The 2023 MLB Draft is just over one month away. And now that the West Virginia baseball season has ended, it is widely expected that one of the Mountaineers’ fireball pitchers will be the first WVU product off the board.
Carlson Reed became one of the top relievers in the Big 12 Conference this season. He finished the year with seven saves, tied for the third-highest total in WVU baseball history. Reed also posted a career-best 2.61 ERA, and racked up 60 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched.
Reed’s impressive season on the bump greatly improved his draft stock. The junior flamethrower is rated as one of the top 200 prospects for this year’s MLB Draft, checking in at No. 196, according to MLB.com.
“Reed does have a very real three-pitch mix,” his scouting report reads. “He sells his mid-80s changeup well with good arm speed, and his tight slider, thrown around the same velocity, has also generated a ton of swings and misses.”
The 6-4 right-hander consistently reached 96 miles per hour on his fastball this season and, as mentioned in the report, displayed a wipeout slider as part of his repertoire. Scouts reportedly wanted to see Reed continue to be a starter for the Mountaineers, but he blossomed into an All-Big 12 First Team closer after being thrust into the role at the start of the season.
If Reed is drafted and signs with the team who selects him, it would mark the second straight season that WVU’s closer heard his name called in the MLB Draft. Trey Braithwaite was taken in the 16th round of last year’s draft after he finished the 2022 season with a 1.70 ERA and eight saves.
Reed is one of 10 players from the Big 12 Conference ranked among the 200 best prospects. He does have one season of collegiate eligibility remaining if he chooses to not sign with the team that drafts him.
West Virginia has averaged 3.5 players drafted per year since Randy Mazey took over the program in 2013. Three Mountaineers, including Braithwaite, were taken in last year’s draft.
This year’s MLB Draft will take place from July 9-11 in Seattle.