Normally, when you have a guy that is a former top 5 round draft pick who bats .342/.453/.520 in Triple-A and your ball club has limited offensive options on the bench, one would think that such a player would at least warrant carrying and using as a bench bat with some real upside. However, that is not what happened with Michael Reed during the 2018 season.
To say that Reed exceeded expectations when he came to the organization as a minor league free agent this past off-season is an understatement. All the guy did was rake in the minor leagues. However, there is a little more to the story than that even though some of us still feel as though Reed should have gotten more of a look in the majors this season.
Reed was a 5th round pick by the Brewers back in 2011. Along the way during his tenure in the Milwaukee organization, he hit reasonably well and he had two shots at the big leagues in his time there. However, he was only got 15 games in the big leagues before he decided to become a free agent after the 2017 season.
The biggest issue with Reed has been strikeouts and that may have been what gave the Braves pause. Reed works a lot of deep counts and he has always walked a ton as a result, but the strikeouts also could pile up at times. He struck out 24.4% of the time in the minors in 2018 and he had seasons in the minors where that number approached 30%. That may mean that he would struggle against big league pitching in a larger sample. Unfortunately, we never really able to figure that out as he appeared in just seven games with the Braves and recorded two hits on his way to a .286/.286/.286 line in a very small sample of plate appearances.
Bottom line, what did Reed do in 2018? Reed posted a .342/.453/.520 line in 97 games in the minors (Double-A and Triple-A) with 11 homers. Reed also appeared in seven games for the Braves and posted a .286/.286/.286 line in seven at-bats.
Will Reed be on the roster in 2019? This is actually an interesting question. Reed showed some real ability this season, but he may be in line for a better opportunity elsewhere. A lot of this depends on what the Braves do this offseason in terms of signings in the outfield and trades. It is also worth mentioning that Reed was put on the 60-day disabled list in September with a back strain and it currently unclear if that was an actual injury or if there was a bit of 40 man roster management happening.
What will be do in 2019? He deserves a big league spring training invite in 2019. Whether or not that will be with the Braves is definitely a question worth keeping an eye on.