Cardinals prospect interview: Alex Reyes

Reyes was challenged with initial JC assignment

The St. Louis Cardinals top minor league free agent signee this year spoke from instructional league camp in Jupiter, Florida.

After taking an unusual path to amateur free agency, then-18-year-old Alex Reyes signed with the St. Louis Cardinals last December. The right-handed pitcher received a signing bonus of $950,000, an amount that would have ranked him fourth among the players the organization later drafted in June.

Reyes
Now 19 years of age, Reyes had grown up in New Jersey, but moved to his parents' homeland of the Dominican Republic before his senior year of high school. The goal was to focus on baseball training and establish his residency there. As such, the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder could negotiate with all 30 clubs as a free agent rather than be subjected to the draft.

With a fastball that works in the 90-93 mph range and touches 94, Reyes also has a plus changeup and a curve. The Cardinals organization was impressed enough with the teenager's talent and make up for him to begin his professional career in the Appalachian League.

Reyes did not disappoint, pacing his Johnson City club with six wins and striking out 68 in 58 innings of work, leading to his selection as The Cardinal Nation's Johnson City Cardinals Starting Pitcher of the Year. Baseball America named Reyes the number seven prospect in the Appy League.

In TCN's message board community prospect rankings for 2014, still underway, Reyes was voted into the sixth spot in the entire system, ahead of every 2013 drafted Cardinal.

In the following exclusive interview, Reyes discusses his unique path to joining the organization, his first season as a professional and more.

(2:49)

Coming soon: Look for more interviews with players, coaches and executives from instructs, exclusively for subscribers to The Cardinal Nation. Thank you for your support!

Links to earlier related articles

Cardinals prospect interview: Marco Gonzales
Cardinals prospect interview: Cory Jones
Cardinals prospect interview: Kenny Peoples-Walls
Derrick May from Cards instructional league
Brent Strom from Cards instructional league
Insight from Cardinals instructs: 10/02/13
Insight from Cardinals instructs: 10/01/13
Insight from Cardinals instructs: 09/30/13



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2013 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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