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Sean Reid-Foley Experiencing His First Year of Professional Baseball

Sean Reid-Foley Experiencing His First Year of Professional Baseball

May 11, 2015

Sean Reid-Foley (mlb.com)

Sean Reid-Foley in the Perfect Game showcase (mlb.com)

Looking to address their organizational needs through the draft, the Toronto Blue Jays really got after it last June, as they built quite arguably the best draft class of the 30 organizations in major league baseball. The Blue Jays success in the draft comes down to excellent scouting and their ability to go after the high ceiling guys that might take a little time to develop, but has the skills to make the wait worthwhile.

Using this mindset in the 2nd round last June, the Blue Jays nabbed power right-hander Sean Reid-Foley with the 49th overall pick. Many fans were surprised that Reid-Foley was still available at that point, as he was slated as a 1st round talent. This led some people to believe he was going to be tough to sign, but that was not the case as the young prospect admits he was planning on signing through the entire process.

“Being drafted by the Blue Jays was very exciting,” stated Reid-Foley. “Instead of focusing on college I wanted to focus on a professional baseball career and the Blue Jays gave me that opportunity.”

Reid-Foley entered 2015 looking to build off the success he had in the Gulf Coast League last season, where he appeared in 22 2/3 innings maintaining a 9.9 K/9 ratio. He quickly jumped up to Lansing in April to take part in the Lugnuts’ annual Crosstown Showdown versus Michigan State University, an exciting moment for the young prospect.

“I was excited when I found out they wanted me to come up for the Crosstown Showdown,” said Reid-Foley. “I knew it was a great opportunity for my career and I took advantage of it. I had an absolute blast competing against the Spartans.”

But his excitement didn’t end there in a 9-4 victory over the Spartans. It came the next day when he was at the airport preparing to head back down to extended spring training in Florida when he received a phone call that changed his life minutes before boarding his plane.

“I was five minutes away from boarding my plane for Florida and my phone rang,” explained Reid-Foley. “I looked at the number and it was the Blue Jays. I answered and they said we want you to stay with Lansing. I was very excited by the news and since then I have been fully focused on making every start here in Lansing. If everything goes as planned I should make 25 starts here this year.”

Taking full advantage of his opportunity with the Blue Jays’ low-A affiliate; Reid-Foley has appeared in 17 1/3 innings for the Lugnuts’ racking up 26 strikeouts, while opposing hitters are only managing a stingy .210 batting average against the big righty.

One area that needs improvement is his control on the mound. It’s a common issue you see with a lot of young pitchers with big arms. Currently with 17 walks on the season and a 1.73 WHIP; these are two areas the young prospect will work hard to improve on all season.

Addressing this concern first hand, Lansing Lugnuts’ pitching coach Jeff Ware is satisfied with the 19-year old’s progress so far as he works on getting him to control every pitch better for continued success at higher levels of play.

“Sean Reid-Foley is good. He is still young and he’s currently getting amped up for every outing,” stated Ware. “I’m just trying to get him to control the excitement he has when he’s out there for a game. I’m trying to get him to locate his pitches better. He’s a hard thrower with a heavy fastball, so I’m trying to get him to take a little bit off in certain situations.”

There is no reason to panic on the young pitcher as he is still adjusting to professional baseball. Making the jump from high school baseball to professional baseball presented some new challenges for Reid-Foley that he is working hard on every day.

“The biggest adjustment for me in professional baseball is the way I go about my pitching,” explained Reid-Foley. “In pro baseball you’re over the ball more than just pushing the ball with your palm. In pro baseball the strike zone is a lot lower and smaller as well.”

Currently using three pitches in his repertoire that he throws out of a ¾ arm slot, Reid-Foley features a fastball, slider, and changeup. His fastball usually sits in the mid-90’s range, but can be dialed up a little higher at times during the season.

Enjoying his Midwest League experience to its fullest, Reid-Foley really loves the stadiums you get to play in every night. Getting to see some of the early renovations made to Cooley Law School Stadium first hand, the young prospect has enjoyed his time playing in front of the home fans and seeing some of the road stadiums as well.

“The facilities in Lansing are really good,” said Reid-Foley. “It’s a beautiful stadium and they added a lot of seats in the off-season. It actually looks like the AA park in my town. It’s a pretty big stadium.”

“It’s fun traveling around this league,” he added. “Fort Wayne’s stadium is the best one hands down. It’s absolutely beautiful and a fun place to play a game. Great Lakes is a nice stadium as well. It’s a little smaller than Lansing’s, but it’s really nice. There are a lot of great places in the Midwest League.”

There’s another aspect to his Midwest League experience that has made playing in Lansing really fun for Reid-Foley and that’s the opportunity to compete against his older brother David who is a member of the Dodgers’ affiliated Great Lakes Loons bullpen. While the two are rivals when their respective squads compete against one another the prospect says his relationship with his brother has always been a good one growing up.

“Towards high school I didn’t see him as much because he was in college,” said Reid-Foley, “but when we were younger we always had a really good relationship and he was a big reason I got into baseball.”

Be sure to follow Sean Reid-Foley all season as he works hard to compete in big league stadiums in the near future.