The Dodgers have gone to my alma mater for their first pick in the 2011 amateur draft, taking 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher Chris Reed from Stanford. Reports say that Reed was something of an unknown quantity entering the year — a reliever who will get a look as a starter, but might end up staying in the bullpen. It’s a surprising enough selection that it definitely asks you to put your faith in Dodger assistant general manager Logan White (or at least understand the financial constraints he’s probably working under).

Reed has 48 strikeouts against 54 baserunners in 49 2/3 innings this season for Stanford, which advanced to the Super Regional round of the NCAA baseball tournament this past weekend. Here’s the scouting report:

The genius of college coaches: Chris Reed, a 6-foot-4 left-hander who sits 92-94 as a reliever with two off-speed pitches that will at least flash above-average, has made exactly one start this year for Stanford, instead working out of the pen where he’s been successful but wasted.

Reed adds a sharp, short slider in the 82-84 mph range to that fastball and will show a very hard-fading changeup in the upper 70s, throwing strikes with all three pitches but not yet showing the fastball command he’ll need to start in the big leagues. He comes from a slot just under three-quarters and repeats his delivery well enough to start, although he could stay upright longer and get more downhill plane on the fastball.

Many scouts like Reed as a potential starter, and we know he can pitch in the bullpen if that doesn’t work out, but I like his chances to end up a No. 2 or 3 starter once he’s stretched out.

Reed was born in London but went to Cleveland HS in the San Fernando Valley.