In only his second year of varsity baseball, Edward Reese of North Davidson has delivered some noteworthy performances. “E.P.,” as he is known, has proven himself an accomplished lead-off hitter and base-stealing threat.
Defensively, he’s equally impressive. Reese’s foot-speed and sense of anticipation allows him to get good jumps on balls hit to the gaps in the outfield. Opposing base runners have learned to proceed with caution rather than test Reese’s strong and accurate throwing arm.
“With him, the sky is the limit,” said Mike Meadows, who coaches Reese at North Davidson and during the summer season with the Evoshield Canes travel team. “Not only is Edward fast, athletic and strong, but he’s just scratching the surface. He’s only 16, which means that there’s a lot more room for him to grow. Right now, he’s a great high school player. But there’s a big difference between a talented 16-year old and a polished 18-year old. If E.P. continues to put in the work, I have no doubts that he’ll be where he needs to be by the time he’s a senior.”
Playing Division I baseball is not a pipe dream for Reese. Last fall, he verbally committed to play for N.C. State. According to Dan Gitzen, the recruiting coordinator for the Evoshield Canes, Reese is viewed as the prototypical center fielder and lead-off hitter that the big schools covet.
“I attended one their camps and I fell in love with the program,” said Reese, a 5-feet-10, 170 pounds sophomore. “It feels like home. Playing college baseball is a dream of mine.”
Reese, who bats from the left side, is not considered to be a slugger, but he does have the ability to hit with power to all fields. At the plate, he’s always looking for a pitch that he can take a healthy swing at.
“One of the adjustments I’ve had to make in high school is learning about situational hitting,” he said. “Sometimes, that calls for me to lay down a sacrifice bunt. In other situations, it calls for me to hit a pitch to a certain part of the field so that base runners can advance or score.”
Earlier this season, Reese had a milestone moment when he hit his first home run as a high school player. In a home game against Watauga, he stepped to the plate with two runners on board. At that time, his focus wasn’t about hitting a pitch out of the park. All he wanted was to get a good swing at a good pitch that he could drive to the outfield.
Reese got his wish on a fast ball thrown down the middle of the plate. He made contact and watched his line drive sail towards right-center, thinking that he might be able to get a triple if he hustled around the bases. When he rounded first base and saw the ball go over the fence, he slowed from a sprint to a trot and enjoyed the experience.
“It all happened so fast,” said Reese, a nominee for this year’s All-Central Piedmont Conference team. “Until I saw the ball go out, I didn’t realize that I had hit that hard.”