By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.
The 2016 season wrapped up for the Baltimore Orioles' minor league affiliates on Monday. Unfortunately, none of the affiliates (Gulf Coast League O’s, Aberdeen, Delmarva, Frederick, Bowie, Norfolk) qualified for the post-season in their respective leagues. With the season over for the minors now is a good time to take a look back at how some of the Baby Birds performed in 2016 and today we will look at Frederick Keys' third baseman Jomar Reyes.
Photo: Patrick Cavey
Reyes, who is 19 years old, was the youngest player in the Carolina League this year. The Orioles signed him in January of 2014 out of his home country of the Dominican Republic; he was 16 years old at the time of his signing.
In 2016, he played in 126 of Frederick’s 140 games and finished the season with a .228 batting average. He did hit 10 home runs this season with his first coming on April 14th against Lynchburg.
Reyes ended the season swinging the bat well with a 7 game hitting streak (8/30-9/5); his only other significant hitting streak was 5 games (6/27-7/1). Despite not being known for his speed, he did hit two triples in 2016 added 16 doubles as well. His final stats were .271 OBP/.336 SLG/.607 OPS with 51 RBI, 25 walks and 102 strikeouts. In the field, Reyes made 25 errors in 292 chances.
He debuted in the Gulf Coast League for the Orioles in 2014 and had stops at Delmarva and the GCL in 2015 before landing in Frederick for the 2016 season. Injuries hampered him a bit both in the South Atlantic League and the Fall Instructional League in 2015.
MLB Pipeline considers Reyes, at 6’3”, 220 lbs, the Orioles #4 prospect; Baseball America had him as the #4 prospect as well to start the season and Dean Jones of BaltimoreBaseball.com listed him as the #3 prospect at the end of the 2016 campaign. We have Reyes ranked as the sixth best prospect.
Reyes' overall scouting grade is 50 on the 80 point scale with his arm (60) and his power (55) being his biggest assets while his speed (35) is his biggest weakness. It has been suggested that a move to first base is in his future due to a lack of range and quickness. I think Reyes would meet the move with resistance since he stated at the Key’s media day in April that the outfield would be his preferred position if moved from third base. He certainly has the arm for the outfield but his speed might put a halt to that.
The 2016 season was certainly a mixed bag with flashes of his power, a power that will keep him as a top prospect as he grows into his body and matures. I would say that with more experience and no regression he should be ready to crack the Major League roster in 2019.