The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

April 24, 2014

Ardmore’s Reed attracting scouts by the dozen

Senior pitcher totals 158 K's as Tigers enter 2nd round of state playoffs

ARDMORE — Finding a seat behind home plate is hard to come by at an Ardmore baseball game these days.

Often the favorite spot for parents and grandparents bringing lawn chairs, the backstop lately is overrun with outsiders.

Major League baseball scouts hover behind home plate, radar guns in hand, to watch Cody Reed pitch his final innings for the Tigers.

The towering left-hander is one of the state’s most sought-after baseball prospects. On Friday, he struck out 15 batters and had a no-hitter going through five innings during Ardmore’s 7-3 first-round playoff victory over Randolph.

Nearly a dozen scouts were on hand Friday to watch Reed pitch what could be his last home game for Ardmore.

“It has picked up over the last couple of weeks,” said Ardmore head coach Andrew Smith. “The first game of the season there was a lot, then it dropped off to four or five. Lately, it’s been pretty full.”

The added attention is because of what Reed is doing on the mound. The senior has struck out 158 batters in 64 innings pitched. He’s given up 19 hits, 15 walks and six earned runs with a 7-1 record.

He’s not too bad at the plate either with a .515 average, including six home runs, eight doubles and 30 RBIs.

That is when he’s given a chance to hit.

Many teams choose not to pitch to Reed, who bats right-handed.

So, as the stats grow, so do the number of scouts. At a home game against Elkmont, nearly two dozen scouts lingered around the field.

“The most was that Elkmont game we played here,” said Smith. “It’s been pretty crazy. They all want to know when he is going to be pitching. They are here two hours before the game to watch him warm up.”

Easy to spot with their clipboards, MLB logos and radar equipment, professional scouts from around the country are eager to see Reed before the season ends. But they aren’t alone in competition for the 6-foot-3, 240-pound lefty.

Reed has been committed to play baseball at Vanderbilt for nearly two years. He signed a national letter of intent with the Commodores last fall.

With the amateur draft approaching in June, Reed has a hefty decision to make. Speaking with the humble high school senior, you would never know it.

“It doesn’t affect me at all,” said Reed. “I play the same no matter who is here.”

If Reed decides to stick with Vanderbilt and play collegiate baseball, he would not be eligible for the draft until after his third year of college.

“I try to bear most of the burden,” said Beth Reed, Cody’s mother. “It probably bothers me more than it does him. I want him to enjoy his senior year.”

The Reeds are well aware of the attention. Instead of constantly fielding phone calls about Cody’s pitching schedule, Beth communicates via email with interested scouts.

When Ardmore travels to North Jackson for a second-round playoff game tomorrow, you can bet Reed will be on the mound. First-pitch from the second-round doubleheader is 5 p.m. at North Jackson High School.

 

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Local News 2
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