and has had elbow surgery, Maximo "Paco" Reyes shouldn't show up on a list of top prospects. Still, he has enough talent to overcome all of those things and work his way up the Phillies' minor league ladder."> and has had elbow surgery, Maximo "Paco" Reyes shouldn't show up on a list of top prospects. Still, he has enough talent to overcome all of those things and work his way up the Phillies' minor league ladder.">

Top Prospect #31: Maximo Reyes

Considering that he is only 5' 9" tall, wasn't drafted until the 48th round of the 2001 Draft <i>and</i> has had elbow surgery, Maximo "Paco" Reyes shouldn't show up on a list of top prospects. Still, he has enough talent to overcome all of those things and work his way up the Phillies' minor league ladder.

The fact that Maximo Reyes has reached a higher ranking (number 31) on our list of Top 50 Phillies Prospects, than he did in the draft - 48th round - says a lot. After all, 48th round picks aren't supposed to ever be much of a prospect and considering that Reyes was the Phillies' last pick in the 2001 Draft, is even more evidence that he shouldn't be on a list of prospects. Even with all of that, here he is.

In March of 2003, Reyes underwent elbow surgery and missed the entire season. By 2004, he was healthy and was throwing better than anticipated. Reyes started the year with Lakewood and didn't allow an earned run until May 23rd, a string of 21 innings. Throughout the rest of the season, he was consistently strong, leading Lakewood with ten saves before being promoted to Clearwater. His Clearwater numbers were very impressive and Reyes was able to show that he is indeed healthy and ready to show what a steal he was in the 2001 Draft.

In his second professional season, Reyes led the Gulf Coast League with 12 saves, blowing just two save opportunities and he held opponents to a .135 batting average. The Phillies kept Reyes in a closer's role at both Lakewood and Clearwater last season and are likely to do the same with him as he moves up the ladder.

Year / Team W L ERA SV G GS CG IP H R ER BB KO HR
2001 Gulf Coast 1 2 2.42 2 17 0 0 26.0 16 9 7 7 33 2
2002 Gulf Coast 2 0 0.35 12 22 0 0 25.2 12 2 1 3 29 0
2002 Batavia 0 1 4.70 0 4 0 0 7.2 11 4 4 0 5 1
2003 Injured - DNP 0 0 0.00 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 Lakewood 9 3 2.31 10 42 0 0 62.1 50 24 16 12 67 5
2005 Clearwater 0 0 1.93 1 6 0 0 9.1 4 2 2 2 7 0
Career 12 6 2.06 25 91 0 0 131.0 93 41 30 24 141 8

Acquired: Drafted out of St.Petersburg (Florida) Junior College in the 48th round of the 2001 Draft.

Repertoire: Reyes is the basic fastball, slider type of pitcher. His velocity is coming back well after his elbow surgery and he is working to improve his curve and change-up, which are both decent.

Pitching: Reyes is a smart pitcher and his control never deserts him. He keeps the ball down in the zone and won't give up many homeruns. His mechanics are naturally strong and he doesn't overthrow. His delivery is smooth, which made it surprising that he developed arm problems so early in his career. A lot is made of the fact that Reyes is only 5' 9". Keep in mind that Billy Wagner is only 5' 11" and Rheal Cormier comes in at 5' 10". If the talent is there, shorter pitchers can be effective in the majors.

Projection: If the Phillies don't start Reyes at AA Reading, it seems a lock that he'll be there by the end of the season. Reyes turned 23 last September and the year off because of the injury definitely hurt him in that respect. Hopefully, he'll make up for lost time.

ETA: Don't be surprised if Reyes gets a September audition by 2006. It may take him another year or so to get his feet planted in the majors, but he should be able to help at the major league level very soon.

Comparison: "He has Brett Myers type stuff," said one scout. "But he spots the ball better and keeps his composure on the mound." Not a bad endorsement.


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