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Red Sox Top Prospect Voting: Can Denyi Reyes prove the scouts wrong?

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The reports are not nearly as exciting as the numbers, and this will be a big year for the Red Sox righty.

Obviously we have to have the Denyi with a camel pic.
Kelly O’Connor; sittingstill.smugmug.com

For the second straight vote, it was something of a runaway as we continue to get towards the end of our top prospect ranking. After our last spot was taken by a young, international position player we move on to a slightly older and more experienced international pitcher. Grabbing 11 of 27 (41 percent) votes, Denyi Reyes grabs the seventeenth spot on our community top prospects list.

Denyi Reyes was a July 2 signing in 2014, but he was far from a high-profile one. As far as I can tell, it’s not public what kind of signing bonus he received from the team when he came aboard, which generally means it was very small. The righty didn’t have the national profile, and he entered the system with very little fanfare. He’s been noticed now, as all the righty has done since turning pro has been perform. He debuted in 2015 down in the Dominican Summer League, pitching to a 2.88 ERA over 75 innings at that level. He’d move to the States in 2016 to pitch in the GCL, pitching mostly out of the bullpen there. It was only 34 23 innings, but he did pitch to a 2.34 ERA. Those two good years weren’t enough to get him up to full-season ball, however, as he continued to climb the ladder one step at a time, arriving in Lowell for 2017. There he pitched out of the bullpen on a full-time basis, though in a piggy-back role, pitching to a 1.45 ERA over 15 appearances and 62 innings of work. Although he didn’t have overpowering stuff, Reyes was dominating because he command and control were so far beyond his years.

This package finally led him to his full-season debut to begin 2018 in Greenville as a 21-year-old. Reyes still wasn’t really on the radar at this point, though he would be very soon after. The righty absolutely dominated in A-Ball, making 21 appearances (18 starts) and pitching to an absurd 1.89 ERA while also almost striking out a batter per inning. It was the best we’d ever seen from him and against more advanced pitching than he’d ever seen. He pitched so well that Reyes got a late-season promotion to Salem where he pitched to a 2.25 ERA over six appearances (five starts) and 32 innings. The strikeouts weren’t quite there to the same extent, but it was still a wildly successful year. It was so good, in fact, that he was named the organization’s minor-league pitcher of the year and a couple months later he was added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. It’s safe to say no one saw that coming before the season began.

All of this could lead one to wonder why he’s only 17 on our list, which is actually higher than most evaluators have him. The answer is with the scouting reports and concerns that his style won’t work nearly as well against more advanced hitters. The now-22-year-old doesn’t have anything overpowering in his arsenal. His fastball sits in the low-90s, though it does have some solid movement. He also throws a changeup, a curveball and a slider, none of which are better than average, and that’s as good as they get now. The command and control, as mentioned, are impeccable as is his ability to sequence. That alone gives him a decently high floor, but if he’s going to be more than a sixth or seventh starter one of his secondaries is going to have to play up just a bit. Still, we haven’t seen him come close to failing as a professional, and that matters.

Now that Reyes is on the 40-man roster and his minor-league options start to burn, I am very curious how they are going to handle him. I don’t think they are going to super fast track him or anything, but there is certainly some motivation to rush him a bit more quickly. Mainly, that means putting him in Portland this year rather than giving him a few more months in Salem to keep building his confidence. The jump to Double-A is going to be a massive test for the righty, and we’ll know a lot more about Reyes by about midseason.

Here is our full list so far:

  1. Michael Chavis
  2. Darwinzon Hernandez
  3. Triston Casas
  4. Bobby Dalbec
  5. Jay Groome
  6. Tanner Houck
  7. Durbin Feltman
  8. Bryan Mata
  9. Antoni Flores
  10. Mike Shawaryn
  11. C.J. Chatham
  12. Nick Decker
  13. Brandon Howlett
  14. Jarren Duran
  15. Travis Lakins
  16. Danny Diaz
  17. Denyi Reyes

Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number eighteen. As a reminder, to do this you go down below and find the comment from me corresponding with the player for whom you’d like to vote. When you find said player, just click the “rec” button, and that will count your vote. To do this, you will need to be logged in as a member of the site. If you’d like to vote for a player who is not listed, just leave a comment saying “Vote for ___ here” and I’ll rec the comment to count your vote. Until next time...