Rededication to baseball paid off for Dodgers’ top draft pick Chris Reed
Reporting from Philadelphia — Chris Reed was second-team all-league as a senior at Reseda Cleveland High. He rarely pitched in his first two years at Stanford.
In a conference call Tuesday, the left-hander talked about how he emerged from obscurity to become the Dodgers’ top draft pick and the 16th overall pick Monday in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.
“It’s obviously a dramatic transformation from where I was,” Reed said. “I worked hard to get here.”
Reed, who became Stanford’s closer this year, said he made a conscious decision to rededicate himself to baseball last spring. His lack of credentials didn’t stop him for setting a lofty goal for himself: to be a first-round pick.
“I knew I could outwork everybody else,” he said. “I was blessed with some good height, and being a lefty, I had the tools. I decided to develop them.”
Reed spent his summer pitching in the Atlantic Collegiate Summer League. When he returned to California, he worked out three times a week in Santa Barbara.
He said he isn’t done.
His next challenge will be to become a starter. That’s what Dodgers scouting director Logan White said he wants Reed to be. That’s what he himself wants to be.
Even though White said Reed could be fast-tracked if he were used as a reliever, Reed said he wasn’t tempted by the idea.
“Not particularly,” he said. “I love starting.”
Reed is being advised by agent Scott Boras. The last time the Dodgers selected a player advised by Boras was in 2005, when they drafted pitcher Luke Hochevar. They failed to sign him.
Asked whether he was prepared to return to Stanford for his senior season if an agreement with the Dodgers couldn’t be reached, Reed said, “If that’s how it happens …"
But, he also said, “In the end, it’s my decision.”
Rookie Dee Gordon could be the Dodgers’ starting shortstop for a while.
Manager Don Mattingly said he isn’t expecting Rafael Furcal back for 25 to 30 days. Furcal underwent an MRI exam Monday that revealed a strained side muscle. He received an injection of platelet-rich plasma, an innovative technique the Dodgers have used to speed up recovery time.
Sidelined pitchers Vicente Padilla and Jon Garland are facing more uncertain recoveries. Mattingly said the Dodgers don’t have a timetable for either of them. Padilla underwent an MRI exam Monday, which showed inflammation in a disk in his neck. A similar problem sidelined him for the final month of last season.
Relievers Hong-Chih Kuo and Kenley Jansen will pitch in minor league games Thursday, Kuo with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and Jansen with double-A Chattanooga.
Kuo, who is on the disabled list because of an anxiety disorder, made the decision to pitch.
Jonathan Broxton threw a bullpen session Tuesday and is scheduled to throw another Thursday.
The Dodgers selected a couple of players with major league bloodlines in the second day of the draft.
With their second-round pick, they selected third baseman Alex Santana of Mariner High in Cape Coral, Fla., the son of former major league infielder Rafael Santana.
Two rounds later, the Dodgers chose Oklahoma City University right-hander Ryan O’Sullivan, the brother of Kansas City Royals pitcher Sean O’Sullivan.
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