It’s rare that Major League Baseball teams use a first-round draft choice on a relief pitcher, but the Los Angeles Dodgers went that route Monday.
The National League West team used the 16th overall pick to draft Stanford left-hander Chris Reed, whose team will be in Chapel Hill this week to face UNC in an NCAA Tournament Super Regional.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Reed has nine saves in 11 opportunities this season for the Cardinal (35-20). In overall 28 appearances, he has a 6-2 record and a 2.54 earned-run average. In his one start, Reed gave up seven runs in less than five innings.
Dodger assistant general manager Logan White told reporters Monday that he could see Reed developing into a starter.
At Stanford, the 21-year-old junior has the key reliever for primary starters Mark Appel (6-6, 3.02 ERA), Jordan Priese (6-5, 3.24) and Dean McArdle (7-4. 4.15).
Carolina (48-14) had a first-round pick when junior shortstop Levi Michael went to the Minnesota Twins at No. 30. In 60 games and 255 at-bats, Michael is batting .297 with five homers and 48 runs batted in.
The best-of-3 series will begin Friday at 3 p.m. in Boshamer Stadium. The second game is Saturday at 3 p.m. with the third game – if necessary – set for 4 p.m. Sunday.
The winner advances to the 8-team College World Series, which begins June 18 in Omaha, Neb.