Well, it's been a fairly slow couple of days so lets get some discussion going on Chop-n-Change again. The topic of discussion here is left-handed starter Jo-Jo Reyes, who just barely outgrew rookie status in 2007, pitching 50.2 innings for Atlanta. Heading into the 2008 season, the 23-year old southpaw is still very much in the running for a spot in Bobby Cox's rotation.
What is going for Reyes is his stuff. For a left-hander, he's got an impressive arsenal of pitches, including a 91-93 mph fastball, a breaking ball that shows flashes of brilliance, and a changeup in the low-80's that has the potential to be an average pitch. So with such a strong repertoire, why hasn't Reyes succeeded so far? Well, his 6.22 ERA in the majors last year was largely due to poor control and command in his debut. The hurler issued 30 walks (and only 27 strikeouts) in the 50.2 innings and when the ball was in the strikezone, quite often it was up or over the middle of the plate, which played a big part in the nine homeruns Reyes allowed.
What is to become of this former top prospect? He has the stuff to become a quality top or middle of the rotation starter if his command and control both improve and become consistent, but on the other hand, he's also alarmingly similar to former Brave Macay McBride. I don't think his command and control are as bad as they were with Atlanta last year but I'm also not sure he's ever going to reach that number two potential. What do you see for Reyes this season and in the future?