There’s a sliver of a road, Pauger Street, in the 7th Ward in New Orleans that separates the outfield at Perry Roehm Stadium from an old warehouse.
That’s where part of the legend of Karr’s Tyler Reed was created during a District 10-4A game with McDonogh 35 when the right-handed hitting outfielder launched a home run to the opposite field over the warehouse.
There were other instances in games at Salmen High and Delgado Community College, and in a workout at Zephyr Field, where the 6-foot-5, 195-pound Reed showed off his prodigious swing.
“He’s hit some monster shots,” Karr baseball coach Donnie Russell said. “He swings the bat so violently. The one at Salmen was still going up when it left the park. It had to be 430-440 feet. He crushed it.”
The bat speed and power, coupled with surprising quickness for someone his size, has placed Reed as someone to watch for in this week’s upcoming Major League Baseball draft, which gets underway Monday.
Reed, who has signed with Pearl River (Miss.) Community College, is projected by Baseball America as an eighth- to ninth-round selection.
“I’m so excited, but I try not to think about it,” Reed said. “It’s mind blowing, because I never thought this was going to happen.”
Franklinton outfielder Josh Magee is another such hopeful who’s signed with Southern Mississippi but eagerly awaits his fate. Baseball America has projected the speedy 5-foot-10, 175-pounder to be taken between the fourth and fifth rounds.
“There are a lot of opinions out there that I haven’t paid that much attention to,” Magee said. “I won’t go into the draft expecting anything. It’s definitely an exciting time. I’m anxious and nervous going into it.”
Magee was the District 8-4A MVP and was named to the Class 4A All-State first team. He batted .529 with a .624 on-base percentage and .824 slugging percentage that included 10 doubles and six triples to go along with 29 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.
“The scouts liked his presence, the way he carried himself,” Franklinton coach Jeff Tageant said. “He displays a lot of confidence. Has to speed and can run. He loves the game and works hard. He’s hungry.”
While he played exclusively center field in high school, there’s been some discussion from scouts of moving Magee to second base, Tageant said.
Magee, who bats and throws right-handed, said he’s probably garnered the most interest from Philadelphia, Miami and San Diego.
“I feel like I’m in a win-win situation right now,” Magee said. “It’s what I think I’m worth for me to choose over Southern Miss. It was always a dream, and it’s good to see it coming true.”
Reed was born and raised in Jonesboro, Georgia, where he grew up rooting for the Atlanta Braves.
Three years in Louisiana haven’t doused his feelings for the organization, but Reed said Miami, Philadelphia and Oakland have expressed the most interest during the season and in the weeks leading up to the draft.
Russell said Reed had a background as a first baseman in summer travel ball but played third base and was a closer in tight situations. Because of the MLB projections that had Reed in the outfield, he also played right field.
Reed, the team’s clean-up hitter, batted .385 and wound up with 14 career homers. He also led the Cougars in walks and drove in 34 runs, earning first team all-district.
“If it’s a number (offer) I’m looking for or over that number, then I’ll overlook school,” said Reed. “If it’s not, then I’ll go to college. Either way it goes, I’m playing the game I love.”