Sean William Reynolds has a lot of potential. That much has been clear since he was a Rice commit going into the summer of 2016.
Reynolds made his debut with the GCL Marlins soon after his selection, and slashed just .155/.262/.196 in 42 games with the rookie-level instructional league. No home runs, 22 walks, and 64 strikeouts in 148 at bats would be his yield after his first professional season.
In 2017, Reynolds made some strides in 31 contests after beginning the season back with GCL. He raised his slashline to .214/.303/.311, hit his first professional home run, and totaled 14 walks along with 44 strikeouts. He also collected 14 RBI in his 117 plate appearances. After a promotion to the low-A Batavia Muckdogs, he responded with a .176/.218/.405 slashline in 20 contests. He also clubbed four round-trippers, putting that solid raw left-handed-hitting power on display. Strikeouts were again a factor, with 41 in just 84 plate appearances.
The hole in Reynolds’ swing is apparent – nobody should be striking out in over 40 percent of his plate appearances. Despite that, Reynolds’ slashline has continued to rise. In 22 games this year with the Muckdogs, it’s up to.253/.380/.507. A near-.900 OPS, and 41 K’s in 89 plate appearances.
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If Reynolds can develop a better understanding of the strikezone, and when to lay off pitches, he should be able to resume his progress through the system. He’s still just 20-years-old, so there’s a lot of hope that he discovers and corrects the problem. His improvement is apparent to anyone who’s watching. In last night’s 8-3 Batavia victory over the State College Spikes, Reynolds went 2-for-2 with a home run, a walk, a HBP, three runs, two RBI, and a stolen base. He’s also displayed a flair for the dramatic. With two outs and runners in scoring position this season, he’s hitting .450 with four walks, three homers, and 12 RBI.
Defensively, Reynolds still has a lot of ground to gain before he’s on par with major league level first basemen. With 14 errors in 554 chances since turning professional, his. .975 fielding percentage leaves something to be desired.
After a somewhat unremarkable start to his professional career, Reynolds has displayed resiliency and a commitment to bettering himself as a ballplayer. Holding an .887 OPS while striking out nearly 50 percent of the time is almost unfathomable. Imagine what he could do if he learns to strike out less.
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