Mark Reynolds’ Path to Success

Mark Reynolds is a special breed. The stereotype of the slugger swinging from his heels is well known, but Mark Reynolds has been setting a new benchmark for that this season, far eclipsing his peers.

On pitches located outside the strike zone, Reynolds makes contact just 44% of the time when he swings. That is the league’s worst rate by a couple percentage points, even worse than the likes of Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn and Justin Upton, the only other hitters to fall below 50%.

What truly sets Reynolds apart though is his contact rate on pitches inside the strike zone. At 69%, Reynolds is a whopping eight points behind the next nearest whiff master, Mike Napoli. Of course, that means that Reynolds paces the league in swinging and missing both at pitches inside and outside the zone. Even with a moderate overall swing rate of just 46%, Reynolds far and away leads the league in pitches swung at and missed at 17%, three points more than Josh Hamilton.

Reynolds is striking out in 42% of all his plate appearances, also leading the league by a considerable margin over fellow Diamondback Justin Upton. Incidentally, teammate Adam LaRoche ranks seventh in the league in strikeout rate and Arizona as a whole is the worst hitting team in baseball when it comes to strikeouts.

This is not new territory for Reynolds however. Reynolds had baseball’s worst contact rate and highest swinging strike rate in 2008 and 2009 as well. Reynolds also led in strikeout rate last season, but Jack Cust managed to eclipse him in 2008. Despite all those strikeouts, Reynolds has been a productive hitter his whole Major League career. Nobody launches more fly balls in the league than Reynolds does and doing that in a home run haven as Arizona is can pay big dividends when you have power behind them. Mark certainly has that to spare and as a result, his home run per fly ball ratio is one of the league’s best.

Now if only he could field.



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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


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Nick
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Nick
5 years 11 months ago

Markford Reynolds and the Arizona Diamondbacks <3

Mark Grace <3

The Diamondbacks <3

mickeykoke
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mickeykoke
5 years 11 months ago

Lobbying a Chase Headley Reynolds swap package. Chase could profile much better in “chase field” and Mark would absolutely hep provide protection for Adrian. It COULD possibly be appealing to bring in Headley in a package to go a bit younger/cheaper while still getting worth in return, possibly another arm as well. I maintain that Headley would fair much better in Az. away from Petco park. I have watched several of Headley’s balls die out in Petco, he could easily have 9-10 HR, has 11 SB and is hitting 270 playing a very solid defensive 3rd base. Of course I have an agenda/bias.. lol I am a Padre fan.

Phil
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

There is no way in Hell we’d trade Chase Headley for Mark Reynolds.

mickeykoke
Guest
mickeykoke
5 years 11 months ago

There is probably no way Az. would trade Reynolds fore Headley, even in a package.

Bobby Mueller
Member
Member
5 years 11 months ago

If you take Reynolds out of Arizona, you might not like what you get. This year, he’s hitting .182/.288/.365 away from Arizona.

For his career, in 25 games at Petco (113 PA), Reynolds has hit .260/.310/.481.

kbertling353
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kbertling353
5 years 11 months ago

>.800 OPS at Petco is pretty good, right?

kbertling353
Guest
kbertling353
5 years 11 months ago

and by “>” I actually meant “~”

Marc
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Marc
5 years 11 months ago

“Now if only he could field.”

Well, he has a 5.1 UZR/150 this year, and it’s been steadily improving over the years.

marcello
Member
marcello
5 years 11 months ago

Might want to check that again.

Marc
Guest
Marc
5 years 11 months ago

Same answer.

ykw
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ykw
5 years 11 months ago

No, -you- might.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=7619&position=3B#fieldingadvanced

YEAR UZR/150
2008 -11.3
2009 -7.4
2010 5.1

(only 3B numbers considered)

Saga
Guest
Saga
5 years 11 months ago

Most people think Reynolds is a poor fielder.

But if you have actually watched him play in the last couple of years, he made most of his errors on plays that are considered routine.

What most people don’t know about is that he seemingly made most of the plays that are very difficult.

H’s worked on reducing his mistakes since, and it’s showing.

