By: Jim Tsapelas
After sitting out a fifty game suspension for violating Minor League Baseball’s Substance Use Policy, Alex Reyes, the twenty-one year old top prospect of the St. Louis Cardinals and considered by MLBPipeline.com as the eleventh best prospect in all of baseball, returns to baseball activities Sunday, May 22, 2016 when he takes the mound in a start for AAA-Memphis.
During his suspension, Reyes was allowed under MiLB and MLB rules to workout with the Cardinals this past spring. Reyes was prohibited, during his suspension, by MiLB and MLB rules from appearing in any Grapefruit League or MLB games where an admission was charged.
Reyes is a 6’3” RHP with a three year minor league record of 18-20; and an ERA of 3.15. Reyes’ fifty game suspension followed his second violation for testing positive for marijuana usage. Reyes was not suspended for his first violation of the MiLB Substance Use Policy. He possesses a solid delivery, an effortless fastball that sits in the 92-95 mph range; which occasionally hits 100 mph.
Prior to his suspension, it was thought that Reyes was going to be a contributor, at some point, to the 2016 edition of the Cardinals. However, his behavior and suspension delayed that from becoming a reality, until now.
During 2015 he posted a 2.49 ERA in thirteen starts, striking out one hundred and fifty-one batters, in one hundred and one-third innings, and limited opponents to a .197 batting average; while advancing through three Minor League levels.
In a statement Reyes, said, “I take full responsibility for my actions and apologize for disappointing my family, fans, teammates and the St. Louis Cardinals organization. I acknowledge my inappropriate behavior and will accept the consequences. Baseball is my passion, and I will do everything in my power to put this behind me and move forward.”
For the past six weeks, Reyes has been throwing in extended spring camp games. He is fully stretched out. When he starts at AAA-Memphis this coming Sunday, he shall not be subjected or restricted to a lower pitch count.
Reyes was signed by the Cardinals for nine hundred-fifty thousand dollars, out of the Dominican Republic, in 2012.
According to reports, Reyes was projected to have been a part of the Cardinals’ 2016 starting rotation. After a time of testing at Memphis, Reyes shall make his long delayed ascent to the St. Louis ball club. Initially, we may see him in the bullpen. Make no doubt about it; Reyes will be a starter with the big club.
Thanks for reading!