Retrospective Q&A: Keith Reed

In 1999, the Orioles used one of their seven first round draft picks on Keith Reed. Things never clicked completely for Reed with the Orioles and he is now playing in the Independent Leagues. ITW caught up with Keith recently to discuss his time with the Orioles and where he hopes to take his career now.

ITW: You were one of the Orioles first round draft picks in the 1999 draft; were there any other teams interested in drafting you that year?

Keith Reed: I took batting practice in Three Rivers [Stadium] for the Pirates before the draft. Dana Brown was the scout and they talked about selecting me with their pick in the first round.

ITW: What expectations did the Orioles communicate to you after they drafted you?

Keith Reed: They didn't really give me any specific expectations. I wanted to go out and try to improve every year and get to the big leagues in a few years. It took a while for me to develop and I didn't develop as fast as they hoped. I finally got my chance in `05.

ITW: The Orioles left you exposed to the Rule 5 Draft in 2001. Were you hoping to get taken by another team?

Keith Reed: Anything to get to the big leagues, that's what ran through my mind. I ended up back at AA, but I can only worry about things I can control.

ITW: How do you prepare for a game?

Keith Reed: Basically, I try to get loose, shag balls in batting practice, stretch and run a bit. If I have faced the pitcher before, I look back at what he got me out on, or, if someone else knows what he has, we talk about what he has; I ask people who know him.

ITW: What would the scouting report on you say?

Keith Reed: It would say ‘a 5 tool guy'. I have the ability and the work ethic. I have the ability to get back into affiliated ball and the ability to compete at the big league level.

ITW: In 2005, the Orioles called you up to take Sammy Sosa's place on the roster. How did that feel?

Keith Reed: It felt pretty good. Friends told me I would be the answer to a trivia question. I would have like to stick around a while longer, though.

ITW: It seemed like you were starting to put it all together for the Orioles the last few seasons. Do you have any regrets you aren't still with them?

Keith Reed: I had some good years the last few seasons, but I didn't know if I was going to be an organizational guy with them or not. I wanted to test the waters to see if there were any better opportunities there for me. It didn't seem like the Orioles were interested in having me back.

ITW: Is there any one player in the majors you have tried to model your game after?

Keith Reed: I have always like Vlad [Guerrero]; I wear #27, play right field, don't wear batting gloves. He has power and speed as well. He is a good guy who is never in trouble. I have never met him.

ITW: Compare the major leagues, minor leagues and the independent leagues.

Keith Reed: Independent & AAA are pretty much the same. There are a lot of guys here with big league experience. I don't have like 4 years in the big leagues so I really can't compare them.

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