Thoughts on Peoria Chiefs, Prospect Alexander Reyes and My Chat with his Father

 

This was ORIGINALLY posted on May 5, 2014…… just thought a reminder was needed.

The Peoria Chiefs

Currently, the Peoria Chiefs (17-12)are mired in a hitting slump. They can’t score runs. In fact, they haven’t scored in the last 32 innings. Beloit allowed only four hits to Peoria last night. Maybe they are waiting for the great heat to arrive in Illinois before they murder the ball but as of now they are punching singles and a few doubles. There appears to be very little power in the offense. They are 10th in the Midwest League in home runs. Of the sixteen teams in the league,the Chiefs are last in total bases in 2014. The Chiefs will entertain Beloit again this morning with a 11AM contest at Dozer Park.

 

Alexander Reyes

He is the real deal. He was able to spot his fastballs at 92-93 MPH and sparingly threw in a breaking pitch to set up the hitters and concluded the batter with a change-up for the out. Reyes (2-1) pitched the first six innings, allowing one run on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. He did receive the tough 1-0 loss with a lapse of consistent strikes. In the fifth inning he allowed a lead-off single. The runner then advanced to second on a passed ball. That seemed to un-nerve him a bit as he fired a fastball into the ground for a wild pitch to allow the runner third base. With the infield drawn in, the batter shot it by the second baseman to score the only run of the game.

Reyes fanned eight batters to tie his season high which occurred in his last start. He threw 90 pitches and 57 of them were strikes. This 19-yr old youngster has a great future ahead of him. With a bit more consistency, he will be moving up the ladder for the pitching rich St. Louis Cardinals very soon.

RotoScouting has written a scouting report on him and this is part of his evaluation that sticks out the most in my mind after watching him pitch last night:

There is no sense discussing command at this point with Reyes as that won’t become relevant until he can get the ball over the plate consistently. It’s safe to say he will throw more strikes moving forward as his delivery was clean and relatively consistent. With innings, the release point issues should also improve.

 

Chatting with the Father of Alexander Reyes  Reyesdad

It was a pleasant surprise to start a conversation with the father of Alexander Reyes. Since I am not a shy person it was easy to talk to him. I had no idea who he was or where he came from but he sat outside Dozer Park in Peoria waiting for some family and friends to arrive. I asked him if he was from Peoria and the conversation went something (paraphrasing) like this:

He told me he was from New Jersey but originally was from the Dominican Republic. “Ding, ding”, light bulb went off in my head so I asked him if he has a relative on the team and he smiled and said yes the pitcher for tonight. He introduced himself as Dignora/Tomas Reyes.

After a few minutes of small talk I handed him a card with this website on it and informed him I would be writing about his son and I would like to ask him some questions. Be cordial, he politely accepted and the 20 minutes chat began in earnest. Today is not the day I reveal the contents of what he said but allow me to assure you the Alexander Reyes’ father is very humble and very proud of his son Alexander.

When I got home looked up some stuff about the Reyes family and found that his father continually was doing all he could to help Alexander to succeed. Here is an article about how they packed him up and sent him back to the Dominican from Elizabeth, NJ to help put his baseball career off to a good start. This is from DPL Baseball and it says (in part):

o   During the fall of 2011, the family decided it was in Alex’s best interest to develop his baseball skills in their native island of Dominican Republic. He packed his bags in December 2011 and arrived in the DR eager to start his development in his fathers’ hometown of Palenque, San Cristobal with former Washington Nationals scout Juan Valera. During his first few months on the island, the Reyes family was turned on to notable trainer Basilo “Cachasa” Vizcaino who’s had a great track record in signing young players in their development stages, most notable top prospects Gary Sanchez-NYY and Adalberto Mondesi-KC among others. Cachasa was amazed by the type of package Reyes was, from his size, ability, and projection to the aptitude in making adjustments and the make-up the young prospect carried himself with. During his year in DR Alex grew a few inches and put on 15-20lb. His arm strength increased and his pitching ability began to show polish by the day.

I was a great evening for me to see young Reyes pitch and to meet his father that was there for the first time this season to watch his talented son. It wasn’t easy for the father as he drove 16 hours to get there but certainly was worth it.