The Pittsburgh Pirates have selected 20 year-old right handed pitcher Carlson Reed from the University of West Virginia. Reed is a very intriguing pick at this spot in the 4th round, as he has a ton of potential based on his size and current pitch mix. At 6'5 with long arms, Reed has impressive movement on his slider and changeup, but can lack velocity at times and has been incredibly inconsistent on the mound. He was used primarily as a closer at West Virginia in 2023 (and was one of the best in the Big 12) but scouts and fans are interested in his potential as a starter.
Checking out his college and summer league stats at a glance, they seem a little all over the place. He started 23 games in college/summer in 2021 + 2022, and then in 2023 he had 0 college starts but recorded an all-conference year as a closer. So, what gives? For Reed, the main problem that he needs to fix is his walk rate, which is a symptom of his overall control issues on the mound. In the games he's started, which have primarily been in summer leagues, his strikeout to walk ratio was close to 1:1. That's obviously not great, but as a closer in the 2023 college season that ratio greatly improved to 2.4:1. In addition, Reed had an impressive 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings and a very respectable ERA of 2.61 in the closing role.
If the Pirates can take their time with Reed and let him find what he's great at, whether he ends up as an elite reliever or a serviceable starter, I think there's potential that he can find himself time in the Major Leagues. As the Pirates search for more depth at the pitcher position, I like the move to take a project pitcher with a high ceiling at the #104 spot.