- Full name Alexander Reyes
- Born 08/29/1994 in Elizabeth, NJ
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 220 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Elizabeth
- Debut 08/09/2016
Organization Prospect Rankings
Track Record: Reyes has flashed elite stuff since signing with the Cardinals for $950,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, but staying on the mound has been a persistent problem. He missed a month in 2015 with shoulder soreness, served a 50-game suspension in 2016 after testing positive for marijuana and missed the entire 2017 season after having Tommy John surgery. His return in 2018 was cut short too. After a yearlong recovery from TJ and four minor league rehab starts, Reyes returned the majors with a start in Milwaukee on May 30 but was removed after just four innings as his velocity cratered. Tests revealed a torn tendon in his lat muscle in the right side of his back, and on June 6 he had season-ending surgery.
Scouting Report: Even with an alarming health record, Reyes remains one of baseball's top pitching prospects. His top-of-the-scale fastball sits 95-97 mph in starts and has been clocked as high as 102 mph in relief. He elevates his heater for swings and misses and blows it by hitters even when he misses his spot. While Reyes' fastball command is imperfect, he improved his body and delivery during his Tommy John rehab to stay more compact and on line to the plate. Reyes' most notable secondary is a plus-plus curveball in the 78-80 mph range with hard 12-to-6 bite, but he struggles to consistently locate it, especially to his arm side. To give him a more consistent breaking ball, Reyes added a short slider when he reached the majors in 2016 and has progressively upped its velocity to 86-88 mph. While his curveball draws higher grades from evaluators because of its break and movement, he commands his above-average slider better. Reyes also boasts a plus changeup, a sinking 88-90 mph offering that generates swings and misses. He has historically struggled to control his high-octane arsenal, but his improved fitness and tighter delivery have led to vastly improved strike-throwing.
The Future: Reyes has all the attributes of a front-of-the-rotation starter. His health record, however, remains a huge red flag. He is expected to be fully recovered in time for spring training.
Reyes grew up in Elizabeth, N.J., but after his junior year of high school, he moved to the Dominican Republic to live with his grandmother in the hope he could draw more attention as an international amateur. The move worked and the Cardinals signed him for $950,000. Reyes continually flashed power stuff after signing and asserted himself as one of the game's top prospects. He reached 100 mph as a 19-year-old at low Class A, was selected to two Futures Games and made his major league debut in August 2016. He flashed 101 mph heat and was expected to compete for a rotation spot in 2017, but he felt elbow soreness prior to spring training. An MRI revealed a complete rupture of his ulnar collateral ligament. He had Tommy John surgery on Feb. 16 and missed the season. When Reyes is healthy, few pitchers can match his pure stuff. Strongly built with wide shoulders and thick, sturdy legs, he averages 97 mph with his fastball and touches triple digits with ease. He holds his velocity deep into his starts, blowing hitters away even when they know his fastball is coming. Reyes' command is imperfect, but he excels at elevating his fastball to get swings and misses. He backs up his top-of-the-scale fastball with knee-buckling hammer curveball at 78-81 mph, and his previously raw 88-91 mph changeup began increasingly playing as plus. He also began experimenting with an 83-86 mph short slider. Reyes struggles at times finding a rhythm for his delivery and the result has been below-average control his entire career. Reyes' track record of staying on the mound is also becoming increasingly spotty. He missed a month in 2015 with a sore shoulder, was suspended 50 games in 2016 after testing positive for marijuana in the Arizona Fall League and now has Tommy John surgery on his ledger. In response, he got noticeably stronger during his rehab, replacing fat with muscle and improving his eating habits to enhance his general fitness. Reyes will spend the offseason continuing his rehab, and team officials expect him to be ready for spring training. If his stuff comes all the way back, he remains a front-of-the-rotation caliber pitcher.
