Surprised? Dodgers Select Lefty Reed #1

The Dodgers selected Stanford University left-handed pitcher Chris Reed with their first-round pick (16th overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.  Reed is the second closer in three seasons to go in the first round, joining current National closer, Drew Storen, the 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft.

The Dodgers made this pick because of their financial situation, making certain anyone they picked could be signed for slot or below,

Reed, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound junior, earned an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection and has gone 6-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 28 games (one start) this season for the Cardinal, who advanced to the NCAA Super Regional after winning the Fullerton Regional this past weekend.

In 2011, the 21-year-old has limited opposing hitters to a .201 batting average with 48 strikeouts and allowed just one home run in 49.2 innings. As a reliever, Reed has posted a 1.80 ERA and ranks third in the Pac-10 with nine saves in 11 attempts this season. In three seasons at Stanford, Reed is 8-2 with a 3.96 ERA in 53 games.
The Dodgers have selected a pitcher with their 
first pick in each of the last nine seasons:
2003  Chad Billingsley (24th overall)
2004   Scott Elbert (17th overall)
2005   Luke Hochevar (40th overall)
2006   Clayton Kershaw (seventh overall)
2007   Chris Withrow (20th overall)
2008  Ethan Martin (15th overall)
2009  Aaron Miller (36th overall)
2010  Zach Lee (28th overall)
2011  Chris Reed (16th overall)
Reed is listed at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, but scouts say he has grown and gained strength from last year to this year. His fastball varies from 89-91 mph to 92-94, and he has touched 96. He'll show a power slider and above-average changeup, but all of his stuff needs more consistency.

That should come with experience. Reed has totaled just 68 innings at Stanford and has started only one game. His size, athleticism and three-pitch mix will tempt teams to give him a shot as a starter in pro ball.

"I think he can definitely start," Dodger assistant GM Logan White said. "He's big, strong. He throws 92-95 [mph] with a hard slider 80-85 and actually has a good changeup. I could see him become one of our best left-handed pitching prospects. I definitely want to make him a starter." ?

?The Reseda, Calif. native ranks third in the Pac-10 with nine saves in 11 attempts and has a 1.80 ERA in 27 relief appearances (45.0 IP). Overall he has a 2.54 ERA after starting the second game of the year and giving up seven earned runs in 4.2 inning loss. The rest of the season, the lefthander has given up seven earned runs over 45.0 innings with a 6-1 record.

He was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection. Reed had 25 career appearances and a 7.04 ERA prior to this season, but was rated as the top prospect and all star out of the Atlantic Collegiate Summer League following a 1.09 ERA over 33 innings and 11 games this past summer.

The Major League baseball analysis: "A 6-foot-4, 190-pound lefthander from Stanford, Reed has mostly been used as a reliever for the Cardinal, but has the stuff to start in pro ball. His fastball varies from 89-91 mph some nights to 92-94 on others, and he has touched 96. He'll show a power slider and above-average changeup, but all of his stuff needs more consistency."?

The ESPN analysis: "The genius of college coaches: Chris Reed, a 6-foot-4 left-hander who sits 92-94 as a reliever with two off-speed pitches that will at least flash above-average, has made exactly one start this year for Stanford, instead working out of the pen where he's been successful but wasted.

Reed adds a sharp, short slider in the 82-84 mph range to that fastball and will show a very hard-fading changeup in the upper 70s, throwing strikes with all three pitches but not yet showing the fastball command he'll need to start in the big leagues. He comes from a slot just under three-quarters and repeats his delivery well enough to start, although he could stay upright longer and get more downhill plane on the fastball.

Many scouts like Reed as a potential starter, and we know he can pitch in the bullpen if that doesn't work out, but I like his chances to end up a No. 2 or 3 starter once he's stretched out.

Kemp Making 40-40 look attainable
Matt Kemp has never had a 30-homer, 30-steal season, yet he's freely admitted his goal is a 40-40 season. On a sultry hot weekend in Cincinnati, Kemp heated up his pursuit of that goal with an impressive performance.

Kemp had six RBI Saturday, including a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning, and continued his rampage with a two-run homer Sunday in the Dodgers' 9-6 win over the Reds.

Overall, Kemp went 7-for-11 with three home runs and eight RBI in the three-game series. He walked five times, including two intentional passes that show how opposing teams want no part of facing him with runners on base. Even his outs were loud, or were grounders that he nearly beat out for a hit.

Kemp took over the league lead in RBI with 48, a pace of 130 for the year.

He's 14-for-17 in stolen bases, a pace of 38 steals. The last time a Dodger had 15 home runs through 59 games was in 2001, when Shawn Green, ended up with a franchise-record 49. Kemp's third homer of the weekend Sunday gave him 16, a pace of 43.

Since the start of the 2008 season, three players have hit six grand slams: Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Kemp.

Teammate Aaron Miles can't help comparing Kemp to his former teammate Pujols.

"It's funny, Albert goes through power stretches to all fields, like Matty, and he plays at the new Busch, which isn't as forgiving as the old one," Miles said. "They have power gap to gap. They are real similar like that. When they hit balls, they get that carry.

"Matty is on the way to the prime of his career, and you're not sure where the ceiling is. You look at him and you see Andre Dawson and Pujols, power guys that scare the other team. He can hit it out of any park. He does it in L.A., and it's hard to find anybody in the big leagues who has the pop from park to park, and can do all the other things he can do. And he's just getting better and better."

