Alex Reyes made his second start of the 2016 season for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds Friday night at Las Vegas.
Overall, it was more successful than his first, though the 21-year-old received a no-decision both times out.
On Friday, Reyes was only in real trouble once, yielding a run in his final inning of work, the fifth. In that frame, the right-hander gave up a single and a walk before fanning two. An RBI single followed before the Redbirds secured the final out.
Reyes departed with three hits allowed, all singles, two walks and seven strikeouts. 58 of his 89 pitches went for strikes and he secured six ground outs to just one fly out.
This was more efficient than his opener last Sunday. Though Reyes allowed the same total of hits plus walks, five, the prior time out, he threw just 48 strikes in 85 pitches and lasted only four innings at home against Fresno.
I watched the Las Vegas 51’s Friday night stationary camera broadcast on MLB.TV. Former Cardinals pitcher and ESPN broadcaster Jerry Reuss was doing the color commentary. He noted Reyes was working in the 97-98 mph range with his fastball.
At least once in the five innings, Reyes hit triple-digits on consecutive pitches, 101 then 100. Reuss commented that it was the first time he had ever seen triple digits on the scoreboard in Las Vegas. That is pretty impressive considering the Mets’ pitching talent to have passed through their Triple-A affiliate in the recent past.
Of Reyes’ pitches, it was not the fastball which impressed Reuss the most. It was the changeup, in the 88-89 range, which Reuss called “unfair” when coupled with the 97 mph heat.
Reyes also threw a few curves at 78 mph, with an amazed Reuss noting the huge 23 mph difference between it and his best fastball.
All in all, it seemed the kind of improvement in efficiency that the Cardinals must have hoped to see from their top prospect.
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