Prospect Profile: Jomar Reyes
It has been about a week since my last profile of Lamar Sparks who came in at number 22, but I am back again today to profile number 21, Jomar Reyes. Reyes used to be considered to be one of the top prospects in the Baltimore Orioles Organization, Reyes has fallen down the list the past two years. He was the number four prospect in 2016 and number 10 in 2017.
The Orioles signed Reyes as an international free agent just before his 17th birthday in 2014.
Reyes spent his first season with the Orioles in the Gulf Coast League. In 53 games he had a .285 average with 29 RBI and 23 runs scored. Despite solid numbers at the plate, Reyes struggled defensively. He played 353.1 innings at third base, and committed 13 errors for a .897 fielding percentage.
He then spent the majority of the next season with the Delmarva Shorebirds. While with Delmarva, he again put up solid offensive numbers. He hit .278 with 44 RBI scoring 36 runs, but also struck out in 25% of his at-bats. He also improved his fielding percentage to .940 in 626 innings at third.
He was given a promotion to the Frederick Keys for the 2016 season, but did not perform aw well at the plate. His average fell to .228, but he was able to hit a career high 10 home runs and knock in 51 runs while scoring 53 himself. His defense also fell, committing 25 errors in 1035.1 innings and had a fielding percentage of .914.
Reyes had his best season in 2017, despite missing most of the season after punching a wall and breaking fingers. In his first 21 games before his injury, Reyes hit .321 with 10 RBI and 13 runs scored. After missing about three months, Reyes picked up where he left off. He played in 36 more games to finish off the year, when he hit .326 with 15 RBI and 21 runs scored. He also cut down on his strikeouts, only striking out in 12% of his at-bats.
Despite his offensive success, he continued to struggle in the field. He committed 13 errors in 383.1 innings and had a fielding percentage of .899.
Reyes generates plus raw power from the right side of the plate with his above-average bat speed and natural feel for driving the ball to all fields. He’s shown flashes of applying that power during games, and it doesn’t take much to envision Reyes clearing even more fences as he matures. There are questions about his ability to hit for average, though Orioles club officials were pleased with the mechanical adjustments he made late in the season and then during fall instructional league.
Reyes has improved his glove work and has the plus arm strength needed for third base, but as a well-below-average runner who will only get bigger, it might be a challenge for him to remain at the position. A move down the defensive spectrum to first base seems likely, though it would place even greater pressure on his offensive tools to develop.
MLB.com Scouting Grades
Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 35 | Arm: 60 | Field: 40 | Overall: 45