Alex Reyes

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Alex Reyes
Alex Reyes (33823974418) (cropped).jpg
Reyes with the Memphis Redbirds in 2019
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 29
Born: (1994-08-29) August 29, 1994 (age 26)
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 9, 2016, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
(through May 8, 2021)
Win–loss record7–3
Earned run average2.11

Alexander Reyes (born August 29, 1994) is a Dominican–American professional baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was signed by the Cardinals as an amateur free agent in December 2012, and made his MLB debut for them August 9, 2016.

The Cardinals' top prospect entering both the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Baseball America named him the second-best prospect overall in their 2016 mid-season ranking. He has played in two All-Star Futures Games and was one of two Cardinals' Co-Minor League Pitchers of the Year in 2015.

Early life[edit]

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Tomás, Sr., and Dignora Reyes, Alexander Reyes is the youngest of three sons, including Tomás, Jr., and Adriel.[1] While he was attending Elizabeth High School, he was 5'11" [71 inches (180 cm)] and threw a maximum of 87 miles per hour (140 km/h).[2] He lived in New Jersey until he was 18. With his family unable to afford to send him to showcases and tryouts,[3] he moved to the Dominican Republic in December 2011.[4] There, it would be much easier to gain the attention of scouts to increase his chances of signing with a Major League Baseball (MLB) team as a free agent[3] rather than be selected through the amateur draft had he remained in the United States.[4]

In the Dominican Republic, Reyes lived with each of his grandmothers in San Cristóbal, enabling him to gain residency and the notice of scouts, known colloquially as buscones. Shortstop Raúl A. Mondesí, the son of San Cristóbal mayor and former MLB outfielder Raúl Mondesí, worked out with Reyes and attracted the attention of a buscón known simply as Valera, who also noticed Reyes. Reyes tried out with Valera before St. Louis Cardinals scout Rodny Jiménez noticed him. The Cardinals observed Reyes work out in Palenque, of the Sabana Grande de Palenque municipality, near San Cristóbal, and invited him for a private workout in their team academy in Santo Domingo. At that point, he had reached speeds of up to 94 miles per hour (151 km/h). Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak commented that Reyes' athleticism was one important factor that caused the team to consider the young pitcher.[2] Because he had emigrated from the United States, MLB regulations stated that Reyes must wait one year to sign with an MLB franchise as an international free agent,[5] delaying the Cardinals' opportunity to sign him for six months.[2] In December 2012, he signed a $950,000 deal with St. Louis.[6]

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

Reyes made his professional debut in 2013 for the Johnson City Cardinals of the Appalachian League.[7] In 12 starts, he went 6–4 with a 3.39 earned run average (ERA) with 68 strikeouts (SO) in 58+13 innings pitched (IP).

Prior to the 2014 season, Baseball America ranked him as the seventh-best prospect in the Cardinals organization. Also, Baseball Prospectus determined him the 98th-best prospect in all of baseball.[8] He spent the 2014 season with the Single-A Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League. There, he notched a 7–7 record to go with a 3.62 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 109+13 innings.[9] He said: "I learn from watching. I don't think ... he even knows, but Rob Kaminsky is definitely the number one guy I've studied. From day one in Peoria he just separated himself from everyone on the pitching staff, including me."[10]

Prior to the start of the 2015 season, Baseball America ranked Reyes as the 51st-best prospect in all professional baseball, and Baseball Prospectus ranked him 55th. Jim Callis selected Reyes as the Cardinals' top prospect for 2015, and although he did not make's top 100, Callis named him the best pitching prospect not on that list.[11] The recipient of a late growth spurt, it was in class-A level that Reyes began to throw at 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) and had grown to a height of 6'4" (190 cm).[2]

Playing for the Class A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League (FSL) in 2015, Reyes was the Cardinals' Minor League Pitcher of the month in April. He led the FSL with 35 SO and allowed a 1.71 ERA over 20+13 innings.[12] His 13-strikeout performance on June 17 was a season-high. Including his previous 10 outings, he had posted a 1.79 ERA and 70 SO in 50+13 innings. On June 25, Reyes was selected to represent the World Team in the All-Star Futures Game after leading all of the minor leagues with a ratio of 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (SO/9). He had registered a 2–5 record and 2.08 ERA while striking out 90 and walking 30 in 60+23 IP.[13] He was also selected to play in the 2015 FSL mid-season All-Star game.[14]

With a 2.26 ERA, 49 hits and zero home runs allowed with 96 strikeouts in 63+23 innings over 13 FSL starts, the Cardinals promoted Reyes to the AA Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League in July 2015. The next month, Baseball America rated him as throwing the FSL's best fastball, best breaking pitch, and as the "best pitching prospect" in the league in 2015, according to a poll of managers and coaches.[15] He totaled a 5–7 record and 2.49 ERA over 22 starts in 2015, striking out 151 in 101+13 innings while allowing a .197 opposing batting average.[16] The Cardinals selected him to play for the Surprise Saguaros of the off-season Arizona Fall League (AFL).[17] Baseball America also selected Reyes for the high Class-A minor leagues All-Star team for the 2015 season.[18] He and Austin Gomber were selected the Cardinals' co-Minor League Pitchers of the Year for 2015.[16]