Kemp's slam was arguably the biggest hit of the season for the Dodgers. They trailed 7-2 entering the eighth inning and appeared headed for loss. Instead, Tony Gwynn, Jamey Carroll and Miles singled, then Andre Ethier walked, and Kemp brought everyone home.

--RHP Chad Billingsley has major bragging rights among Dodgers pitchers in their monthly hitting contests. He homered Sunday (second of his career), drew a bases-loaded walk, and hit an opposite-field RBI double to give him a career-high three RBI. Billingsley labored on the mound, needing 106 pitches to get through five innings, giving up four runs on 11 baserunners.

--INF Aaron Miles hasn't walked since April 27. As long as he keeps getting hits, the Dodgers won't mind. He had a three-hit game Saturday, his seventh of the season (seventh-best in the National League), and two more hits Sunday. Miles should see his playing time diminish when Juan Uribe returns from the disabled list. Miles likes to say that he and Jamey Carroll are the "Midget Mafia" at the top of the lineup. The last Dodger to go over 100 plate appearances without a walk was Juan Encarnacion with 140 straight in 2004.

--RHP Blake Hawksworth, INF Juan Uribe and OF Marcus Thames all could get activated from the disabled list before Monday's game. Hawksworth pitched a scoreless inning Saturday for high-A Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.). Uribe was hit by a pitch in the hand in that game and departed early, but reports are that he's OK. Thames didn't play Saturday or Sunday.

--RHP John Ely was the most likely candidate to get demoted when RHP Blake Hawksworth returns, even before Sunday's game. If the Dodgers somehow make the playoffs, Ely earned his playoff share by pitching three innings of relief (two runs allowed) to save the bullpen. Ely had a chance at a rare four-inning save, but walked the leadoff hitter in the ninth and was replaced by Josh Lindblom.

--LHP Clayton Kershaw was cruising along in Saturday's game, allowing one hit through five innings with nine strikeouts. The Reds rallied for four runs off him in the sixth, including a three-run homer by Joey Votto on a 1-2 pitch. Two more runs scored in the seventh. Those six runs Kershaw allowed were two more than he allowed in all of May, a season-high, and his most since Aug. 6 last year against the Nationals.

--RHP Mike MacDougal has been the primary "get-you-out-of-a-jam" reliever this year. He allowed two inherited runners to score Saturday, adding to Kershaw's run total, and he's now allowed 8-of-20 to score.

--C Dioner Navarro, a switch hitter, started for the third time in four games Saturday. Rod Barajas has struggled against righties, so Navarro should continue to get more playing time in the weeks to come. Barajas started on Sunday against lefty Travis Wood, and he was 1-for-34 with runners in scoring position before a two-run double in the third inning.

BY THE NUMBERS: 24 -- Games in a row the Dodgers will play from August 26-Sept. 18. The Dodgers-Pirates game that was postponed on May 12 will be made up on Sept. 1. It was either that day, or the final day of the all-star break (July 14). That makeup game will precede a road trip with three games in Atlanta, four in DC and three in San Francisco -- making it four cities and 11 games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Stuff happens all the time to every club. Maybe we've had more than most clubs. Still, do you turn the page and say you can't win? No way you can play like that. We've got to believe we're going to win and play the type of baseball we know we can." -- manager Don Mattingly, on the spirit of the team, as the injuries continue to mount.

--SS Rafael Furcal (strained left oblique muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list June 4.
--RHP Jon Garland (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 2.
--RHP Kenley Jansen (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list May 29. An MRI was clean. He resumed throwing June 1.
--INF Juan Uribe (strained left hip flexor) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 21. He began a rehab assignment June 2 with Class A Rancho Cucamonga, and he figures to be activated June 6.
--RHP Vicente Padilla (right radial nerve irritation) went on the 15-day disabled list May 14. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on May 29 and but was not activated June 3, as had been expected.
--RHP Blake Hawksworth (strained right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 11. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on May 23, but he was examined May 27 for a possible hip injury in addition to the groin problem. He resumed his rehab assignment June 2. Hawksworth pitched a scoreless inning June 4 for Rancho Cucamonga. He could get activated June 6.
--LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (anxiety disorder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 10. How long he will be out is a mystery. The exact issues affecting Kuo also are a mystery.
--RHP Jonathan Broxton (bone bruise on right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 4. He might resume throwing off a mound in early June. He is expected to be out until mid-June.
--OF Marcus Thames (strained right quad) went on the 15-day disabled list May 3. He began a rehab assignment at Class AAA Albuquerque on May 29. He could be activated June 6.
--C Hector Gimenez (sore right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 9. He had arthroscopic surgery April 26, and was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 13.

   LHP Clayton Kershaw
   RHP Chad Billingsley
   LHP Ted Lilly
   RHP Hiroki Kuroda
   RHP Rubby De La Rosa

   RHP Matt Guerrier
   LHP Scott Elbert
   RHP Josh Lindblom
   RHP Javy Guerra
   RHP Mike MacDougal
   RHP Ramon Troncoso
   RHP John Ely

   Rod Barajas
   Dioner Navarro

   1B James Loney
   2B Aaron Miles
   SS Jamey Carroll
   3B Casey Blake
   INF Juan Castro
   INF Ivan De Jesus Jr.
   LF Tony Gwynn Jr.
   CF Matt Kemp
   RF Andre Ethier
   OF Jay Gibbons
   OF/INF Jerry Sands
--Sports Xchange

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