Matt Reynolds, SS
Biography: Born December 3, 1990 in Tulsa, OK Reynolds was a two sport athlete. He played both baseball and basketball, drawing interest from colleges like Iowa State and Butler to play for their basketball programs. Reynolds instead joined the Arkansas Razorbacks and played baseball for them. He played 3rd base and in 2012 played in the College World Series. Arkansas was eliminated in the Semifinals against South Carolina.
Reynolds would be drafted by the Mets in the second round of the 2012 Amateur Draft and immediately play for the Savannah Sand Gnats as their start shortstop. In 2013 he suffered through a down year with Port St. Lucie but in 2014 he rebounded with a solid season split between Binghamton and Las Vegas. In 2015 Reynolds was a fan favorite after Spring Training offering a stronger bat than Ruben Tejada and better fielding than Wilmer Flores. Reynolds was instead sent back to AAA where he suffered through some early slumps and some minor injuries.
When Tejada was injured by Chase Utley’s dirty slide in the NLDS, he was added to the Met’s playoff and 40-man roster.
Scouting: Reynolds projects as an average defender at shortstop with the versatility to be a plus defender and both second and third. He has a contact oriented swing and doesn’t have a ton of power or speed though he does have a little of both. His projections have him capping out as a 5 home run, 15 stolen base player though he should make up for some lack of power with doubles and the occasional triple. He will be in a direct competition with Flores, Tejada and Dilson Herrera to make the 2016 roster.
2015: In 115 games with the Las Vegas 51s he managed a .267/.319/.402 batting line with 32 doubles, 5 triples and 6 home runs. They were pretty good numbers but look less impressive under the microscope. The PCL inflates numbers for hitters and Las Vegas is a particularly hitter friendly ballpark. His 2014 OPS split, fairly evenly, between AA and AAA was a far more impressive .859 so there is reason to hope that Reynolds could achieve more given the opportunity. His overall stock is currently down as Gavin Cecchini’s strong year in Binghamton has moved the former first rounder back ahead of Reynolds in the depth charts.
Brian: “This is a terrible ranking. Before the project started, I ranked 52 players and Reynolds was not on my list. He was well on his way to washing out of the system when he had a .433 BABIP in Double-A. Reynolds had a more normal .319 BABIP in 2015 and posted a .721 OPS in Las Vegas. Our translations show that as being the equivalent of a .258 OBP and a .265 SLG in the majors. Ozzie Smith‘s glove couldn’t carry those numbers.”
David: “I like Reynolds but it’s hard for me to see a starting major leaguer when I look at his numbers. He’s not patient enough, powerful enough or fast enough to make him more than a stop-gap solution. He does have an MLB future ahead of him, but that future involves coming off the bench or nabbing spot starts with his positional flexibility.”
Rob: “There was lots of talk about Reynolds taking over at SS at various point this past season. That was partly due to his great 2014 in AAA, and partly because the shortstops on the MLB roster were not getting the job done. He’s not going to wow you with pretty much any part of his game, but he’s solid all-around and can play multiple positions. At the end of the day I see a very good MI bench player but one that could fill in quite well full-time over stretches to cover injuries.”
James: “We almost saw Reynolds become the starting shortstop for the Mets last year, as he competed with Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada. While he may not be the preferred starting shortstop, Reynolds should be seeing some playing time on the team next season.”