Carligula
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Carligula
5 years 11 months ago

I don’t understand M

Carligula
Guest
Carligula
5 years 11 months ago

I don’t understand Mark Reynolds. With such an extreme approach, there has to be a way to pitch him to render him useless – right? Maybe “don’t throw him a strike, ever”? Why is this not standard practice, and how long before it becomes standard practice?

John
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John
5 years 11 months ago

@Carligula
It’s probably because Mark Reynolds isn’t Jeff Francoeur aka “swings at everything and puts himself in a huge hole because of it.” Reynolds walk percentage has trended upwards every year he’s been in the majors, with a career high of 12.7% this year. And with his strikeout percentage being a whopping 41.7%, I would, as a former (college) pitcher myself, know that I have a pretty good chance at striking him out at least once that night.

So, knowing that:
A) there’s a pretty good chance he’ll strike out,
B) he walks at a pretty good rate and I don’t want to put anyone on base, and
C) I dont want to fall into a hitter’s count and put myself in a position where I HAVE to throw him a strike;
unless it’s a close game and it would behoove me to pitch around him, I’m going right after him with strike-1 and strike-2. I still realize that it’s high risk, but the reward (striking him out vs putting him on) is too good for me to pass up. It’s just the chance you take.

Jon
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Jon
5 years 11 months ago

In a name, Adam Dunn

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

Last year, we went to a DBacks-Royals game in KC. Scherzer and Grienke had a pretty good duel going. Reynolds had struck out twice, and was going for a hat trick. Count was 3-2 and we were all thinking “Here it is”, and then BAM, slider nailed deep over the left-center fence for a 3-run homer, and Grienke is out of the game.

Batters often talk about a “blind spot” just in front of the plate where they lose the ball for a “small amount of time” (duh). It makes me wonder if Reynolds blind spot is larger than other hitters.

He seems to either make really good contact, or none at all … which makes no sense. He’s not a mechanical mess, as far as I know he doesn’t need glasses, and despite having a lot of power in his swing, he doesn’t seem to overswing.

Weston Taylor
Member
5 years 11 months ago

Reynolds is awesome. The best thing I enjoy about him is picking him up a round late in fantasy drafts because nobody wants to eat that .220-.240 BA. Love me some Mark Reynolds. =]

Stu
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Stu
5 years 11 months ago

To me his only value comes from his position. As strictly a first baseman, he would be a complete non-entity.

spindoctor
Member
spindoctor
5 years 11 months ago

Thanks for that gem of non-wisdom.

I didn’t realize that his line last year (were one to have used him exclusively as a 1B) made him a complete non-entity.

98 / 44 / 102 / 24 / .260 / .892

.381 wOBA, 130 wRC+

Obviously he is more valuable as a 3B, but he would not be valueless as a 1B.

Jdub
Guest
Jdub
5 years 11 months ago

It’s amazing how far Reynolds has come in the field. Going from a well below average 3B to one of the better fielding 3Bs. Yeah, I know about UZR sample size and whatnot, but just watching him, he’s made HUGE strides in the field.

And ever since he’s changed his swing mechanics a week ago, he’s been hitting better. .971 OPS in the last 7 games. But that could just be one of those Mark Reynolds hot streaks.

Drew
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Drew
5 years 11 months ago

He’s cool and all, but ’09 might have been his ceiling.

About a month ago I traded him and Jamie Garcia for Youk and a couple good/great OFs (though one of em, Choo, just hit the DL, quite unluckily).

spindoctor
Member
spindoctor
5 years 11 months ago

I don’t think anyone will dispute a 44 HR ceiling :)

Phil
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

“Now if only he could field.”

?

Common misconception. He’s 9th among qualified MLB 3Bs in UZR/150 this year.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
5 years 11 months ago

All I know is that his first big payday will sure be interesting.

“He hits a lot of home runs, and walks a lot, too.”
“But holy shit he whiffs a lot, and his fielding sucks.”
“His fielding doesn’t suck.”

My guess is he’ll either end up as the Rays 1B for about $2 million / yr, or the Phillies 3B for $20 million a year.

wpDiscuz