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Checking in on Buddy Reed

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Struggling with a beautiful swing

MLB: FEB 27 Spring Training - Diamondbacks at Padres Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Buddy Reed has a ton of baseball talent. Buddy Reed is also not performing, and has struggled after what looked like a breakout season in 2018.

It took me several games this year to focus on Reed; I finally was able to the other night. Especially since the trade deadline, I’ve been focused on Taylor Trammell. Luckily, it didn’t take me long to pick up on a couple things with Reed.

The first is that Reed has one of the quickest bats I’ve seen. He whips that thing through the zone and I feel sorry for the baseballs that he squares up. There just aren’t many of those. He is hitting .232 with a wRC+ of 93 this season with 12 home runs, which leaves him one shy of his career high total.

The next part is up for a little debate. It is hard to tell with the camera angle, but I’m including a couple pictures to help show what I mean.

It looked to me like Reed was letting pitches get fairly deep on him. In this at bat, he flew out center. Part of what makes me think this is when he gets his foot down. The swing can’t start until the foot lands. This picture is a split second before that happens.

It’s hard to tell exactly how deep that ball is, but it seems a little deeper than it should be. That leads to his point of contact being a little off.

Again, it’s hard to tell how deep the ball is getting on him. That is just what I saw when I watched his at-bats. He is able to catch up to it all because of that insane bat speed, but it could be a reason for some of his struggles.

If I’m right, simply moving that point of contact should make a world of difference - which is easier said than done. I wrote an article for Pitcher List on Brewers outfielder Trent Grisham, who moved his contact more out front, and it helped him tremendously.

The thing about Reed’s game that will instantly help if he can improve is strikeouts. His strikeout rate is still very high, up near 30 percent. Grisham saw a four-percent drop when he moved his contact point out.

Reed has struggled since reaching Double-A. He has a truly beautiful swing, one that he has worked on to get where he is. On top of the bat speed, he has a short, compact stroke. There is a ton to like about Reed. I am still a big fan.

Make no mistake, there is a ton of potential for Reed if he can unlock it.