MPH last year, generated swings and misses just 5% of the time. When guys swung at it, they hit it, and as evidenced by an .873 OPS against the pitch, they tended to hit it pretty hard. It’s fast but there’s nothing deceptive about it. His slider was somewhat more effective but he doesn’t have the fastball command or deception to set it up. It all added up to a K/9 rate on par with that of your average Minnesota Twins pitch-to-contact starter. Combined with a walk rate over 3, you have a pitcher with the strikeout rate of a pitch-to-contact guy and the walk rate of a power guy.
Reed will likely make the team thanks to Bruce Rondon’s injury. While nobody with an arm that can pump out 96 MPH fastballs regularly should be thoughtlessly discarded, Reed has to improve, get more out of that power fastball, and improve his strikeout rate. If he can’t, it’ll be hard to count on him in any sort of high-leverage situation. Perhaps he does have it in him, though; he had some excellent stretches in Toledo last season. He’ll need to find a way to bring it up to Detroit with him.