After he tested positive for marijuana, Major League Baseball announced on November 9, 2015, that they were suspending Reyes for 50 games including the remainder of the AFL season and the start of the 2016 season.[19]

Baseball America selected Reyes as the top Cardinals' prospect entering the 2016 season.[20] ranked him as the tenth-best prospect in all the minor leagues, and Baseball Prospectus at number 13.[21]

Reyes was activated from his suspension on May 22 to make his first start for the Memphis Redbirds of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.[22] Baseball America moved his rank to second of all prospects in baseball in their 2016 mid-season update.[23] Selected to play his second All-Star Futures Game for 2016 at Petco Park in San Diego,[24] Reyes was the starting pitcher for the World team, striking out four of the five outs he recorded as World won, 11−3.[3] His 2016 totals with Memphis included a 2−3 record, 4.96 ERA, 93 strikeouts and 32 walks in 65 innings.[25]

St. Louis Cardinals[edit]


The Cardinals purchased Reyes' contract on August 9, 2016, and added him to the major league roster to serve as a relief pitcher.[26] He made his major league debut the same night against the Cincinnati Reds, pitching a perfect inning and striking out fellow rookie Adam Duvall for his first in the major leagues.[27] Reyes earned his first major league win on August 13, 2016, against the Chicago Cubs,[28] and first save on August 19 against the Philadelphia Phillies.[29] After five appearances and 9+13 innings in relief with 13 strikeouts and no runs surrendered, he made his first MLB start on August 27 against the Oakland Athletics.[30] He completed 4+23 innings, allowing one run, two hits and four walks while striking out four. The first run charged to Reyes in his major league career occurred when reliever Zach Duke walked Khris Davis with the bases loaded to score Bruce Maxwell in the fifth, ending 14 consecutive scoreless innings. The Athletics won, 3−2.[1][31]

The Cardinals, attempting to make the playoffs, called upon Reyes to start against fellow contenders, including seven scoreless innings against San Francisco on September 23 and, in his next outing, three runs in five innings against Chicago.[32] As a starting pitcher, Reyes was credited with a 4−1 record; his only loss came against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 7. He completed 17+13 relief innings, surrendering one earned run and eight hits while striking out 23. In 46 total innings with St. Louis in 2016, Reyes struck out 52; his 1.57 ERA ranked second among all major league rookie relief pitchers with at least 20 innings.[33]


On February 14, 2017, Reyes was diagnosed with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.[34] The next day, it was announced Reyes would undergo Tommy John surgery, shelving him for the entire 2017 season.[35] He had successful surgery on February 16.[36]


After sitting out all of 2017, Reyes began rehabbing in 2018. In a rehab start on May 19 with the Springfield Cardinals he pitched 723 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and striking out 13, tying Springfield's team record.[37] On May 24 during a rehab start with the Memphis Redbirds, Reyes struck out nine consecutive batters, making him the first pitcher in Pacific Coast League history to strike out nine batters in a row. In four total rehab starts between Springfield, the Peoria Chiefs, Palm Beach Cardinals and Memphis, he pitched 23 scoreless innings in which he struck out 44, walked seven, and gave up only seven hits.[38]

Reyes was activated from the 60-day DL on May 30 to start against the Milwaukee Brewers.[39] Making his first major league appearance since September 29, 2016, Reyes pitched four scoreless innings, allowing three hits while walking two and striking out two. He was placed on the 10-day DL the next day with a right lat strain that he suffered during his start against Milwaukee.[40] On June 6, Reyes underwent surgery for a torn tendon in his lat muscle, effectively ending his season.[41]


Reyes entered the 2019 season and began the year in St. Louis' bullpen. However, in his first three innings of the year, he allowed five runs and six walks and was ultimately optioned to the Class AAA Memphis Redbirds on April 7.[42]


Reyes rejoined the Cardinals for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and posted a 2–1 record with a 3.20 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 19+23 innings.

