In this ongoing series that will last most of spring training, we’re going to look at each player that will be in Major League camp with the Cincinnati Reds. Each post will have some information on the player. There will be some background information, profiling, projections, and more. To see all of the posts in the series, you can click here. Today we jump further into the 40-man roster, looking at reliever Jesus Reyes.

Jesus Reyes’ Background

Acquired: Non-drafted free agent signing in August of 2014.

Born: February 21, 1993

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Height/Weight: 6′ 2″ / 180 lbs

Years of MLB Experience: One.

Jesus Reyes went undrafted as a freshman out of ASA College in Brooklyn. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s understandable. It’s a community college. The Reds liked something, though, and signed the then 21-year-old as a free agent. In 2015 he got his career started in the Arizona Rookie League, posting a 3.40 ERA in 50.1 innings – splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen. He worked his way up through the system over the next few years and made his Major League debut in 2018, pitching in five games for the Reds.

Jesus Reyes’ 2018 Season

When the season began in 2018 for Jesus Reyes he was in Double-A and in the rotation for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Through his first seven games he had a 6.44 ERA in 29.1 innings with 3 home runs allowed, 7 walks, and he had 30 strikeouts. The peripherals were strong, but the runs allowed simply wasn’t. At that point he moved into the bullpen and the script flipped. His ERA improved, posting a 1.99 mark in 31.2 innings. But the peripherals took a big step backwards as he walked 18 batters and had 22 strikeouts. The lowered ERA got him promoted to Triple-A in mid-July. He would pitch in four games and allow just one run before getting called up to pitch in a double-header on August 4th. His debut in the Majors was for 2.0 perfect innings against the Nationals. He returned to Triple-A for five more games, before moving back to Double-A to finish the minor league season. He was recalled to the Major Leagues in September where he pitched in four more games.

Jesus Reyes’ Playing History

With a 4.32 ERA in 50.0 innings that included 27 walks and 72 strikeouts as a 21-year-old freshman at ASA College, Jesus Reyes went undrafted, but signed as a free agent in 2014. The following year he pitched for the Arizona League Reds as an introduction to professional baseball. In 2016 he moved up to Low-A Dayton where he made 20 appearances out of the bullpen, then 10 more as a starter while posting a 2.40 ERA on the season in 93.2 innings. In 2017 he moved up to Daytona, making 15 starts before being promoted to Double-A Pensacola. With the Blue Wahoos he made 10 more starts and posted a 3.31 ERA. In total during 2017 he had a 3.60 ERA over 25 starts with 137.1 innings pitched and 111 strikeouts.

Projecting Jesus Reyes for 2019

The three projection systems couldn’t find much agreement on Jesus Reyes for the 2019 season. They range from good, to solid, to well below-average depending on which one you look at.

ZiPS Projections | Steamer Projections | Marcels Projections

How could Jesus Reyes fit in Cincinnati in 2019?

When the season begins there doesn’t seem to be a clear fit for Jesus Reyes in the bullpen. He’s a bit further back on the depth chart. But he’s an extreme groundball pitcher who has experience in both Triple-A and the Major Leagues. He’ll need to refine his control a bit, but he’s a guy who likely finds himself back in Cincinnati at some point when a spot opens up down the line due to injury or ineffectiveness.