Chris Sale turned heads when he was drafted 13th overall in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft by the White Sox and was called to the majors later that summer. Since then we have seen him dazzle as a set-up man and closer and will watch him transition into his natural role as a starter. Sale is not the only promising young pitcher you will see this season on the roster. Get to know Addison Reed, he is the team’s future closer and may just be a star.
Addison Reed, similar to Sale flew through the ranks quickly. He was drafted by the Sox in the same year as Sale in the third round out of San Diego State University. Since then he’s blown through the minor league system, where he was named the relief pitcher on Baseball America’s 2011 Minor League All-Star Team. He made his debut with the White Sox last season on September 2nd.
The 6’4” 220lbs righty had a 6:1 strike out ratio in the five levels he pitched last season including 12 strike outs to only one with the White Sox late in the year. While in college, he excelled as a closer including locking down saves for standout Stephen Strasburg. His velocity was high, topping out at 95 MPH. When San Diego State moved him into the rotation, he still performed well posting an 8-2 record, 2.50 ERA, 90:16 strike out ratio but struggled with velocity late in the season dropping down anywhere between 88-92 MPH.
Initially the White Sox viewed Reed as a starter but decided against it while viewing his declining velocity and overwhelming glut of starters within the organization. He went to the minors as a reliever and blew away the competition. How does an 11:1 strike ration in just 8 innings of Low-A sound? Maybe you like his 1.59 ERA in High-A. Not impressed yet? Take a look at 0.87 ERA with a 33:6 strike out ration in 21 innings in Double-A. That earned him a promotion to Triple-A where he struck out 11 in his first 6 innings. Most importantly, Reed only gave up 36 hits in 63 innings on the minor league level.
Addison Reed pitched in six games last year with the White Sox. His first game was the debacle on Sunday Night Baseball when the Sox lost 18-2 against the Detroit Tigers. He gave up four hits and a run while fanning three that night. After that he went on to give up two earned runs in 5.2 innings while striking out nine.
Every game Reed pitched in last season for the White Sox was a loss so we don’t know how he will perform in pressure situations on a major league level. What we do know is Sergio Santos is gone. Chris Sale is moving to the rotation and we have seen what Matt Thorton can do as a closer and it wasn’t good. Reed has all the tools to be a star in this league, and he just might get his chance sooner than you think.