Right-hander now with Everett of the NWL
A month into his professional baseball career, Brad Reid has learned one thing: you need to have a short memory to succeed as a pitcher in pro ball.
After appearing in only one game with the Peoria Mariners of the Arizona League, the Seattle Mariners’ rookie team, Reid was called up to the High Desert Mavericks, the M’s Class A advanced team in the California League.
And when called on for his first appearance, the right-hander nervously made his way to the mound, facing the league’s then-top home run hitter, Rancho Cucamonga’s Mark Trumbo.
Reid was about to get his first big league lesson in memory loss.
“The second pitch, I left one over the middle of the plate and he hit a home run,” Reid said from Adelanto, Calif., where High Desert plays. “But I bounced back from it and got out of the inning. I just know now that I’m at a high level, and that sort of thing is going to happen.”
A change of pace from his days at Bellevue Community College, where that sort of thing didn’t happen often, a big reason why the Mariners took a chance on the 6-foot-1 pitcher, selecting him with the 912th overall pick in last month’s draft.
Reid had a stellar career at BCC and was a two-time All-NWAACC First Team selection as a starting pitcher. After posting a 0.19 ERA as a freshman in 2006 and helping BCC win the NWAACC championship, Reid signed on with the Oregon State Beavers before returning a year later to again play for the Bulldogs. He finished this season with a 7-1 record and posted a 0.56 ERA, gaining the interest of the Mariners.
“I really encouraged Brad to take the opportunity to sign with the Mariners after getting drafted,” said BCC head coach Mark Yoshino. “Physically, I didn’t think he’d be served by going to school and taking a chance of not getting drafted again. He was ready and had two years of experience of pitching in big games.”
Reid’s work ethic sets him apart, Yoshino said, and that’s needed to survive in the minor leagues. And it’s also the reason why the Mariners have been aggressive in moving Reid quickly through their system.
When Reid got the call to High Desert, he was told he’d be with the team for only 72 hours because of an injury to another player.
Instead, he stuck with the club for almost two weeks, appearing in relief in six games. While it wasn’t the most successful stint (he allowed 19 hits and 12 runs in 7.1 innings pitched and ended with a 14.73 ERA), the time spent with the club was more about learning the ropes, Reid said, rather than results.
“When the older guys throw bullpen or just play catch, I try to watch the best I can,” said Reid, who, at 20, was the second-youngest player on the Maverick’s roster, behind only highly-regarded prospect Carlos Triunfel.
“I just try to watch them and make myself better. The experience level here is just so much higher.”
It’s true: the California League is a long-season Class A Advanced League, where teams have been playing since April 1, the same as the big league clubs. Traditionally, the California League is a hitters league, Yoshino said, and for Reid to have been called up at all is huge.
“The hitters in that league are very advanced,” Yoshino said. “What he is going through now is new to him. He never really had to deal with any adversity at our level; his track record and success was almost flawless. He’s got the pitches and the physical stuff. That’s what the Mariners saw in him. He’s got what it takes.”
After an appearance against Modesto on July 12, Reid was sent to Everett of the Northwest League, the Mariners Class A team. Reid has not yet appeared in a game for the Aquasox, but one thing is for sure – he’s just happy to be there.
“I’m getting paid to play baseball and there is nothing better than that,” Reid said. “I remember being at home and listening to the draft on the internet, and now I’m here. It definitely hasn’t kicked in yet.”
And that short memory thing? He’s getting a hang of that too.
“Stuff happens,” Reid said. “You just have to get rid of those bad days.”
Joel Willits can be reached at 425-453-5045 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.