Key Stats: Mark Reynolds has averaged 38 home runs over the last three years. At pick 135, that’s very cheap power. There were questions about how Reynolds would fair after he left Chase Field, but Camden Yards isn’t that much of a downgrade as last season proved. Reynolds also had his lowest strikeout rate in four seasons. It wasn’t saying much, but it did improve his average by 23 points over last season.
Skeptics Say: Speaking of his average, it’s the reason why at pick 135 there is a player that averages 38 home runs who can still be available. Only Vernon Wells was worse among players that had enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title. He also is a horrible fielder. The Orioles will make him the full-time first baseman next year, but in 43 starts there he had 5 errors last year. That is on pace to be more errors than Miguel Cabrera had at first.
Peer Comparison: To draft Reynolds means that someone else or multiple players were handcuffed with him. The power can draw people in and in the right circumstances, Reynolds is a steal here. These are the players to grab with Reynolds.
Catcher: Joe Mauer & Buster Posey. Mauer’s multiple batting titles from a position that usually hits below league average anyway can cancel out the venom from Reynolds.
1st Base: None. Since several other teams draft first basemen that are absolute beasts and none are solid average hitters that lack pop (and can be taken late), none are enough to handcuff alone with Reynolds.
Second Base: Michael Young. Unlike Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano, Young will hit for a great average and be taken outside of the top twenty-five.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes. Reyes is probably a top fifteen pick and as a result, leaves a team with a dearth of power and an advantage in batting average at a weaker position for that category. That makes Reynolds a very good handcuff at this position.
Third Base: Pablo Sandoval. I like Sandoval here because like Reynolds, he is a borderline starter in a mixed league. Sandoval hits for average, but not the pop of Reynolds. They are a nice balance of one another and also solid insurance for each other.
Lineup Outlook: Thanks to the addition of Reynolds and the resurgence of J.J. Hardy, the Orioles were fourth in baseball in home runs, but only fourteenth in runs scored. Matt Wieters is nowhere close to where the world thought he would be three years ago, but he is clearly a mixed league pick at this point.
Projection: Reynolds will be slightly down. The home run to fly ball rate should fall a little and asking for another 155 games is never a sure thing.
83 R 34 HR 85 RBI 5 SB .224 AVG .324 OBP .802 OPS