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2016 MLB Draft: Buddy Reed, OF, University of Florida

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Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

University of Florida outfielder Buddy Reed entered the 2016 draft season as a unanimous first round candidate, though opinions differ on exactly where in the first round that will be. MLB Pipeline currently ranks him sixth, while Baseball America has him as 12th and Perfect Game at 13th. That's based on talent, not mock drafting, mock drafting accounting for team strategies and philosophies could put Reed just about anywhere in the top 30 picks with valid logic.

We do know that Reed will be very attractive for several reasons. He has a track record of performance with one of the top baseball programs in the country as well as with Team USA so scouts have had plenty of looks at him. The Rhode Island native is a switch-hitter with outstanding fast-twitch athleticism, his raw tools (70-speed, 60-arm) are dancing sugar plums to dreaming scouts. He uses his speed extremely well in the outfield (see the second video below) and makes strong and accurate throws. He came to college listed at 6-3, 185 but is now 6-4, 210, without any loss of athleticism and mobility.

Reed would be a certain early first rounder if not for questions about his hitting. He's batting .303/.403/.462 on the year, solid numbers by themselves but not terrific for context; his OPS ranks fifth among Florida regulars. He'll take a walk but he also has the highest strikeout percentage on the club. Reed has the raw power you'd expect from his height-weight measurements but he doesn't tap that power consistently. Numerous sources (see Perfect Game, Prospect Junkies, MLB Pipeline for representative public samples) question his hitting mechanics, especially from the left side.

As it stands, Reed's combination of speed, defense, and hitting potential will land him in the early picks, perhaps in the Top Ten if a team is confident that his bat will respond well with pro coaching. If teams aren't certain of that, he'll fall to the middle or later portion of the first round, but no further than that. The defense and speed are too attractive and even with some swing questions he has performed well. He won't fall far.

Here are some video looks at Reed, first hitting, video from ProspectJunkies.com

And now fielding, from the Florida Gators.