Buddy Reed

A's Buddy Reed hopes to reunite with Florida teammate A.J. Puk in 2020

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AP

A's Buddy Reed hopes to reunite with Florida teammate A.J. Puk in 2020

The player to be named later's name was Buddy Reed. The moment the A's acquired the outfield prospect from the Padres in a Jurickson Profar trade, I was told A's fans were going to love him.

That was quickly justified.

"I'm a pretty vibrant person," Reed told NBC Sports California. "I feed off other people's energy and I like others to feed off my energy. For the most part, I try and I like to stay as positive as possible."

That energy was apparent the moment he got the call from Padres general manager A.J. Preller that he would be joining the same organization as his roommate and former Florida Gator teammate A.J. Puk.

Reed and the A's No. 2 prospect have been living together since the two were drafted in 2016.

"A.J. was working out and I was trying to wait until he got home, but I just was like 'Yo, I got traded,' and we just started screaming and yelling."

The two reminisced about going to school together and Reed began to think about watching Puk blossom in his own journey.

"To be put on the same team as him and to see him thrive as he did coming off of Tommy John and then to get to the big leagues so fast -- it was really cool to see that and it's going to be even cooler, hopefully, if the cards are right -- to play with him and join him in an outfield position in the major leagues," Reed said.

Reed's transition to a new club won't have the typical "new kid on the first day of school" feeling. He's been facing the A's minor league teams for years.

While with Double-A Amarillo, he saw members of the A's organization more often than you might think. The Texas League possesses only eight teams so with the matchups being plentiful, he found himself facing the Midland Rockhounds often and developed friendships rapidly.

"Just from playing against the A's at pretty much every level and meeting the guys, seeing those over and over again, I definitely feel like I'm going to blend well with the group of guys I come to meet," Reed said.

He also hopes he repeats some of the same numbers he put up in the minors, specifically during his High-A run.

With the Lake Elsinore Storm in 2018, the outfielder slashed .324/.371/.549 with 102 hits and 12 home runs with a .921 OPS. 

During his time with the Sod Poodles last season, Reed didn't put up the numbers at the plate he would have liked, but his offseason training in Tampa, Fla. has him looking forward to 2020.

"Both sides of the ball are really important," Reed said. "I always continue my outfield work and then from a hitting standpoint, it's getting back to where I was when I was in High-A -- one of my best years in the minors. Obviously I was very fortunate enough to go to the Future's Game and things like that -- that was all a credit to what I was doing on both sides of the ball -- hitting, stealing bases, making plays in the outfield and throwing guys out."

In 121 games in Double-A last season, Reed's .228/.310/.388 numbers show what he needs to target for improvements. 

He's been focusing on the video element present time baseball technology has gifted us in order to get back to those High-A numbers. It sounds easier said than done, but he wants to keep his approach as simple as possible.

"When your brain starts going off on all different things, it's really difficult to bring it back to center," Reed said.

"I just want to be productive -- whether it's a productive out or a productive guy in the box, on offense -- I wanna show what I can do so defense as well."

MLB Pipeline's Jonathan Mayo complimented Reed's glove capabilities, telling NBC Sports California he's "one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball."

Now that Reed will be a member of the Green and Gold, he'll have plenty of talented guys to learn from on every part of the game. He currently trains at the same facility in Tampa as A's center fielder Ramón Laureano and mentioned him a few times who he looks forward to hopefully playing alongside.

And of course, the corner infielders.

"Matt Chapman and Matt Olson," Reed quickly said. "Just how they go about things hitting-wise because they're obviously really good offensively and produce a lot for the A's as well as defensively. Chapman is probably one of the best third basemen in the league so I think it would be interesting to watch those guys."

He would obviously love to be reunited with Puk, but this time, on a big-league field.

Reed knows pitchers Brian Howard and Parker Dunshee from his time in the minors as well who can keep him company until that dream takes place. Reed also knows former A's minor leaguer Richie Martin who lives with him and Puk at the moment if he needed any additional info on the A's.

"It's a pretty interesting little thing we have going on," Reed quipped.

I asked Reed what A's fans need to know about the new guy coming to the organization.

[RELATED: Why A's fans will love Buddy Reed]

"They're going to get a high-character, respectable person that just loves to be around other people and enjoys the game of baseball," Reed said.

"I'd like to thank the Padres for drafting me and giving me the opportunity to play at the next level. For me, with the A's, it's like a fresh start."

And he has some incentives to get on his good side.

"I mean, for one thing, as an A's fan, they should know I love candy," Reed said. "I wouldn't shy away from anyone bringing me candy during spring training ... you know what I'm saying?"

Why A's fans will love Buddy Reed, prospect acquired in Padres trade

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USATSI

Why A's fans will love Buddy Reed, prospect acquired in Padres trade

The A's traded second baseman Jurickson Profar to the San Diego Padres earlier in December, which brought catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named later to Oakland.

That player to be named later would ultimately be Buddy Reed -- and there is plenty to get excited about with the talented center fielder.

As far as his numbers go, the 24-year-old slashed .228/.310/.388 with a career-high 14 home runs and 50 RBI in 121 games last season for the Padres' Double-A affiliate. He also ranked seventh in the Texas League with 23 stolen bases. 

MLB Pipeline's Jonathan Mayo complimented Reed, saying he's an all-around excellent athlete.

"He has tremendous tools, he just needs to refine them," Mayo told NBC Sports California. "He's one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball and there's no doubt he could play center in the big leagues right now and be a Gold Glove-caliber defender."

His 2018 season was one for the books as he received just about every minor-league award you could imagine, including being selected to the Futures Game. That's where he really shined, and not just on the field.

"He also is a plus, plus, plus personality," Mayo added.

The A's No. 22 ranked prospect was mic'd up during the Future's Game and, well:

Mayo said fans are going to love him. 

[RELATED: Profar trade gives A's infield situation more clarity]

He will also be reunited with top prospect A.J. Puk -- the two were teammates at the University of Florida. 

Reed will be a non-rostered invitee to spring training, but it's safe to say he's the perfect fit for Oakland's organization.