Caden Reed Commits to a “Perfect Landing Spot”: the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds

by Jim Stewart

Caden Reed made Titans history on the weekend when he became the first player from the organization to commit to the prestigious University of British Columbia and its NAIA Thunderbirds Baseball program.  UBC is one of the top-ranked universities in the world, according to Forbes magazine, and has the top University Baseball program in Canada. He became the fourteenth Titan from the Class of 2022 to commit to a US-affiliated College Baseball program.

According to 18U Titans Head Coach Denis Bailey, “Reeder” is ready for the cross-country move to Vancouver and the level of baseball competition in the NAIA:  “UBC-- to me-- was Caden's perfect landing spot. It will allow him to stay in Canada while still compete at the highest level. Caden is a guy who will excel on the field and in the classroom at UBC.”  The Titans College Placement Officer elaborated on Reed’s prospects on the field for the NAIA Thunderbirds:  “Caden has a loud bat, speed, and a great arm. He has gap-to-gap power. He's the type of player that you notice when you're watching. Looking forward to seeing what he will do this summer for the Titans and next year at UBC.”

The 18U infielder shared his coach’s excitement about studying at UBC and playing for the Thunderbirds:  “UBC has always been my top choice academically for its renowned engineering faculty, and athletically for the best-in-class NAIA baseball program.  I'm excited to learn in a completely new environment and add critical leadership skills to my foundation, while being part of a top Canadian baseball program where I can continue to develop on the diamond. UBC invests in their baseball program and offers a competitive US schedule and exposure at a level not found at other Canadian universities.”  

The Brooklin resident is also looking forward to attending what many consider to be the most beautiful university campus in Canada:  “UBC has a gorgeous campus with its amazing location and proximity to mountains and the ocean. I am excited to experience the outdoor activities available on the West Coast from mountain biking to snowboarding to swimming in the ocean. Additionally, I’m extremely excited to venture into the university lifestyle of living by myself and meeting new friends.” 

The Honor Roll Student from Brooklin High School shared his ambitious academic plan at UBC:   “My first-year of studies is general engineering as part of the Applied Science program. Second year requires selecting engineering specialization based on academic success and my intention is to graduate with a degree in Applied Science, Engineering Physics which is a 5-year program at UBC.”  His dedication to his studies and his on-field play as a student-athlete was evident in our interview.  Reed maintained that “Academically, I always strive for perfection. As a top student, I am committed to continuing to be at the top of my class. University is known to be exponentially harder than secondary school and I know that I have to increase my focus and discipline while using resources that the University provides to excel in the program. As an athlete, I understand the importance of being the better version of myself every time I step on the field and I live by the motto "what have you done today to make yourself better". With this, I have set athletic goals that include an exit velocity of over 100mph, an arm velocity over 90mph, and to be one of the new leaders for the Thunderbirds.”  

In addition to his laudable academic and athletic goals, the power-hitting middle infielder also expressed his gratitude to the Titans, especially his current 18U Head Coach and College Placement Officer: “Coach Bailey has had a positive impact on my baseball development since 14U. When he asked me to play for the Titans, it was an easy decision as Bailey has been one of my biggest supporters. Since joining the Titans, Bailey and the organization have helped make the connections with the UBC Varsity and Jr. Varsity coaches, highlighting my strengths and why I would be a good fit for the Thunderbirds. The Titans have been extremely helpful by organizing marquee travel events and showcases to capture and update key metrics used by college scouts to measure and assess talent.”

Reed was also reflectively philosophical about the last two years and the impact of the Pandemic on his own development.  However, he noted the bright moments as a Titan the highlight of which was the club’s recent March Break excursion to Florida:  “While COVID has been a struggle globally, I've used the downtime to focus on strength training. I'm taller and significantly stronger entering my 18U season relative to when COVID hit at 16U. We recently travelled to Florida and I was able to showcase all my hard work on the diamond. PBR wrote a review highlighting ‘Caden Reed of the Titans easily had the loudest round of batting practice. The 6 foot 2, 190 pound shortstop flashed his juice from the left-side.’ My exit velocity is now close to my 100 mph target. I've also worked on my speed. Again, PBR wrote ‘not only does he have size and strength, but he also runs a sub 6.80’. Overall, I'm proud of my hard work and being able to convert that to success on the diamond with the Titans, being named one of the top uncommitted 2022s in the province at the event.”

Now that Reed is committed to life as a student-athlete at the University of British Columbia, he offered this advice to younger Titans about achieving goals:  “Be dedicated to continuously improving strength, skills, and academic excellence through their training and studies, asking for and applying feedback from the coaches, teachers, and parents; also set goals with a commitment to achieve them. An example I’ll share is one that has helped me to develop and grow. To achieve success in strength training is to ensure that you are training with the right intent and under the right training. This can at times require your own research to see what methods work best for you.”

It is evident that Caden Reed has discovered which training methods have worked best for him.  His commitment to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds is a proud moment for the Reed family and the Titans Baseball Club.  All the best in the upcoming CPBL season and your West Coast opportunities in the Fall, Reeder!