Pitching profile[edit]

The pitches which Reyes regularly throws are a fastball which regularly reaches 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), a power curveball,[13] and a changeup. Noted to have prodigious lateral and horizontal movement, the fastball typically ranges from 94 miles per hour (151 km/h) to 97 miles per hour (156 km/h), making it very difficult for batters to hit solidly. It is most effective high in the strike zone. The curveball has been called a "wipeout" pitch with a vertical falling pattern following the points from "12-to-6" on the clock, making it equally difficult for batters to hit well. The combination of both the fastball and curveball contributes to the significantly-above normal strikeout rates. Reyes typically throws both pitches for strikes, although his command of the fastball was below average. The changeup will need increased refinement. His walk rate is higher than normal, but he gave up just one total home run in 2015. In 2016, Baseball Prospectus pronounced that Reyes "has one of the highest ceilings of any current pitching prospect."[21]


Reyes has a daughter, Aleyka, who was born in July 2016.[43]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b de Jesús Ortíz, José (August 28, 2016). "Reyes' father shares moment with his son". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Saxon, Mark (September 18, 2016). "Cardinals rookie pitcher Alex Reyes takes winding path to big stage". Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Goold, Derrick (July 11, 2016). "Cards prospect Reyes sizzles in Futures Game". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Goold, Derrick (March 31, 2014). "Cards' top pitching prospect realizes benefits of travel". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Gruen, Seth (September 12, 2016). "Alex Reyes' US-to-DR move, growth spurt spawned 100 MPH fastball". Bleacher Report. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  6. ^ Josean (December 15, 2012). "Cardinals sign Dominican pitcher Alex Reyes for US$950,000". Dominican Today. Archived from the original on July 5, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Williams, Trey (June 17, 2013). "JC Cards' Reyes ready to show his stuff". Johnson City Press. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  8. ^ Parks, Jason (January 27, 2014). "Prospects will break your heart". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Alexander Reyes minor league statistics & history". Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  10. ^ Taking Flight: The St. Louis Cardinals and the Building of Baseball's Best Franchise - Rob Rains, Whitey Herzog (2016).
  11. ^ Callis, Jim (February 5, 2015). "Pipeline Perspectives: Won't be long for Reyes to crack Top 100". Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Palm Beach Cardinals (May 6, 2015). "Reyes, Scruggs named Minor League Players of the Month". Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c Wilaj, Steve (June 25, 2015). "Cardinals' Reyes selected for Futures Game". Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Bohonsky, Natalie (June 8, 2015). "Three Beach Birds named to All-Star roster". Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Goold, Derrick (August 12, 2015). "Cards prospect Reyes sweeps 'Tools Triple Crown'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  16. ^ a b c Berry, Adam (November 23, 2015). "Piscotty named Cards' Minor League POY". Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  17. ^ Goold, Derrick (September 3, 2015). "Reyes tops Cards' prospects headed to 'finishing school'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "2015 Minor League Classification All-Star Teams". Baseball America. September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  19. ^ Zucker, Joseph (November 9, 2015). "Alex Reyes suspended: Latest details, comments and reaction". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  20. ^ Manuel, John (November 16, 2015). "St. Louis Cardinals top 10 prospects". Baseball America. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  21. ^ a b Edwards, Craig (January 27, 2016). "Cardinals Alex Reyes ranked 10th best prospect in all of baseball". Viva El Birdos. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  22. ^ Adler, Dave (May 18, 2016). "Cards' Reyes returning from suspension: Club's top prospect will be added to Triple-A Memphis' roster". Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  23. ^ Staff Report (July 8, 2016). "Midseason top 100 prospects". Baseball America. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  24. ^ a b Berg, Ted (July 8, 2016). "7 prospects to watch at the 2016 All-Star Gutures Game". USA Today. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  25. ^ Lara-Cinisomo, Vince (August 9, 2016). "What to expect: Alex Reyes". Baseball America. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  26. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (August 9, 2016). "Cards promote top prospect Reyes, place Wacha on DL". Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  27. ^ Garro, Adam (August 9, 2016). "The Alex Reyes era has begun in St. Louis with authority ... and 101-mph fastballs". Cut 4. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  28. ^ Muskrat, Carrie; Langosch, Jenifer (August 13, 2016). "Cards find wild way to slam door on Cubs' streak". Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  29. ^ Heiken, Matt (August 19, 2016). "Alex Reyes off to a phenomenal start". KSDK. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  30. ^ Hummel, Rick (August 26, 2016). "Reyes to replace Leake (shingles) for Saturday start". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  31. ^ Timmerman, Tom (August 28, 2016). "Reyes allows one run in 4 2/3 innings in first start; Cards fall 3−2". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  32. ^ Bailey, J. J. (September 30, 2016). "Alex Reyes, facing astronomical expectations, continues to deliver". Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  33. ^ Frederickson, Ben (October 5, 2016). "Reyes shined for Cardinals in rookie season". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  34. ^ "Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes has partial tear in elbow". ESPN. February 14, 2017.
  35. ^ Goold, Derrick (February 15, 2017). "Reyes headed for Tommy John surgery, will miss 2017 season".
  36. ^ "Cards' Reyes undergoes Tommy John surgery". February 17, 2017.
  38. ^ "Ex-Chiefs righty Alex Reyes strikes out 13, makes history in final rehab stint at Memphis". Journal Star. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  39. ^ "Mayers optioned to make room for Reyes". May 30, 2018.
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