Florida's Buddy Reed has been a menace on the basepaths for the Gators in his three-year career in Gainesville. He'll continue to ply his trade in the pros, and head west to do so, after being drafted by the San Diego Padres with the 48th pick in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft on Thursday.
Reed was talked about as a potential first-rounder — even a potential No. 1 overall pick — prior to his junior season, with scouts projecting nearly limitless things for him if he could add plate discipline to make himself a borderline five-tool player. That hasn't happened for Reed this year, as he's hitting just .255 with a .358 on-base percentage, numbers that rank him sixth about Gators regulars in both offensive categories. Reed is also only slugging .397, though he does have an impressive six triples.
But all of those numbers were likely weighed against a scintillating sophomore season in which Reed hit .305 and drove in 47 runs, and an impressive showing of power in the NCAA Tournament in which Reed hit two of his four home runs on the year. Reed is also known as a very good defender, and has made good use of his speed on the bases, swiping 24 bags in 26 attempts in 2016, and memorably stealing home and escaping a pickle to score in SEC play.
While Reed has to learn how to hit consistently, and may need significant work on his approach at the plate in the minors, he has all the tools one could ask for in a modern center fielder, and his potential remains sky-high, with most questions about him as a prospect centered around whether Reed will ever become what he could be.