This week, I was pleased to take a trip to see my friend Tyreque Reed play Minor League Baseball when his team made a trip to Rome, Georgia.
Reed, originally drafted by the Rangers a few years ago, was recently picked up by the Red Sox organization and plays at their High-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive, in Greenville, South Carolina.
Those of you who know me know that I’m a pretty avid baseball fan, and it’s still surreal to me that I have a friend who plays professionally. Tyreque and I go back to my days in school at Houlka where his baseball career began before journeying to ICC and being drafted.
As is the case at every level of baseball, whenever a player moves up a level of competition, there’s an adjustment period. Tyreque was no exception. He performed well at the Rangers’ minor league affiliates, but when I saw him this weekend, he looked like a completely different hitter than he did two years ago.
Reed is tied for the league lead in home runs with seven, and he leads the league or is close to the lead in multiple other stat categories as well.
I saw Tyreque play in games on Saturday and Sunday, and following the game on Saturday night, we visited with Tyreque at his hotel for about an hour before retiring to our own hotel.
Listening to him talk gave me a glimpse into the life of a professional baseball player, even if that player is currently in the Minor Leagues. Like I said, it’s still amazing to see that the young man I went to high school with has matured to this level and appreciation of the game, and I think he has a bright future ahead.
If he were to get called up in the coming days, weeks, months or years in the Red Sox organization, Reed’s journey would take him to New England. The other Red Sox minor league affiliates are in Maine and Massachusetts, and, of course, the Major League club is in Boston.
I’ve never been to New England, but hopefully I’ll have an excuse to go before too long if Tyreque’s career stays on this trajectory. I count myself blessed to be his friend and to be a witness to his journey.