DES MOINES, Iowa. (KCRG) - It wasn't too long ago when Cascade native Colin Rea was one of the top prospects in the San Diego Padres organization, but now he's trying to find that form again by returning to his home state with the Iowa Cubs.
"I feel like this year has definitely been a blessing for me and my family and the rest of our family back home." Rea said.
"To be this close to home, it's helped out with the little things. It seems like there's 15-20 people here every night when I'm on the mound. It's nice that they can come."
Before coming to Des Moines, Rea's last couple of seasons with the Padres were tough. In 2016, he was diagnosed with a partially torn ucl in his right elbow and ended up having tommy john surgery, which forced him to miss the entire 2017 season.
In 2018, he spent time in double-a and triple-a with the Padres compiling a record of 3-5 with a 5.73 era. The Padres released him at the end of the season.
"I was just never really fully healthy last year,." Rea said. "Even though I didn't have anything wrong. Looking back the way I feel this year compared to last year, I didn't have much life on my ball. Just body wise, I wasn't fully there yet.
"I wasn't worried at all that I would find a job. I feel like physically, I'm in the prime of my career now."
in the offseason, Rea signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs. Ever since coming to Des Moines, he's starting to find his form once again as he leads the pacific coast league in wins with 12 and a 3.50 era.
"Obviously the goal is to get back to the big leagues and help the team win a world series." Rea said. "That's been on my mind since day one."