When he decided to leave his home and family in New Jersey to see if baseball would take notice of him in the Dominican Republic, Reyes packed his dreams of being a third baseman, a glove, some cleats and a few bats. He wouldn't need the bats for long. Born and raised in Elizabeth, N.J., the righthander skipped his prom and graduation to live with his grandmother and become eligible as an international amateur, if he could draw the scouts. He did with one move--to the mound. Reyes volunteered to throw when his Dominican team ran out of pitchers one day, and after flashing a power fastball a trainer gave him advice: "Stick to pitching," Reyes recalled. As his velocity increased, scouts swarmed. The Cardinals signed him for $950,000 in December 2012 after winning a bidding war against the Astros and Royals. Reyes zoomed through the minors, but late in 2015, at the Arizona Fall League, he drew a 50-game suspension for marijuana use. That delayed his 2016 debut but not his arrival to the majors. He reached St. Louis on Aug. 9 and topped out at 101 mph. The Cardinals see Reyes as a stronger, taller, broader version of a pitcher with whom he'll share the rotation: Carlos Martinez. Reyes operates at the highest registers when it comes to velocity. He averaged 97 mph on his fastball in the majors, routinely worked from 96-100 with it, and an opposing team clocked him in the minors at 102. He can maintain that power late into his starts and spot it up in the zone. Nearly 45 percent of his outs recorded came via strikeouts in the minors. His fastball has been described as elite and a true top-of-the-scale weapon. With it, he mixes a hard, hammer curve that unnerves the first batter who sees it in every game. It too is a plus pitch, and increasingly in the majors his strikeouts came off the curve, or soon after a hitter saw it. Reyes' changeup profiles as a plus pitch, though he's had less consistency with it, and he is working on a cutter-slider hybrid that can get him access to both sides of the plate. Reyes throws across his body and his mechanics, like his command, can fluctuate. To pitch deeper into games he has to become more efficient with his pitch count (he walked 4.5 per nine innings in the majors), and a root cause coaches feel is finding a rhythm for his delivery so that he can repeat it. He has the wide shoulders and tree-trunk legs to hog innings. If other teams' interest is any measure of a prospect, then Reyes is poised for stardom. The Cardinals had difficulty finding an impact trade for an outfielder because other teams wanted Reyes. That was a non-starter for the Cardinals, who intend to make Reyes a permanent part of the big league rotation in 2017. In the years to come could emerge as that rare, power-packed, bona fide ace.
Born and raised in Elizabeth, N.J., Reyes was a prospect as a teenager playing high school ball in the Garden State. However, after his junior year in high school, he moved to the Dominican Republic to live with his grandmother, enabling him to become an international free agent and develop more as a pitcher than as an infielder. The Royals were considered the frontrunner for Reyes before the Cardinals signed him for $950,000 in December 2012, heading up a signing class that also included Dominican outfielder Magneuris Sierra and Panamanian shortstop Edmundo Sosa. Reyes began 2015, his third pro season, by missing part of spring training recovering from dental surgery before he reported to high Class A Palm Beach. He missed time (as well as the Futures Game) with a sore shoulder in late June and early July before finishing strong at Double-A Springfield. At his best, Reyes features closer stuff for six and seven innings at a time, with two pitches grading as at least double-plus. He makes throwing 100 mph look easy, and he does it regularly. He usually sits in the 96-97 mph range, and his fastball is difficult to square and heavy when it's down. He allowed only one home run in 22 starts in 2015, and his career rate is just 0.3 per nine innings. Hitters can't sit on Reyes' fastball because of his muchimproved breaking ball. It's a true hammer of a 12-to-6 curveball thrown with power that at times earns double-plus grades from scouts as well, and it has sharp, late break. It's the pitch he struggles to locate the most, though, and is generally a chase pitch at this stage. Reyes' changeup ranked ahead of his breaking ball when he signed, and it remains a strong pitch for him, flashing plus and sitting in the upper 80s. Reyes' fastball command could be better, and his delivery isn't perfect. He throws across his body a bit, but he lands under control, repeats his delivery fairly well and has a fairly sound arm action. So even though he walked 4.4 batters per nine innings in 2015, most scouts don't see red flags in his delivery that preclude him from throwing enough strikes to remain a starter. Reyes excels at missing bats (13.4 strikeouts per nine innings) and allowing weak contact (.197 opponent average), and he yields more groundballs than flyballs. He's a solid athlete who holds runners well for his age and experience level. Reyes is a bigger, stronger, but slightly less athletic version of Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez. If St. Louis needed him in the bullpen in the short term, then Reyes could provide St. Louis with a quality Dellin Betances imitation, but his kind of power arm is harder to find in a rotation, especially when you consider how well he maintains his velocity. Reyes isn't ready yet--big league starters don't walk as many batters as he does--and he appeared destined to head back to Springfield to start 2016 before an offseason suspension added a delay to his timetable. Reyes tested posititve for marijuana during the Arizona Fall League and was handed a 50-game suspension that will delay his 2016 debut til May. Reyes may not be all that far from Busch Stadium, where he eventually should be the ace for a contender, and if his command improves, he profiles as a true No. 1 starter.
