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AJ Reed

Born: 05/10/1993 (Age: 22)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 275
Primary Position: 1B
Secondary Position: DH
Behemoth; physically maxed-out 6'4", 240 pounds; big boy strength, barrel-chested with broad, thick shoulders, wide base; Ruthian gait; sneaky coordination and athleticism despite limited mobility and dexterity.
Evaluator Wilson Karaman
Report Date 06/09/2015
Dates Seen 4/9, 4/11, 4/23, 4/25, 6/4, 6/5
Affiliate Lancaster JetHawks (High A, Astros)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Video
2017 High 55 No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 50 Wide base, balanced crouch with loose hands high to back ear and east/west waggle; indirect path on longish load takes an inconsistent shape; hands bob into rhythmic wrist-cock, back-end length to trigger point; doesn't repeat load well, barrel delivery can wander; short stride, generates significant torque and separation with front shoulder, will bar front arm when he over-extends; polished approach, disciplined in and out of zone, evident plan of attack when he offers in different quadrants; demonstrated ability to work up the middle and to left-center with toned-down swing; hangs in against same-handed pitching, tracks spin well; fringe-average raw hit tool projection plays up with strong walk rate and OBP profile.
Power 65 Raw is double-plus, BP sessions are shows of force; elite strength, bat speed limited to above-average by slower hips and long rotation from deep coil; extends early, looks to drive on the outer half; LCF power alley, strength to muscle the ball out without flush contact; can turn on inner-third velocity; advanced ability to get himself into position to maximize game power.
Baserunning/Speed 30 Three clocks at 4.48, 4.36, and 4.44; can generate a head of steam under way, well below-average pick-up and foot speed; takes good angles rounding first on doubles.
Glove 45 Below-average at present; moves decently around the bag with some notable mobility given size; below-average lateral quickness, footwork is raw, slow into cross-over; range is limited, solid hands on balls he can reach, handles short-hops.
Arm 55 Plenty of arm strength, pure velocity may be 65; poor body control throwing on the move; slow to get into throwing position, footwork lags; potential for above-average utility with additional reps.

Reed is exactly the kind of advanced power bat that really has little to prove in the California League. His raw strength and collegiate polish are a recipe for exactly the kind of Herculean numbers he's produced thus far, and we're not going to be able to draw too many conclusions about the central question of his power utility until he gets challenged by better sequencing and fastball execution at higher levels.

Still, it's very much worth confirming that the bat looks very good. It's a three-true-outcome profile, and there will be ample swing-and-miss in his game thanks to a load that can get sloppy and modest bat speed. But Reed's approach is among the more advanced I've seen in the league and he shows a rare ability among hitters with his kind of raw power to get to it in games. He demonstrates a good kind of patience, working counts well and attacking with a selective aggression. He's not passive and will jump fastballs early in counts while also showing encouraging discipline in laying off heaters in the tougher-to-reach corners of the zone.

The intelligence in the box pairs well with top-shelf brute strength to offset some of the physical limitations Reed's large frame presents, and the combination gives his light-tower power the opportunity to play. I'm bullish he can continue to bring a sizeable chunk of the power into games against advanced pitching and produce value despite a fringy defensive profile. The production will get discounted for the time being on account of league and ballpark context, but Reed has legitimate impact offensive potential and projects as a potential middle-of-the-order bat in a good lineup.

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