Mets360 2016 top 50 prospects: #10 Matt Reynolds

#10

Matt Reynolds, SS

Matt  ReynoldsBiography: 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.”

31 comments for “Mets360 2016 top 50 prospects: #10 Matt Reynolds

  1. Chris F
    December 11, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Terry Collins right before the Cabrera signing and Flores shattered ankle: “Not only do we have Flojada batling out for SS, but this kid Reynolds deserves a legitimate chance to compete for the job.”

    • December 11, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      As always with Collins, pay attention to what he does, not what he says.

  2. James Preller
    December 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I don’t believe the glove is average for SS. I don’t see how he could possibly beat out Tejada, who I hope gets released.

    • December 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      James,

      Are you saying his glove is below average? It’s certainly not above average for shortstop from anything I’ve seen.

      Prior to the Cabrera signing he had a chance of making the team but with the signing he will be a member of an overcrowded Las Vegas infield and likely returning to 3rd base.

      Thanks for reading!

      • James Preller
        December 12, 2015 at 9:26 am

        From my limited viewings, and from what I’ve read elsewhere, I thought the glove looked exceptionally poor. He played 3B in college. That was a clue.

        • December 12, 2015 at 9:52 am

          That isn’t what I’ve seen or read. I heard him described as anywhere from average with the glove to above average. What I saw in my brief glimpses has supported an MLB average level of defense.

  3. Michael Geus
    December 11, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    This guy couldn’t crack a 25 man roster that included Danny Muno. I am more of a prospect.

    • Chris F
      December 11, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Hahahahahah

  4. NormE
    December 11, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    DOB correction please!

  5. Metsense
    December 11, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Reynolds is so far down on the shortstop depth chart with the Cabrera signing that it would be a surprise to see him on the roster major league roster anytime in in 2016. He did not have a prospect like 2015 and Cecchini will be passing him on the depth chart also. Cabrera, Flores and Walker are all viable candidates to spell Wright if he is injured. Reynolds window of opportunity may have closed.

  6. Hobie
    December 12, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Matt’s 2nd Round pedigree is apparently yields tons of benefit of doubt. If Reynolds had generated TJ Rivera’s stats he would have been on the 25 man a year and a half ago. If TJR had Reynold’s stats he’d be…idk,,,Reese Havens.

    • LongTimeFan1
      December 13, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Having been drafted in 2012, there was no need to put him on the 40 which is how Alderson operates delaying the clock as long as he already has so-so or OK big league options whose controllable years remain.

      This is about business decisions more so than just baseball and Reynolds is paying the price which could be demoralizing as the better athlete than Flores or Tejada, with good arm, compact swing, good mental makeup, reasonable speed, ability to use of the whole field such as he did in 2014.

      Reynolds can fill important role long term as super utility outfield and infield with much better performance than Campbell. This can be his niche for Mets to prepare him in spring training and AAA for this role and the regular season call up he deserves.

  7. December 12, 2015 at 11:05 am

    It’s always tough trying to balance potential, performance, and proximity to the majors when making these lists. There are several MI prospects below Reynolds on the list that have more potential than him. However, these players may never sniff AAA. Reynolds, on the other hand, has a pretty decent shot at being a valuable INF utility player. That doesn’t sound sexy, but remember that the team is apparently OK with paying Ruben Tejada almost $2 million to be meh at SS and 2B. I don’t think they’ll be doing that for much longer and Reynolds could potentially take that spot for league minimum.

    The team pushed Reynolds to SS after drafting him because of the dearth of SS prospects in the system. That has completely changed and he’s behind several on just our top 10 alone. As David said, he was a third baseman in college. He’ll probably get reps there in LV in 2016 with the intent on rounding him into a backup SS/2B/3B with some bat off the bench. That’s more than most of the prospects on our entire list will ever come close to becoming.

    The point is, even though you can certainly make a valid argument that 10 is too high, Reynolds deserves a spot on the list because he’s close to actually providing major league value rather than just dreams of future potential. As I said, it’s pretty tough trying to balance it out for these things.

  8. Eraff
    December 12, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    So you appraciate the possibility that Reynolds can project as a Valuable player, although he may not be a front line player? Why is Reuben Tejada getting trashed constantly??? He’s an actual big league Middle Infielder!!! All good teams have bench guys—“non sexy”….Actual Big Leaguers!

    Reuben Tejada would be on an MLB 25 man roster 8 seconds after being released. You guys need to stop hating him for what he Is.

    It’s totally illogical—you guys are solid, hard core baseball fans…….how do you not understand this?

    • December 12, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      And to add to your point –

      Ruben Tejada has never had fewer than 227 PA in a season. Reynolds will be lucky if he gets 227 in his MLB career. Daniel Muno had 32 PA and that’s about where I’d set the over/under.

      • LongTimeFan1
        December 13, 2015 at 4:55 pm

        Brian – i find your Muno and Reynolds comparison rather misguided.

        Reynolds projects for respectable big league career for years to come.

        Muno’s call up was solely related to batting lefty filling a roster void, one of desperation in lacking organizational alternatives. His status on the 40 was readily disposable to make way for others, and was called up knowing he is not major league quality nor in Mets plans.

        In contrast, Reynolds is – useful player akin to Tejada, with chance to exceed. You can bet on your over-under but I think you’re going to end up mistaken in the long term.

        • December 14, 2015 at 12:19 am

          Projected respectable by who? What reputable source?

          Steamer thinks he’s going to stink.

