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The Journal Gazette

Friday, April 28, 2017 12:10 am

Notebook: Reed a possible leader for TinCaps

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

As the TinCaps endure rocky waters in the first month of the season, manager Anthony Contreras will do all he can to navigate the ship and try to steer Fort Wayne back in the right direction.

But like any manager, Contreras needs a handful of players to be a positive influence in the locker room and lead younger teammates.

Center fielder Buddy Reed was a spectator Thursday on his 22nd birthday, never leaving the bench while enjoying a full night of rest as the TinCaps suffered a 5-1 setback to South Bend that dropped them to 7-14 through 21 games.

Nonetheless, Reed's birthday, along with continued adversity for his team, reminded that leadership is a goal for Reed, who played college ball at Florida, a major program, and who is now older than 14 of his teammates.

"I'm one of the old guys, oh, man," Reed said. "It's different. These guys are 18 years old. I'll be four years older than some of these guys."

Rated the No. 30 prospect in the San Diego Padres' farm system, Reed has 12 hits in 54 at-bats this year but is one of the more approachable voices in the clubhouse.

"The biggest thing is for me to be a leader and just have fun with them," Reed said. "We've all been there. Good to live through them."

Welcome back: Doug Dascenzo, the TinCaps' manager in 2009 when they won the Midwest League championship, is in attendance for the series against South Bend, an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. He is Chicago's minor league outfield/baserunning coordinator.

Up next: Right-hander Austin Smith pitches against South Bend lefty Bryan Hudson on Friday night.