The San Diego Padres added a unique player to their presently loaded minor league system in the 2016 MLB Draft, known for much more than his name. Michael “Buddy” Reed is the definition of a pure athlete. He never even thought of playing the game of baseball until high school.
The San Diego Padres signed Buddy Reed with the 48th pick in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft. The fan base was instantly intrigued and jumped all over this guy because of his name, but therein lies much more to what he has a chance of bringing to the Padres.
At the time of the 2016 draft, Reed transpired to be one of the most well-rounded outfielders in the entire MLB draft. His journey to professional baseball was a very interesting one as he played ice hockey and soccer for the greater part of his life.
Buddy Reed stared in soccer and ice hockey at a young age using a combination of pure athleticism, along with running ability, that helped him prosper in athletics. Baseball slowly entered his life after enrolling at St. George’s boarding school in Rhode Island on a hockey scholarship.
After discovering his potential on the baseball diamond, Buddy was unsure of which sport he should continue playing at the next level. During high school, he participated in a Perfect Game National showcase, where he impressed a number of college scouts from across the country. His dominance in the showcase made him feel that baseball was his personal best. Along with numerous D1 baseball offers, Buddy also held offers to play D1 Hockey before committing to the University of Florida on a baseball scholarship.
The Texas Rangers drafted Reed in 2013 while he was playing baseball, hockey, and soccer at St. George’s Academy. He refused to sign, feeling his education was clearly more important and allowed him to mature athletically.
Buddy Reed had a very successful time at Florida and his time as a Gator helped him mature into the young man and player he is today.
His efforts on and off the field made him one of the most honored and reputable players on the Gators’ roster. He brought tremendous talent both offensively and defensively and was clearly one of the best center fielders in the SEC, resembling a true leader with his teammates and around campus. Reed’s leadership and baseball talents helped rank him near the top of Florida baseball records and lead the Gators’ baseball program to two straight College World Series appearances in his sophomore and junior seasons (2015 and 2016).
Buddy Reed was fortunate enough to have the experience of playing in those two different College World Series, hoping for a similar atmosphere at a big stage with the Padres. Reed said, “The best part about playing in the College World Series was playing in front of the fans, which made for an unbelievable atmosphere”. Now he is ecstatic just to be in the Padres’ organization with a chance to be part of the future in San Diego.
Since joining the Padres’ organization in 2016, Buddy Reed has nailed himself on the Padres’ radar as one of the strongest outfielder prospects in the system because of his speed, switch hitting abilities, and defensive prowess. In his rookie campaign, Reed played Low A ball with the Tri-City Dust Devils, where he was forced to make adjustments with his swing, helping to translate his hitting at the professional level. His time with Tri-City wasn’t anything to be super positive about, but he showed minor improvements, and finished hitting .254 with 13 RBI and 15 steals over 51 games. The main concerns from his first season of pro baseball were his plate discipline, strikeouts, and fear about his swing holding out against more improved pitches.
His next stop came last year with Fort Wayne, the Padres’ High A team, where Buddy made larger strides offensively and showed some signs that he has a chance to translate his power and switch hitting in the higher levels. Buddy played in a total of 88 games with the Tin Caps in 2017, hitting .234 with six home runs, 35 RBI, and 12 steals. In 2018, Reed will likely start the season in Fort Wayne with a chance to make a jump to Lake Elsinore before the end of the season.
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