Top 50 Scouting Report: #26 OF Raul Reyes

Reyes showed big power last season

The New York Mets signed Raul Reyes as an international free agent in 2004. Since then, he has demonstrated growing power potential while playing exceptional defense all over the outfield. Here is a scouting report on Brooklyn outfielder Raul Reyes.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Raul Reyes
DOB: December 30, 1986
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 195
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

Raul Reyes is a tough battler who, with outstanding range in the outfield, became a fixture in the Brooklyn outfield last season. His brilliant speed and ability to go get balls made him a reliable choice of manager Edgar Alfonzo, while dazzling spectators with his diving plays. There is no question that his defense is what earned him a shot in the Mets' system after coming out of his native Dominican Republic.

"Ever since I was little, I always played good defense," said Reyes. "I've always worked very hard at being a good outfielder and helping my team any way I can out there."

"I use every chance and situation I get to make myself that much better. I'm working hard in batting practice, watching and tracking every fly ball and reading every ground ball. The coaches saw how important my defense is to me and they worked with me to keep getting better," he said.

He manned the centerfield at KeySpan Park with great electricity. All the work he put into his defense even aided his flanking outfielders as Reyes pursued balls with reckless abandon, all while committing a single error in 71 games played. He was a virtual vacuum in the outfield.

"I always run my hardest when a ball is hit towards me," said Reyes. "I try and read where I think the ball is going to go and just keep my legs moving. That's my goal."

The hunger and determination in which he plays his defense caught the eye of Alfonzo early on, a welcomed sight for the Cyclones manager who returned to the club after leading it to a league title in 2001. He enjoyed watching the passion which with Reyes played and how it contributed to the overall success of the team.

"He works very hard on his defense and his range is outstanding," said Alfonzo, "He makes really tough plays seem routine at times and runs down every ball hit to his area."

With little question about his defensive capabilities, answers are still sought for what he can offer at the plate. He exudes serious natural power as he is able to crush balls out the park with relative ease. However, moving forward, scouts want to see if Reyes can incorporate more contact into his approach.

He hit .233 last season coming off his first year stateside in 2006 with Kingsport where he a hit a solid .273, but more alarming was the sudden spike in strikeouts and diminished patience. He walked just shy of every one-in-ten at-bats and as he moves up the ladder, he must find the temperament that allowed him to post a .393 on-base percentage with the K-Mets.

"Reyes can really hit the ball a long way," said Alfonzo. "But he has to do a better of job with the little things. He'll have to learn to shorten up behind in the count and go the other way."

Ideally, he needs to let his power come more naturally and work the ball back through the box, traits which he says Alfonzo worked on closely with him.

"Fonzie [Alfonzo] has helped me learn to try and take the ball opposite field more often and take advantage of the high fastball by getting out in front more. They've [the coaches] also helped me take the ball up the middle more often. I think because of that, I'm a better hitter than I was before," Reyes explained.

Reyes has many tools on both sides of the ball but is rather unrefined when it comes to his offense. If he can close up holes in his swing and regain the eye he previously showed, Reyes could be a unique force of power and speed. As he will be just 21 years old when he breaks camp next season, he will have time and his chances to prove if he can do it.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2007

Brooklyn

.233

253

59

9

33

42

9

27

94

.321

.423

2006

Kingsport

.273

121

33

1

18

34

3

20

34

.393

.413



Batting and Power: Reyes' batting average dipped during his second season as a result of a free swinging mentality that led to a high number of strikeouts and low walk total. Nonetheless, when he does connect with the ball, he has shown big league power. He can drive the ball to the gaps and knock one out of the park with ease when he hits one flush. Once he does develop better body control and a truer eye, both his batting average and on-base percentage should climb. He projects best as a .265-.280 hitter with considerable power at the top of the order.

Base Running and Speed: Reyes has tremendous speed both on the base paths and in the outfield. He was successful on 60 percent of his steal attempts last season [9-for-15] and that number should improve as he strengthens his knowledge of reading pitchers and situational stealing. That speed also allows him to cover huge swaths of ground in the outfield, as very few balls are out of his reach.

Defense: As noted, his flashing speed gives him the ability to track down any ball side-to-side or over his head. His terrific agility and quick first step let him make tough plays seems routine. His strong arm serves as a deterrent to bases runners and is good enough for him to survive as a centerfielder while moving up in the system.

Projection: When combining his offense and defense, Reyes has the look of a big league contributor down the road. To get there though, he must cut down on his strikeouts and build patience as he typically hits atop the batting order. If he can show consistent growth at the plate in coming years, he should make it to the big leagues as a fourth outfielder, or potentially as a starter if his power continues to climb.

ETA: 2011. Reyes played just about every day for Brooklyn last season and should get his first shot at a long-season squad this upcoming year, breaking camp in Savannah while competing for the starting centerfielder's job. He will most likely remain in one location each season until he reaches the big league at this target date.

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