Height: 6' 1" Weight: 200 lb
Acquired: 2012 Rule IV Draft, 2nd Round, University of Arkansas
2014: (AA/AAA) .343/.405/.454, 6 HR, 61 RBI, 20 SB (74%), 50 BB, 101 K
2013: (A+) .225/.300/.335, 5 HR, 49 RBI, 9 SB (82%), 36 BB, 80 K
2012: (A) .259/.335/.367, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 5 SB (83%), 12 BB, 26 K
Contact oriented hitters are at the mercy of the baseball gods more than any other type of hitter. One stat that is extremely important to them is BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play). The MLB average for BABIP is roughly .300. In 2013, Reynolds posted a BABIP of .263 which resulted in a .226 AVG. In 2014 though, his BABIP skyrocketed to .419! which rose his batting average to a ridiculously good .343. This rate, by SABR standards, is ungodly unsustainable. In fact the highest BABIP rates in baseball right now is .377. Generally this high rates belong to only the most elite of players. The only proven guys with BABIP's above .350 are Puig, Goldschmidt, Cano, Gomez, Trout, Stanton, Altuve, Kemp, Tulowitzski, McCutcheon, and Rios.....all Superstars.
While the actual contact abilities are certainly in question, Reynolds has made tangible and REAL improvements in other facets of his game. Power wise, Reynolds has gained both raw strength as well as game strength. Over the past 3 seasons, Reynolds Isolated Power Rate (Slugging - Average) has improved from .108 to .111 to .146 in 2014. The rate even made a brief appearance in the .200's when he posted a .208 ISO during the Arizona Fall League. The average MLB SS generally carries an ISO rate of only .105 to .115 so if Reynolds continues to display power rates in the .140 - .150+ range, he immediately carries more value than most other SS in the league. In fact, in 2014 the only MLB SS's who posted ISO rate above .150 were Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, Jhonny Peralta, and Ian Desmond.
Questions surrounding Reynolds ability to stick at SS defensively have also been answered too. He has soft hands, good range, thanks to his sneaky good speed, and a least an average arm that could play. While he won't be a defensive star...he certainly won't hurt you either. Even if he doesn't become a full-time starter, he still carries very little risk as he defensive skill set can also match up well at 2B or 3B. I would personally declare him MLB ready and I honestly would not be surprised if we saw him either make the team out of spring or end up playing the big league club come the end of May.
Ceiling: Offense oriented MLB SS (Asdrubal Cabrera)
Floor: Back-up MLB Utility Player.
Anticipated Assignment: (AAA) Las Vegas starting SS