August 29, 2013 by Wayne McBrayer with photos by Rebecca Herman
ON THE FARM IN TUCSON, ARIZONA
~~WITH JORGE REYES, 2013~~
Jorge Reyes comes from a large supportive family who has been there for him every step of his life. He started playing ball with his 5 year old brother when he was just 3 years old. “I didn’t play organized ball, I just played with him” and that is how his future career started. Growing up near Seattle, he followed Alex Rodriguez when he was young in Seattle and he liked Josh Beckett because, “I like the way he pitches, I like him a lot.” He attended high school at Warden High School where he played football, basketball, and baseball. His last 2 years of high school he went 9-0 with a 0.40 ERA, striking out 101 batters in 51 innings as a junior. As a senior, Reyes went 6-1 with a 0.32 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings of work.
After high school, Jorge attended Oregon State University and helped lead the OSU Beavers to the 2007 National Championship and he was selected as The College World Series MVP. His career took a bad turn when he was arrested for illegally discharging a firearm and then sentenced to 15 days in jail. Upon his release, he went back to school but struggled in his sophomore season posting a 4-3 with a 7.08 ERA in 14 games started and still feeling the pressure and guilt of what he did wrong. His junior year he started to revert back to his old self and pitched more like the 2007 Jorge earning a 6-2 record with one save and a 4.20 ERA.
The San Diego Padres decided to take a chance on Jorge and selected him in the 19th round of the 2009 draft. “I sat down with some people (from the Padres organization) and told them the whole story about the arrest,” Reyes said. “They asked what I learned from it, and I just told them everything that I took out of it.” Confident that the issue was behind him, they sent Jorge to A-Eugene where he posted a 1-1 record with a 1.38 ERA. Rather than sending him back to Eugene for 2010, the Padres felt he was ready to advance up, so the organization sent him to A+ Lake Elsinore where he struggled due to a small tear of his labrum. He pitched through June going 8-4 with a 5.00 ERA and decided to have surgery to repair the injury. For 2011, Jorge was expecting to be sent back to A+ Lake Elsinore, but was shocked when the Padres promoted him to AA San Antonio. One of the San Antonio Missions pitchers had been hurt and pitching coach Jimmy Jones said Jorge Reyes was the logical choice to be moved up due to his experience in college and at Lake Elsinore. Jorge rose to the challenge posting a 10-3 record with a 3.12 ERA and being selected to the All-Star team as well as pitching for 2011 Texas League Champions, both of these events are the proudest moments of Jorge’s career to date.
Jorge has pitched for the AAA Tucson Padres for the last 2 seasons. 2012 he posted a 10-11 record with a 5.09 ERA. This season, he has been moved to the bullpen and currently has a 6-3 record with a 5.28 ERA in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League. Whether it’s the bullpen or as a starter doesn’t matter a whole lot to Jorge; “I could be a setup guy as long as I get to ‘The Show,'” Reyes said. “Obviously that’s the goal. I’d love to be a starter for the rest of my life.” Even if he doesn’t make it to the majors, he wants to continue working in baseball “Probably in front office type of work.”
Wherever he goes and does, Jorge will always have the love and support of his family that has been there each step of the way.
In the meanwhile, be sure to connect with Jorge …. Follow on Twitter @jlreyes23
For Jorge Reyes’ current stats with Tucson, click HERE
Kino Stadium is a wonderful ballpark where the staff ensures that there is something fun and exciting going on for the fans all the time. This is the last season for the AAA Tucson Padres as they will be moving to El Paso Texas for the 2014 season. Tonight marks the last home game of the Tucson Padres at Kino Stadium. We encourage you to come out for the last game – if so – look for us as we will be there! Follow @TucsonPadres