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Originally starter, Reed thrived as closer with Ducks

In what's become a trend for the Twins in this year's First-Year Player Draft, Minnesota went with its fourth straight college reliever in the fifth round on Friday, selecting Oregon right-hander Jake Reed.

Reed, taken as the No. 140 overall pick, joins fellow college relievers Nick Burdi, Michael Cederoth and Sam Clay, who were all drafted by the Twins after taking high school shortstop Nick Gordon in the first round.

"Jake Reed is a power-arm guy," Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said. "He was actually a starter his first two years at Oregon before becoming closer."

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on at 12 p.m. CT.

Reed served as closer his junior year, posting a 2.08 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 15 walks in 34 2/3 innings with 13 saves. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder was a starter his first two years with the Ducks before converting into the closer role this season.

The 21-year-old is another hard-throwing right-hander like Burdi and Cederoth, as his fastball reaches the mid-90s and shows plus life, coming into the hands of right-handed hitters. His strikeout pitch is a hard slurve, and he also possesses a changeup that's a work in progress.

"He's like our fourth-rounder from two years ago, Zach Jones," Johnson said. "His breaking ball is a little short but a little better than Zach's coming out of college. But he has a fastball than can hit 97 mph. He kind of comes from a unique angle as kind of a side-armer. He gives the hitters a different look."

Reed's another candidate to move quickly through the Minors given his plus-fastball and the way he handled the move to the bullpen.

"At the very least, he's a setup guy," Draft expert Jonathan Mayo said. "He could get there very quickly. Add him to the list of bullpen arms the Twins are stockpiling."

Reed was originally selected by the White Sox in the 40th round of the 2011 Draft out of Helix High School in La Mesa, Calif. but he didn't sign.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.
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