Baseball is often a statistical game, regardless which statistics do it for you. Some of us are old-timey. The statistics we’re familiar with are the ones from the 1970’s. Runs batted in. Pitcher wins. Batting averages. For others, including many of us for whom advanced statistics are part of our lives like paying bills and eating, we dig deeper statistics. Fielding Independent Pitching, Iso-plus. Ultimate Zone Ratings. Often, people think they are better baseball fans than people on the other side of the statistical bridge. Sometimes, people have one number they prioritize in a season. With that in mind, today I look at former Westmont College relief pitcher Bailey Reid.
Bailey Reid, righthanded relief pitcher
Born July 3, 1998, Palo Alto, California
Signed by Cubs as a 2021 post-draft free agent from Westmont College (Santa Barbara, California)
I’m going to take a wild guess to start this article. Round about the fourth week of January, one or two of you might be interested in watching a baseball game. With people playing, and not squabbling over finances. I know I will. I plan on listening to Rob Manfred talk less than 45 seconds over the duration of the lockout. I’d rather run a hot poker through my eye than listen to him gleefully cry about how horrible it is for players to expect to get a reasonable piece of the dollars spent on MLB.
So, I’ll do what I did last year, and the year before that. At some point in late January, NAIA teams and Junior Colleges begin playing baseball. If that’s too “less than” for you, that’s fine. I, though, will want baseball. If scouts are attending, there is knowledge to be gleaned.
Unless the Cubs facility is otherwise actively engaged, teams in both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues ought to schedule tournaments at their sites. The schools would have quality fields, easy scouting access, and Rapsodo for every game. Which, if the rules are as they were, can be as tightly guarded as any secret, if the MLB team wants to treat it that way. In other words: We’ll share our six-team tourney results with you, and two other teams that do the same, to upgrade our databases on the smaller schools unless it’s in an actual MLB ballpark (Wrigley, Fenway, the other 28).
Reid was fantastic at Westmont. In his final two seasons, he allowed one run, in total, while recording eleven saves. The run was unearned. Reid’s goal in 2021 was to pitch in 40 games. He appeared in 39, just missing his goal. After a late-season callup to South Bend, he was exposed a bit more than in Myrtle Beach, but there’s no reason to think he’s not worth an Advanced-A roster spot in 2021.
As Reid is good enough to reach Advanced-A Ball, follow an NAIA team and maybe you’ll find someone like him (many audio-stream their games at no additional fee. You’ll need to do a bit of homework, and ESPN is unlikely to help out) once their games commence. The announcers are often students, so the quality is what it is. Some games fly with no commentary, and one camera. But, once late January hits, NAIA and Division III are what my computer screen has. Don’t be frightened to try what’s available.