La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Round Five: Twins are pouncing on power pitchers

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 6, 2014 - 2:26 PM

University of Oregon righthander Jake Reed was selected by the Twins in round five. He's another reliever with a mid-90's fastball who projects as a potential closer.

Here's some background, courtesy of Baseball America:

Reed is a solid athlete who played some quarterback and kicked at San Diego’s Helix High, which produced NFL starters Reggie Bush and Alex Smith, among others. He also played basketball in high school, but his future is on the diamond. He made 34 starts and pitched 214 innings in his first two seasons at Oregon, but the Ducks tapped him as their closer this year and kept him in the role despite several injuries in the rotation. Filling the shoes of 2012 All-American Jimmie Sherfy, the Diamondbacks' 10th-round pick last year, Reed—whom the Sox drafted in the 40th round out of high school in 2011—should surpass Sherfy in this year’s draft. He has a better body and delivery but a lesser breaking ball than Sherfy. He notched 13 saves entering the season’s final week by pitching off his lively sinker, his go-to pitch. Reed gets early-count contact when he’s going well, throwing his fastball in the 94-95 mph range with late sink. He locates his sinker well and gets more ground balls with his slider, an average pitch when he commands it. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder was durable in a starter role and could return to that as a pro, though he sat anywhere from 87-92 mph as a starter and was less dynamic.


That's three college pitchers who throw at least 95 miles an hour - although that would change for Reed if Twins make him a starter. Let's see if they keep all these guys as relievers.

Here's a little more on Reed.


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