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First-round pick Chris Reed signs with Dodgers

Former Stanford closer, who gets a $1.589-million signing bonus, is expected to be a starter when he makes it to the big leagues.

August 12, 2011|By Ben Bolch
  • Logan White, the Dodgers' assistant general manager for amateur and international scouting, shakes hands with newly signed left-handed pitcher Chris Reed after presenting him with a jersey and cap before Friday night's game at Dodger Stadium.
Logan White, the Dodgers' assistant general manager for amateur… (Danny Moloshok / Associated…)

Chris Reed threw in the Dodger Stadium bullpen, with Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly watching.

The 21-year-old then slipped on a Dodgers jersey and hat and waved to the crowd, completing an ascent that even he couldn't have envisioned only a year ago as a middling reliever for Stanford.

"You always dream about it," Reed said, "but I didn't see it happening."

Reed officially became a member of the Dodgers organization Friday after the first-round draft pick agreed to a $1.589-million signing bonus. His signing came three days before the deadline, sparing the Dodgers the drama they endured last year when top pick Zach Lee came to terms with minutes to spare.

Negotiations were accelerated by the fact that Reed spent much of his childhood in Southern California and pitched for Reseda Cleveland High.

"You always want to sign with the hometown team," he said. "It's right down the street from my house."

Reed's agent is Scott Boras, who had not represented a Dodgers draft pick since Luke Hochevar in 2005. The Dodgers failed to sign Hochevar, but Reed said he never worried that Boras would be an obstacle in his negotiations.

Though Reed was a closer for Stanford, the Dodgers envision using the left-hander as a starter. Logan White, the Dodgers' assistant general manager for scouting, said Reed's 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame, three-pitch repertoire and "easy and smooth" delivery make him ideally suited to start.

Reed is expected to report to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and pitch one inning in his debut before increasing his workload to as many as five innings before the end of the minor league season. White said he wouldn't be surprised if Reed pitched for the Dodgers by 2013.

It was only a year ago that Reed hardly resembled a pitcher capable of being drafted in the first round. He entered his junior year at Stanford having posted a 7.04 earned-run average in his first two college seasons.

But he pitched in the Atlantic Collegiate Summer League and honed his body during workouts in Santa Barbara. The results were evident during a junior season in which Reed went 6-2 with a 2.56 ERA and nine saves, holding opposing batters to a .211 average.

Reed said he would return to Stanford this fall to work toward completing his degree in management science and engineering. He said he needed about three quarters' worth of classes to graduate.

More to come?

White said it was possible the Dodgers might be able to reach an agreement with right-hander Ryan O'Sullivan, the only one of their top nine draft picks who has not signed. The Dodgers selected O'Sullivan in the fourth round.

"For the most part, we're pretty happy where we stand with everything if nothing else happens," White said.

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