JO-JO REYES
LEFT HANDED PITCHER
Born: November 20, 1984
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 230
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 2nd Round, 43rd Overall, 2003 (Braves)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
High School: Riverside (CA) Polytechnic
Agent: Jim Kuzmich

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Braves drafted Reyes in the second round out of high school and he was considered one of the better left-handed pitching prospects in the minors for much of the time he was in their system.  Baseball America ranked him 8th in the Braves’ system as late as January 2007.  He’s struggled consistently in extensive major league trials, though, as his stuff doesn’t seem to stand up well at that level.  He throws a fastball that sits about at 90 mph, along with a slider, curve and change.  He was a groundball pitcher through most of his major league career, but not in 2011, and he’s had trouble with gopher balls.  Right-handed batters have hammered him in the majors to the tune of 315/385/533.  He’s been better, although not outstanding, against left-handed hitters, who’ve batted 255/328/408 against him.  The Pirates signed him to a split contract for 2012 after Baltimore non-tendered him.

2003
R:  5-3-0, 2.56 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 45.2 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 10.8 K/9

Had strong pro debut, with excellent walk and K rates.

2004
A:  2-4-0, 5.35 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 74.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 8.6 K/9

The Braves jumped Reyes up to low A at age 19.  He got hit much harder and had trouble with gopher balls (10), but still had good walk and K rates.  His season was cut short about halfway through by elbow problems, which led to Tommy John surgery.

2005
R:  0-1-0, 1.69 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 5.1 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 10.1 K/9
R+:  3-0-0, 3.53 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 43.1 IP, 1.2 BB/9, 5.6 K/9

Reyes began working his way back from the TJ surgery, but had his season cut short again, this time by a torn ACL.

2006
A:  8-1-0, 2.99 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 75.1 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 10.0 K/9
A+:  4-4-0, 4.11 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 65.2 IP, 4.9 BB/9, 7.9 K/9

Reyes stayed healthy and had a strong season, earning a mid-season promotion to high A.

2007
AA:  8-1-0, 3.56 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 73.1 IP, 4.3 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
AAA:  4-0-0, 1.00 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 36.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 9.8 K/9
MLB:  2-2-0, 6.22 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 50.2 IP, 5.3 BB/9, 4.8 K/9

In AA, Reyes pitched very well, although his walk rate was too high.  He pitched even better in six starts in AAA, then got called up in July.  He struggled in the majors, walking more than he fanned and allowing a HR every five and a half innings.

2008
AAA:  1-1-0, 2.31 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 39.0 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 8.8 K/9
MLB:  3-11-0, 5.81 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 113.0 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 6.2 K/9

Reyes continued to pitch well in AAA early in the season.  The Braves called him up at the beginning of May when John Smoltz got hurt and Chuck James struggled, and he spent most of the rest of the year in their rotation.  He struggled in the majors, continuing to have problems with HRs and walks.

2009
AAA:  4-2-0, 2.86 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 66.0 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 4.4 K/9
MLB:  0-2-0, 7.00 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 27.0 IP, 4.3 BB/9, 7.0 K/9

The Braves called Reyes up in mid-April, but he continued to pitch poorly, then went out with a strained hamstring after about a month.  Once he returned, he went back to AAA.  He posted a good ERA there, but his other numbers were weak, including a much lower K rate than previously.

2010
AA (Tor):  1-1-0, 2.57 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 6.4 K/9
AAA (Atl): 1-5-0, 5.70 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 47.1 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 9.5 K/9
MLB (Atl):  0-0-0, 24.30 ERA, 3.90 WHIP, 3.1 IP, 8.1 BB/9, 9.4 K/9

The Braves optioned Reyes to AAA to start the season; they’d evidently obtained a fourth option due to all the time he missed with injuries.  They called him up for one forgettable start in April, but otherwise he stayed in AAA until Atlanta traded him to Toronto in July.  He struggled in AAA, getting hit hard and having more problems with HRs, although his walk and K rates were very good.  He pitched only briefly in AA for the Jays, as he missed most of the rest of the year with a knee injury.

2011
MLB (Tor):  5-8-0, 5.40 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 110.0 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 5.2 K/9
MLB (Balt):  2-3-0, 6.16 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 30.2 IP, 3.8 BB/9, 6.8 K/9

Reyes spent the first four months in the Toronto rotation and mostly struggled.  The Jays waived him at the end of July and the chronically pitching-deprived Orioles claimed him.  He spent a month in their rotation and continued to pitch poorly, so the O’s moved him to the bullpen in September.  On the season he showed much better control, but still allowed too many longballs (21).  He may not have been quite as bad as the numbers suggest, especially in Baltimore.  His xFIP (Fielding Independent Pitching, with a normalized HR/FB rate) was 4.73 in Toronto and 4.04 in Baltimore.  The Jays had a mediocre defensive team and the Orioles’ defensive was very bad, so he probably didn’t get much help from his fielders.

2012
R:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 5.0 IP, 1.8 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
A-:  0-0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 0.0 K/9
AAA:  6-2-0, 2.67 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 54.0 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 7.2 K/9 

Reyes struggled in exhibitions with the Pirates and opened the season in the AAA rotation.  He pitched very well through the end of May, going 5-1, 2.05, but any chance he had of getting back to the majors ended when he went out with a leg injury.  He didn’t return until late July and pitched mostly in relief after that.

Reyes will be a free agent after the season and likely will find better opportunities elsewhere.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2010: $410,000
2011: $439,100
2012: Minor League Contract (Split Contract)
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $800,000
MiLB Debut: 2003
MLB Debut: 7/7/2007
MiLB FA Eligible: 2012
MLB FA Eligible: 2015
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: July 6, 2007
Options Remaining: 0 (USED:  2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
MLB Service Time: 3.002
TRANSACTIONS
June 3, 2003: Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 2nd round, 43rd overall; signed on June 3.
July 14, 2010: Traded by the Atlanta Braves with Yunel Escobar to the Toronto Blue Jays for Tyler Pastornicki, Tim Collins and Alex Gonzalez.
August 2, 2011: Claimed off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays by the Baltimore Orioles.
December 12, 2011: Non-tendered by the Baltimore Orioles and became a free agent.
January 3, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.