While the Milwaukee Brewers’ hunt for a first baseman goes on, there’s a player in particular that has seemed to have been skipped over, Mark Reynolds.
What Reynolds brings to the field isn’t just a power bat, but defensive versatility that the Brew Crew could use.
Reynolds, 30, originally had a somewhat down season earlier this year when playing with the Cleveland Indians. He hit .215 with the club and was eventually designated for assignment on August 8 and released only four days later. The former Baltimore Orioles’ slugger had not looked like himself in Cleveland, but soon after his departure, the New York Yankees had a use for him.
In New York, Reynolds was a key part of a very injured Yankees’ team. Reynolds played first, second and third, but the fact that he was so versatile to the team is probably what made him an attractive pick-up for the Yankees. For the rest of the season, Reynolds would hit .236/.300/.455 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 36 games, which is pretty efficient work for a guy who had struggled just months prior.
The first thing to accept about Reynolds is that he will never be a batting average hitter. In fact, his career batting average is .233, so you can’t expect him to have averages similar to Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez. That said, Reynolds does hold a career ISO (isolated power) of .231 which would be pretty significant in Miller Park. During his seven-year career, Reynolds has belted 202 homers with a slugging percentage of .464.
One of the downsides to Reynolds is despite his power, he strikes out a lot. This tends to be the case with most power hitters, such as Rickie Weeks for example. He also saw a decrease in his walks from 2012 to 2013 (13.6 percent to 10.1), so his patience at the plate has kind of gone by the wayside for now. Still, with the way Johnny Narron operates the Brewers’ hitters, I feel Reynolds could start to improve his eye at the plate.
Keep in mind that Reynolds is not a long-term option type of player. If the Brewers were to make a deal with him, it would be for maybe two years at the most, no more. Hunter Morris will eventually be ready to take over the role and by that time, Reynolds’ tenure with the Brew Crew would probably be up anyway. He’s not terribly expensive, only making $6MM last season which is $2MM less what they would have given Corey Hart.
Is Reynolds the perfect option to stick at first base? No, but his defensive versatility and power would be a huge asset to this Brewers’ team. There’s no doubt Reynolds is better than Ike Davis, Justin Smoak and Mitch Moreland, all of whom the Brewers were looking at. One can only hope that general manager Doug Melvin has at least considered Reynolds an option before making a move.
What do you think? Is Reynolds a guy you would like to see in Milwaukee or should the team stay away? Let us know your thoughts.