Hot Rod of the Day 4/9/14: Colton Reavis

By Fletcher Keel

The Bowling Green Hot Rods’ losing streak continues, and reached four games last night as BG fell to the Burlington Bees 5-2. The Bees clinched the series victory with the win. While the Hot Rods were able to put runs on the board, the offense was almost more absent last night than it was in Tuesday night’s shutout, as they managed just four hits. Starting pitcher Jacob Faria got hit hard early, but the Bowling Green bullpen pitched a solid back half of the game, and none were more solid than Colton Reavis.

Reavis came to the Rays’ organization in last June’s draft, where he was a 30th round pick. He went on the DL before he could pitch in a pro game, but was able to overcome it and throw in the bullpen for Short Season Hudson Valley, appearing in 13 games and going 3-1 with a solid 2.10 ERA out of the bullpen a season ago. The 24-year old begins this season in Bowling Green, but if he can repeat his Hudson Valley performance we could see him promoted to High-A Port Charlotte before the season is over.

There isn’t much of a book on Reavis yet, but here in the early stages of his career, a couple of things are apparent. First, he has good velocity on his fastball, which is what made him attractive to the Rays as a 30th rounder. Secondly, when he allows base runners, he does a good job of limiting damage, if even allowing damage at all. Last night was a prime example, as Reavis threw two complete innings and didn’t allow a hit, but he did struggle with his control and walked five batters. However, none of them came across the plate, and Reavis kept his early-season ERA perfect, along with striking out three batters.

The Rays love Reavis’ fastball, and he was a nice find out of NAIA Northwood University in Texas. But, after only having to rely on his fastball to get out mediocre NAIA competition in college, he has significant refinement to do with his secondary offerings as he moves up the ladder, and as last night showed he also needs to work on his command. The Rays are great at developing secondary pitches, especially changeups, and if they can do so with Reavis, he could turn into a nice middle-reliever down the line; not bad for a 30th round pick.

The Hot Rods have some big names (like Blake Snell and Granden Goetzman), but they also have some mystery guys, like Reavis. We are hoping that Hot Rod of the Day will shine some more light on them, and give them the recognition they deserve. The Hot Rods are going to need this type of player to continue to step up if they are going to halt their losing streak.