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Writer’s Note: Since this article was written, Mark Reynolds has been traded to the Baltimore Orioles. We’ve revised our Team Outlook and Player Projection to reflect this.

Key stats: Mark Reynolds went from being a fantasy baseball MVP candidate in 2009 to being an absolute category killer in 2010. Reynolds value in fantasy leagues is determined by two main attributes: power and his ability (or lack thereof) to make contact.

In 2009, he had one of the more impressive power campaigns in recent memory hitting 44 home runs and driving in 102 for an average Diamondbacks offense (while hitting .260), making fantasy owners look past his MLB record 223 K’s. In 2010, he remained a power threat leading all 3B with 32 home runs. However, his whiff-happy ways caught up to him yielding a career low .198 average that was a category killer for most fantasy teams.

His sub .200 BA can be attributed to a career low BAbip of .257 (career .323). However, it is also the result of a career low line drive rate of 13.3% (career 17.4%). If he can get these numbers back to career norms, his power will be more of an asset than his average is a detriment in 2011.

Skeptics Say: While you draft Reynolds for his power at the hot corner you also drafted him because he could provide surprising speed as well. With 24 steals in 2009, he provided one of the most valuable power / speed combinations in baseball. However in 2010, he provided fantasy owners with only 7 steals being caught stealing in 36% of his attempts. With 13 fewer steal attempts last year as well as a career caught stealing of 27%, I expect the Orioles reigning him in on the base paths so he’ll make fewer outs. I expect him to get fewer than 15 attempts in 2011 and convert fewer than 10.

Peer Comparison: While in most peer comparisons, I’ll pick other players that play the same position but in Reynolds case I’ll pick two 1B: Adam LaRoche & Carlos Pena. Here are three players that provide really good power numbers but less than stellar batting averages. Let’s take a look at their 3 year averages:

Reynolds: 88 runs 34 HR 95 RBI 14 SB .232 BA
Pena: 77 runs 33 HR 95 RBI 3 SB .223 BA
LaRoche: 73 runs 25 HR 89 RBI 1 SB .269 BA

LaRoche is the only one of the three that provides a BA that won’t hurt you that badly but the worst power numbers of the group. Of the three, Reynolds provides the best power value and his 3B eligibility, make him the most attractive of the group. However, all three should be handcuffed with a Batting Average play at another position on your fantasy team.

Team Outlook: The trade to the Baltimore Orioles is both good and bad for Mark Reynolds. First the good. Camden Yards was the 5th best stadium in baseball for both Runs and HRs according to ESPN park factors. And the park is especially good for Right handed power hitters.

Now the bad. First, Reynolds moves to the toughest division in baseball and will have to face some vaulted AL East staffs with the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and even the Blue Jays. I fully expect him to challenge his single season K record. Second, Baltimore’s offense ranked 27th in MLB in Runs. With no additions other than Reynolds, they’ll need big seasons out 3 out of the 4 of Brian Roberts (who was out most of last year), Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Matt Weiters in order to push themselves into the middle of the offenses in MLB.

What They’re Saying: Yahoo: #10 Third Baseman & #89 Overall; CBS Sportsline: #9 Third Baseman; Tristan Cockcroft from ESPN: #8 Third Baseman; FantasyBaseball365: Outside Top 10 3B ; Mock Draft Central ADP: #40 Overall; Couch Managers: #191 Overall

Projection: The trade to the Baltimore Orioles does two things for Reynolds value. First, it should help his HR and RBI numbers as a few of those long fly balls should be out of Camden Yards. Second, his average should decrease with the rise in pitching competition.

80 R, 36 HR, 87 RBIs, 6 SB, .210 AVG, .820 OPS

5 Responses to Mark Reynolds Player Projection No. 120

  1. Anonymous says:

    I just traded for him in a keeper league.
    I could've had Matt Kemp but that would have cost most likely Pence and Gallardo.
    All it took to get Reynolds was a 6th round pick.
    6th round pick which really is a 12th round pick since the first 6 rounds are set for the keepers.

    I hope his AVG isn't under .200 again, that really was the only thing that was keeping me from pulling the trigger on the trade.
    Good news is, you don't lose points for strike outs in this

    "However, all three should be handcuffed with a Batting Average play at another position on your fantasy team."

    That made a lot of sense, I didn't even think about that til I read this posting.

  2. alpoleight says:

    Learn when to use "less" and when to use "fewer"…I almost couldn't read your analysis because of the obvious grammar errors. People in other countries all speak 3 or more languages and the people in the USA can't even speak their own! Geesh!

    With that said, you seem spot on with your overview of Mark Reynolds. He is a power beast, but his days of hitting a respectable average and doing any damage on the basepaths are well behind him. With 3B slim this year, he's still not a bad pick, but he's clearly separated himself from the leaders of the pack.

  3. Brablc says:

    Thanks, apoleight! I definitely need a copywriter to go over my posts.

    Glad you liked the overall analysis.

  4. Alan says:

    Ok, I’m not sure if this entry has been revised to correct the grammatical errors that “alpoleight” highlighted, but Brablc’s use of “less” and “fewer” is 100% sound and correct. You use “fewer” when you’re comparing items of discrete quantity, like steals or homers. Also, @alpoleight, they are called “grammatical errors,” not “grammar errors.”

    In any event, I loved the analysis on Reynolds, although I think the BA projection was a bit pessimistic, even for someone like Reynolds. A ~.300 BABIP (with 30+ HRs) should get Reynolds a batting average of at least .230-.240+ — which isn’t stellar, but it’s better than .210.

  5. Chris says:

    Thanks for the comment, Alan! I agree Reynolds could get in the .230 range for average but my projection took into affect moving to a tougher AL East with better SP.

    No matter what the average will be low and need to be compensated for with the other players in your lineup. I do think his pop will show through in a O’s uniform though.

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