As there has been quite a bit of movement in recent days on the Dodgers‘ big league roster, there has been an equal amount of movement along the upper levels of the farm, allowing several prospects to emerge into the Triple-A spotlight.
One such player is outfielder Zach Reks, who was promoted to Oklahoma City on May 16. In his very first Triple-A game on Thursday, the 25-year-old Kentucky product smacked a three-run bomb which eventually propelled OKC to a win over league rival Omaha. One night later, he added his second-career Triple-A long ball in a losing cause.
For the season, between both Double-A Tulsa and OKC, the left-handing hitting, right-handed throwing Reks is slashing a stellar .308/.401/.617 with 11 homers and 26 RBI over his first 34 games.
Last year, the Chicago native hit .303/.374/.424 with just five HR over 88 games for Tulsa and High-A Rancho.
Needless to say, the power surge has opened the eyes of many, most specifically the scouting directors who are in charge of handing out the promotions.
Selected in the 10th round of the 2017 MLB draft out of the University of Kentucky, Reks was named the Texas League Hitter of the Week for April 22-28. He hit .550 (11-for-20) with two home runs over a six-game hitting streak during that span.
During his high school days, Reks hit an astonishing .609 over his career in league play at Carl Sandburg High School in Illinois. He also lettered in golf at Sandburg. While growing up, he was a devoted fan of the Cubs.
Over his two years as a Wildcat, he hit .344 with 10 homers, 21 doubles and 66 RBI. He began his collegiate career at the U.S. Air Force Academy, but transferred to Kentucky after his sophomore year. Believe it or not, he was completely out of baseball and was a walk-on at UK after having been convinced to tryout by one of his future teammates.
Another Zach, righty reliever Zach Pop, was a teammate of Reks at Kentucky and was drafted by the Dodgers three rounds ahead of Reks in 2017. Pop has since been dealt to the Orioles and underwent UCL surgery just last week.
Reks hit .317/.384/.391 with two HR and 12 RBI over 47 combined games with rookie level Ogden, Low-A Great Lakes and Rancho during his first year in the Dodgers system in 2017.
He’s not flashy, nor does he have blazing speed, but his athleticism has allowed him to amply handle both corner outfield spots as well as a little first base defensively. As his numbers show, he’s always hit for an outstanding average, but his latest burst of power will certainly play dividends as he continues to ascend through the system.
“It doesn’t really matter where I am, I’m just making sure I’m taking it all in,” Reks told Baseball Census during an interview last year. “I’m just trying to be grateful for what I have, and get used to the professional process, and how things work here. I’ve been given good opportunities along the way, and I’m just trying to take advantage of them.”
So far at OKC, it definitely looks like he’s taking full advantage.