PP 2004 Scouting Report: OF, Kevin Reese

The New York Yankees acquired outfielder Kevin Reese from the San Diego Padres for minor league infielder Bernabel Castro. Reese was drafted by the Padres in the 27th round (799th overall) in the 2000 Amateur Draft out of the University of San Diego. Reese began his amateur career as a pitcher but was described as only "so so" by scouts. As a result of his "so so" pitching status he was moved to centerfield to take advantage of his natural athletic ability. (Free Preview of Premium Content)

Vital Statistics:
Name: Kevin Reese
Position: OF
DOB: March 11, 1978
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 195
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Acquired from the San Diego Padres organization in a trade that involved the Yankees sending minor league infielder Bernabel Castro in return.

Since moving to the outfield, Reese has thrived enough as a tremendous hitting centerfielder to make anyone forget that he ever was a pitcher at all. This seemed at the time and still seems to be the best career move that Reese ever made.

Kevin Reese enjoyed a spectacular career at the University of San Diego where he earned star status and finally gave up pitching to go on to become a very strong hitter. After he gave up pitching at USD in his sophomore year he excelled as an hitter and ended up setting the single season record for hits at the University with 88. He also started a trend that he would set for almost his whole college career by hitting in the .370's. Despite a great sophomore year, Reese was even better in his junior year. Reese hit an amazing .372 with an impressive 16 home runs that included a three home run game at Point Loma. Once again Reese was setting new records scoring 67 runs in his junior year. Reese's college coach, Rich Hill once stated "Reese gets better every year" and did Reese ever prove him right.

His senior year was by far his best year that he ever had. After a great senior year, people started realizing what a great career Reese had put together at the school and that his career statistics were staggering. Reese's coach Rich Hill once again made a great judgement of his young star by saying earlier in his career that Reese had the potential to break every record possible. well Reese didn't set every record but he sure came close to it. He set the career record for hits (279), runs (183), and RBI 185. However, he narrowly missed setting the career home record at the University, coming within 2 shy of the record. Perhaps, if not due to injury Reese would have broken that final record if not for a season ending injury in April of 2000. he suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb when he ran into the center field wall in a game against Gonzaga.

That exact injury in Reese's young career is what eventually cost him a much higher draft spot in 2000 than he actually received when he was drafted in the 27th round by the San Diego Padres. Many coaches and scouts firmly believed that if not for his season ending injury in his senior year at USD, he would have more than likely received a draft at least in the top ten.

Kevin Reese was assigned to Idaho Falls in his first season in the San Diego Padres organization and he didn't skip a beat in 2000. Reese hit a spectacular .358 in his first year in the minors while racking up 72 hits and scoring 51 runs as well. he also added a pair of home runs along with 14 doubles, 12 stolen bases and 36 RBI. After a great season like that, Reese earned himself a promotion in the organization up to Fort Wayne for the 2001 season. If it was possible and it was Reese had an even better season than he did in the year prior. he hit .329 with 13 home runs while also driving in 73 runs. Along with that, Reese added a .505 slugging percentage.

The next season was going to be a strange one for Kevin Reese, having to leave his hometown San Diego organization after he learned he was traded to the New York Yankees during the winter before the 2002 season. However, Reese seemed to have adjusted well after he was assigned to the Yankees AA affiliate. he was a solid player for the team hitting .290 while hitting 4 home runs, driving in 45 and also stealing 22 bases. Reese spent his next season playing in AA once again for the Trenton Thunder. By far this was Kevin Reese's worst season when hit only .272 with 4 home runs and 21 RBI.

It seems that Reese's numbers have suffered just a bit since he came to the Yankees organization and scouts are hoping that this trend does not continue but instead that Reese becomes the star player that he has the potential to be.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2003

Columbus

.218

55

1

1

3

11

1

6

8

.295

.291

2003

Trenton

.272

309

13

4

21

42

27

25

58

.328

.366

2003

Norwich

.290

514

24

4

45

80

22

77

87

.385

.383

2001

Fort Wayne

.329

459

30

13

73

84

30

54

62

.398

.505

2000

Idaho Falls

.358

201

14

2

36

51

12

43

30

.396

.498


*Stats as of 9/7/03

Batting and Power. Kevin Reese has shown throughout his career that he possesses a sweet swinging left handed stroke that can produce tremendous power. He has also proved himself to be a good contact hitter that has the ability to hit for a very high average. All of his offensive statistics have dropped off since he arrived in the Yankees organization but scouts believe that he has much to much ability to be kept down as a hitter for any period of time and they are hoping that his hitting will return to form in 2004.

Base Running and Speed. Reese has flashed very great speed in his career on the bases and in the field as well. Throughout his minor league career his averaged stolen base total has consistently been in the 20-30 range. In the outfield he has shown very good range that allows him to track down deep fly balls with regularity in centerfield.

Defense. Reese plays very aggressively in the outfield which adds to his slightly above average range and an average throwing arm.

Projection. At this point in the career of Kevin Reese, it is hard to tell what he will make of himself. Scouts wonder which Kevin Reese will show up in 2004, the Kevin Reese of 2003 that put up spectacular statistics, or the just average 2003 version of him. However it seems more likely that the true Kevin Reese will come to camp in 2004 and that he will once again begin the climb to stardom in the major leagues.

ETA. Late 2004 or 2005. Reese is already 25 years of age and it could be one of his last chances to play in the big leagues so he must put together a good 2004 season that will likely be spent with the Columbus Clippers in AAA.

Outfielders

2003 Team

Mike Vento

AAA - Columbus Clippers

Mitch Jones

AA - Trenton Thunder

Kevin Reese

AA - Trenton Thunder

Kevin Thompson AA - Trenton Thunder
Tommy Winrow A - Tampa Yankees
Andy Brown A - Tampa Yankees
Bronson Sardinha A - Battle Creek Yankees
Rudy Guillen A - Battle Creek Yankees
Matt Carson A - Battle Creek Yankees
Erold Andrus A - Battle Creek Yankees
Melky Cabrera A - Staten Island Yankees
Edwar Gonzalez A - Staten Island Yankees
Edwin Cabrera R - GCL Yankees


COMMENTS


As it is currently constituted, the New York Yankees outfield is as weak as it has been in recent years. Power has become a huge problem outside Sardinha and Guillen. There are, though, a decent amount of quality defensive players that the organization loves.

1. Bronson Sardinha - Moved from shortstop to left field where he continues to improve and has a good arm. Above-average runner who sprays the ball and projects to a 20-25 HR player.

2. Rudy Guillen - Collected forty-four extra-base hits (29 doubles, 4 triples, 13 homers) in 2003 while driving in 79. Excellent potential, is still young, and has the ability to hit for high average.

3. Kevin Thompson - Great defensive player who adds tons of speed (caught just 8 times in 55 attempts with the Thunder in 03‘). Doesn't strike out and is extremely patient.

4. Kevin Reese - Line drive hitter who can steal. Struggled with Columbus and was sent down to Trenton where he had a .272 average, .328 OBP, 27 steals in 32 attempts, and 13 doubles in 309 ABs. Lacks power.

5. Matt Carson - One of the top defensive players in the organization, but strikes out way too much (100 times in 432 ABs last year).

6. Mitch Jones - Hit or miss: 131 SO and 23 HR in 463 AB.

7. Jason Grove - Left-handed hitter doesn't have great power, but can hit for average.

8. Erold Andrus - Switch-hitter needs to improve judgment of the strike zone.

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