A high school third baseman in New Jersey who wasn't convinced he'd get attention from scouts, Reyes circumnavigated the draft by relocating to the Dominican Republic, where he lived with relatives, had a chance to focus on baseball and was, on a lark, put on the mound. He won't be leaving it. The Cardinals outmaneuvered the Astros and Royals to sign Reyes for $950,000 in 2012. He joined Carlos Martinez in that high-bonus bracket, and like Martinez, had the athleticism, untamed mechanics and power arm the Cardinals covet. Reyes has at least two plus pitches . He can locate with a 92-96 mph fastball that can reach 100. He couples that with a power curve that has sharp, 12-to-6 drop. His changeup will be an above-average pitch, and already is for the lower levels. Reyes is a strapping young man with a tight end's frame . He's already developed a reputation for durability but must maintain his conditioning . He has an easy delivery but stretches of erratic control will have to improve . The Cardinals intend to keep the young righthander starting until they need him to relieve or want him to gain experience . Reyes has big league stuff and is primed to be the next pitcher who zooms to the upper ranks. He could reach Double-A Springfield in 2015.
A high school standout in New Jersey, Reyes circumnavigated the draft by moving to the Dominican and living there with family until becoming eligible as an amateur free agent. Born and raised in the United States, he received a $950,000 bonus on the international market. Like Carlos Martinez, the last Dominican youth to receive that kind of coin from the Cardinals, Reyes had the athleticism and power arm to attract scouts. Reyes is the raw clay that the Cardinals covet. He has two plus pitches and a third in development, scouts say. He starts with a fastball at 92-95 mph that will consistently hit 97. His frame and long arms project power, and he has a sharp plane to his fastball as it cuts through the strike zone. With a more consistent delivery, he'll have better command and some deception. Reyes has a hard curveball with two-plane break and precocious feel for a changeup, but he's only now learning to "pitch soft," as one scout said. Reyes shined as the top righthander in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, striking out 27 percent of batters faced. The Cardinals will keep him on a deliberate path, advancing to full-season ball at some point in 2014, when he won't turn 20 until August. If the Cardinals are right, he could reach the majors by the end of 2016.
Minor League Top Prospects
Reyes had an eventful 2016 campaign, which began on the restricted list as he completed the 50-game suspension levied after he tested positive for marijuana. The penalty cut short his stint in the Arizona Fall League, and he made his Triple-A debut on May 22 and earned his first callup to St. Louis on Aug. 9. Reyes pitches with top-of-the-scale velocity that makes him an elite prospect. He works off a 96-98 mph fastball that hit 101 in the big leagues, and he owns a hammer curveball that grades as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He also throws an upper-80s changeup. He maintains his velocity deep into starts, and now that he has developed consistency and confidence in his changeup, he has the ability to work through the lineup multiple times. Reyes has beefed up his lower half since he signed at 175 pounds, and he now has the look of a durable starter. With two excellent pitches, he could make an immediate impact in relief, but his upside is as a No. 1 starter.
Reyes has garnered buzz since moving from New Jersey to the Dominican Republic and signing in December 2012 for $950,000. He's lived up to the hype thus far when healthy, dominating the FSL to earn comparisons to pitchers such as Dellin Betances and Dwight Gooden for his deadly stuff. Reyes' fastball sat at 96-97 mph for the duration of most of his Palm Beach outings, and he regularly reached 100 mph and topped out at 102. Fort Myers manager Jeff Smith said Reyes threw "the easiest I've ever seen." Reyes backed that up with a power 12-to-6 curveball with tight spin, as well as a changeup that scrapes 90 mph and has solid action. His stuff is so good that he struggles to command it--he walked 4.4 per nine innings--despite a fairly clean delivery and minimal effort. Two scouts and multiple managers said they didn't see a red flag that should preclude Reyes from throwing strikes in the future. "I thought he was the best guy in the league by far," said Bradenton's Mike Ryan, whose big league career ended in 2010. "He had some command issues, but barring injury, he's going to be a superstar. I know I never faced a starter with that kind of stuff."