    • December 12, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      Who’s trashing Tejada? I called him ‘meh’. That’s exactly what he’s been. He’s never, *never* had an average or above wRC+. Even in his best years he’s been in the bottom half of SS. His value is derived from his ability to play 2B and SS (in 2015 3B, apparently), and even that has fluctuated based on URZ/150.

      Now, actually looking at his numbers shows that he has the ability to be a perfectly fine backup MI. Sure. Does “perfectly fine” mean that he’s better than what someone like Reynolds may ultimately do? No. Does it mean that he *won’t* be better than what Reynolds may ultimately do? Again, no. But one costs $2 mil and one will be league minimum. There’s nothing wrong with asking if that money could be better spent elsewhere. It’s a legitimate conversation to have.

      • Eraff
        December 13, 2015 at 10:56 am

        A Returning National League Championship club should stocked with Major Leaguers!…..starters and Bench!!!

        I don’t just get rid of an actual Major League Calibre SS for the hope that a bare minimum minor leaguer can fill the gap. Reynolds will need to knock that door down—I’m not just inviting him in!!!

        Interesting article—Joel Sherman???…. at some point during last season, Monell, Muno, Campbell and Mayberry and Newee has 17% of all Met AB’s!!!! …1 of 6 abs!!!! I cannot merely speculate that you cannot win with that!…I can specifically point to the results.

        PS…read the comments, here and historically… Tejada gets no respect…forget Love!!!

        • TexasGusCC
          December 13, 2015 at 11:27 pm

          Eraff, Tejada would get love if he could field well or hit a little. However, he is a low average slap hitter with no speed or power and doesn’t have any range. He is the “starter” because Flores is a second baseman trying to play shortstop. Hard to believe there is a starting SS in MLB that is worse than Tejada and several backups probably are better.

          • December 14, 2015 at 12:28 am

            Here were the SS with a wRC+ beneath Tejada in 2015: Lowrie, Beckham, Russell, Gregorius, Hecheverria, Goins, Desmond, Simmons, Reyes, Rollins, Aybar, Castro, Andrus, Galvis, Barmes, J. Ramirez, A. Ramirez, Mercer, Ahmed, Escobar, Segura, Pennington, Hardy, Amarista, Descalso and Santana.

            Here were the SS with a worse UZR//150: Correa, Descaslo, Santana, Gyrko, Suarez, Beckham, J. Ramirez

            Tejada’s defensive metrics last year were a career-worst. I think he’s pretty close to an average defensive shortstop.

            • TexasGusCC
              December 14, 2015 at 9:47 am

              Ironically when you watch analysts speak, they rate him as below average. Brian, we can both pick a stat to use, but if you pick WAR, then for the last three years only three guys have been worse regulars than Tejada – Galvis, Hechoverria, and Amarista – and all three have brighter upsides.

              Also, until Tejada was forced to play everyday, he played against lefties mostly and #4 and #5 starters while Flores played against the top starters.

              • December 14, 2015 at 9:50 am

                I will not hide it, I don’t like Tejada and have never liked him

              • December 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

                I think you’re confused because when Tejada was playing and starting against the dregs early in the year, all of their guys look like 4th and 5th starters. For example, Tejada started early in the year against the Braves #2 SP but few would classify Alex Wood that way.

                Meanwhile, let’s check out Flores’ HR log: Chris Narveson, Brad Hand, Hector Noesi, Adam Morgan, Mychal Givens, Felipe Rivero, Alex Wood, Josh Collmenter, David Phelps, Justin DeFratus, Matt Garza, Travis Wood, Jon Lester Cody Martin, Jose Urena and Jarred Cosart. There’s a murder’s row.

                Tejada’s defensive numbers were poor last year. But they were above average four of the five previous years and the one year they were below average it was a (-0.2) in 353 innings in 2011. The next time some analyst speaks of Tejada being a poor defensive shortstop, A) please point it out to me and B) ask why he’s only looking at one year of data.

                • December 14, 2015 at 11:00 am

                  The one thing I’ve noticed about Tejada in watching his defense is that he plays too deep in the field. This makes him look bad on weakly hit balls.

                • December 14, 2015 at 11:39 am

                  I know that was a criticism that I had of Murphy — that he was playing too deep.

                  Is it possible that the infielders are playing deep at the insistence of the coaching staff?

                • TexasGusCC
                  December 14, 2015 at 4:55 pm

                  Well, Rick Dempster said it last week.
                  Also, John Kruk has mentioned that Tejada lacks range when doing Mets games.
                  Gary Cohen has said that Tejada has problems going to his right.

                • December 14, 2015 at 6:13 pm

                  Rick Dempster?
                  John Kruk, well known for his intelligent comments. Prior to 2015, Tejada had average to above-average range. It was poor last year. Not sure why 618 innings last year should trump the 3,000 innings that came before it.
                  Cohen – Wonder if he meant fielding going to his right or throwing going to his right

        • Name
          December 14, 2015 at 1:12 am

          17%? That’s gotta be a memory mistake or a misquote. I can barely remember 5 games where 2 of those players were in the same lineup, and there’s 9 batters in a lineup… so the percentage at most wouldn’t be more than 1/9 and that’s if one of them managed to be in the lineup everyday, which I’m pretty sure didn’t happen for an extended stretch either

  9. December 16, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Look at Reynolds versus Rivera. TJ has outplayed him at every level,. but does not have 2nd round draft pedigree.

    Solid utility man, but utility men do not crack your Top 10 and they certainly get the call before Danny Muno.

    Really a bad job here in placing Reynolds 10th, but we are all entitled to our opinions.

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