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RHP Sean Reid-Foley Competing with Better Command

RHP Sean Reid-Foley Competing with Better Command

April 16, 2016

Sean Reid-Foley

RHP Sean Reid-Foley has been reassigned to the Lansing Lugnuts to start the 2016 season as he refines his secondary pitches and improves his command. (Kyle Castle)

One of the most intriguing stories in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system this spring was the reassignment of Sean Reid-Foley to the Lansing Lugnuts. Regarded as the organization’s second best pitching prospect, it was surprising to see the highly touted hurler back in the Midwest League for a second go-round.

Many felt Reid-Foley would begin the season in the Florida State League where he logged 32 2/3 innings last summer. But with a logjam of pitchers in their system the Blue Jays front office had to make some tough decisions on where to assign certain players.

Still just 20-years old, Reid-Foley isn’t off track by any means. Making it to Lansing quicker than expected a year ago, the righty made an instant impact at the Crosstown Showdown and was asked to stay with the club instead of returning to extended spring training.

While this situation isn’t ideal for Reid-Foley it has presented him with an opportunity to fine-tune his pitches for better outcomes at higher levels of play. After struggling a bit with command during his 2015 season, giving him another opportunity in a familiar location might take some of the pressure off of the young prospect.

An area of concern a year ago was the number of walks he allowed. Granting 67 free passes between the two levels wasn’t the perfect way to start his full season workload.

Understanding that concept, Reid-Foley addressed command during the off-season as he prepared for 2016 with his older brother David, a pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers minor league system.

“I worked on my command a lot with my brother during the off-season,” explained Reid-Foley. “We both worked very hard at cleaning up our deliveries. It’s shown in the early stages this year and now it’s about getting my fastball command from below average to average. After I achieve that I’m going to work at getting my command to being above average.”

Hoping to keep the walks in check with better feel and command of his pitches; Reid-Foley discusses how he uses his overpowering mid-to-high 90’s fastball to his advantage whenever a new hitter steps into the batter’s box against him.

“I just try to move my fastball around the plate,” said Reid-Foley. “I like to see what the hitter does with their swing. If they’re late I’m going to go inside so they can’t get their bat head to it. If they’re not late I’ll throw it outside seeing if they will chase it. After I get an idea what’s working that’s when the off-speed comes into play.”

Reid-Foley worked on more than just his fastball command as he admits that he’s continuously trying to fine-tune his secondary pitches for more options in the future.

“My off-speed has come a long ways in professional baseball,” explained Reid-Foley. “Both my changeup and slider has improved a lot. I’ve also added a curveball this season. I’m still working on them all the time. Right now, I just need to trust my game. Even if I get into a hole I need to trust my pitches and not get skeptical like I did last year.”

This extra preparation showed in his first outing of the season against the Dayton Dragons on April 12th. Allowing just one hit in six innings was a promising sign for the up-and-coming star as he looked extremely poised and confident during the contest.

Although it was a nice start to his season, Reid-Foley understands that every outing is different as you face unique situations on a nightly basis. While he can’t predict how any contest might go for him. He makes sure to enter the game with the same mindset every night.

“I just need to go out there and pitch and have fun,” stated Reid-Foley. “I just want to throw strikes and limit walks. My first outing this year I walked a few more than I would’ve liked, but I got quick outs. That’s the plan. I want to get quick outs and stay ahead in counts. I want to get ahead early and stay ahead.”

Another stint with the Dunedin Blue Jays will be in Reid-Foley’s near future if he can continue to have solid starts in the upcoming weeks. Growing up in Jacksonville, the righty discusses what he likes about pitching in his home state.

“Playing in Dunedin was awesome because I was close to home,” said Reid-Foley. “I really enjoyed pitching there and I’m hoping to be back there soon. You can’t beat Florida weather.”

But even that will just be another step for the Blue Jays number 3 prospect as he is focused on the ultimate goal of making it to the big leagues one day.

Until then supporters of the Toronto Blue Jays will be happy to see Sean Reid-Foley continue to fine-tune his pitches for continued success down the road.

 

Brian Crawford

Brian Crawford

Brian has covered professional baseball for eight seasons for numerous media outlets.
Brian Crawford
Brian Crawford

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