For the first half of the season, Reyes walked a tightrope between dominance and disaster. When he threw strikes, he was the MWL's least-hittable starter, but when he didn't--he walked 6.1 batters per nine innings in the first half--wildness was always just around the corner. Reyes' balancing act reached a pinnacle on July 2 with five scoreless innings against Kane County where he allowed just two hits and struck out 10 but also walked seven. Over the second half of the year, Reyes repeated his delivery more consistently and developed his changeup, which allowed his 93-96 mph fastball to be even more devastating. His 12-6 curveball flashes plus already. With the improved delivery, Reyes walked just six while striking out 38 in 25 August innings as he posted a 1.44 ERA.
Born and raised in the U.S., Reyes moved to the Dominican to live with extended family following his junior year of high school and signed for $950,000 last December, which was the most given to any pitcher of out the Dominican in 2012. He showed tantalizing upside while registering one of the best strikeout rates in the league (27 percent). Reyes has projectable build, long arms and athleticism. His quick arm generates fastballs that sit 92-95 mph and touch 97 with good downhill angle from a high three-quarters slot. His curveball shows two-plane break and abrupt tilt and was one of the best in the league, and his ability to command it drew plaudits from managers. His solid-average changeup has a chance to be plus. ?He has a good delivery, a starter?s delivery, with a pro body and chance for three plus pitches,? a scout said. In addition to improving his control and the consistency of his offspeed pitches, Reyes could improve the life on his fastball, which does not offer much deception and is often in the upper half of the strike zone.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Curveball in the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019
- Rated Best Fastball in the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019
- Rated Best Curveball in the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018
Reyes continues to show No. 1 starter stuff but just can’t stay on the field. After missing all of last year following Tommy John surgery, Reyes worked his way back, made one start with the Cardinals, and then needed season-ending surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right lat muscle. Reyes has now missed significant time in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, an alarming track record that prevents him from reaching his ceiling. Reyes still possesses three potential plus pitches and he improved his general fitness during Tommy John rehab, but he has to show he can stay on the mound.
Background: When he decided to leave his home and family in New Jersey to see if baseball would take notice of him in the Dominican Republic, Reyes packed his dreams of being a third baseman, a glove, some cleats and a few bats. He wouldn't need the latter for long. Born and raised in Elizabeth, N.J., the righthander skipped his prom and graduation to live with his grandmother and become eligible as an international amateur, if he could draw the scouts. He did with one move--to the mound. Reyes volunteered to throw when his Dominican team ran out of pitchers one day, and after flashing a power fastball a trainer gave him advice: "Stick to pitching," Reyes recalled. As his velocity increased, scouts swarmed. The Cardinals signed him to a $950,000 bonus, winning a bidding war against the Astros and Royals. He zoomed through the minors, but late in 2015, at the Arizona Fall League, was hit with a 50-game suspension for marijuana use. That delayed his 2016 debut but not his arrival in the majors. Scouting Report: The Cardinals see Reyes as a stronger, taller, broader version of a pitcher with whom he'll share the rotation: Carlos Martinez. Reyes operates at the highest registers when it comes to velocity. He averaged 97 mph on his fastball in the majors, routinely worked from 96-100 with it, and an opposing team clocked him in the minors at 102. He can maintain that power late into his starts and spot it up in the zone. Almost 45 percent of his outs (1,003) came on strikeouts (449) in the minors. His fastball has been described as "elite." With it, he mixes a hard, hammer curve that unnerves the first batter that sees it in every game. It too is a plus pitch, and increasingly in the majors his strikeouts came off the curve, or soon after a hitter saw it. Reyes' changeup profiles as a plus pitch, though he's had less consistency with it, and he is working on a cutter/slider that can get him access to both sides of the plate. Reyes throws across his body and his mechanics, like his command, can fluctuate. To pitch deeper into games he has to become more efficient with his pitch count (reducing a 4.4 walks per nine rate), and a root cause coaches feel is finding a rhythm for his delivery so that he can repeat it. He has the wide shoulders and tree-trunk legs to hog innings. The Future: If other teams' interest is any measure of a prospect, then Reyes is poised for stardom. The Cardinals had difficulty finding an impact trade for an outfielder because other teams wanted Reyes. That was a non-starter for the Cardinals, who intend to have Reyes a permanent part of the rotation starting in 2017. He'll be an early-season favorite for Rookie of the Year, and in the years to come could emerge as that rare, power-packed, bona fide ace.