Things weren’t looking good for Yankees' minor league pitcher James Reeves after his first outing of the season. The Summerville native allowed two runs on four hits in just over one inning of work.
Now, four months later, things couldn’t be going better for the former Citadel star. Reeves pitches for the Trenton Thunder, a double-A affiliate of New York, and is preparing for the playoffs with just a handful of games left in the regular season.
And if Reeves keeps punching batters out in quality relief efforts, the former Charleston RiverDog should be playing triple-A ball at the end of this season, or at the start of 2020.
Case for the Railriders
This season, Reeves has proven to be a reliable lefty out of the bullpen.
Since his first game of the season, he’s given up a total of 12 runs across 29 games and 61 innings. His 56 strikeouts rank among the best in the Eastern League for relief pitchers.
Reeves seems to be getting stronger as the season progresses. This month he has pitched 11.1 innings in five relief appearances, allowing just three hits and one earned run. He also struck out 12 batters in that span.
In short, it’s time for the Yankees to see what Reeves can do for the Scranton Wilkes/Barre Railriders, New York’s triple-A affiliate. Even if it’s too late to figure that out this season, Reeves should be on the first train (pun intended) to Scranton next year.
Reeves took what’s become a familiar route for former Bulldogs when it comes to professional baseball.
At least four other players from the military school have played minor league ball for New York, the latest being Sumter’s J.P. Sears, who’s a level below Reeves in Class A-Advanced ball.
Reeves was taken in the 10th round in 2015 by New York, while Sears was scooped in the 11th by Seattle in 2017 and was later traded to New York.
They still keep in touch and work out together, and they both have the same goal: get to the Bronx.
Reeves is a little closer to that goal after a dominant season in double-A. His 7-2 record and 1.97 ERA warrant a promotion to triple-A.
From there, he’ll need to show that he can join a New York team that always seems to have a dominant bullpen. It’ll be a tough feat. But Reeves has been proving himself since his pitching days at Ashley Ridge High School.