Trade Target: Mark Reynolds

We all know that the Diamondbacks’ Mark Reynolds is one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season.  He leads all 3B in home runs.  He’s second in RBI (Evan Longoria).  He’s fourth in runs scored (behind Chone Figgins, Marco Scutaro & Ryan Zimmerman).  It has been an amazing first half, having posted the following line (through Sunday):

301 At Bats
.269 Batting Average (81 Hits)
24 Home Runs
61 RBI
53 Runs
13 Stolen Bases
.354 On Base Percentage
.568 Slugging Percentage
.343 Batting Average on Balls in Play

The biggest question on everyone’s mind is if he can maintain the power he’s shown over the season’s first three plus months.  His career high is 28, which he set in 539 AB in 2008.

He had 68 HR over 1,216 minor league at bats, but he never set foot on a Triple-A diamond and only had 248 at bats at Double-A (hitting 14 home runs).  It’s impossible to draw too many conclusions from that power output, since there is no long-term numbers against high-level competition to base anything on.

His fly ball rate this season is similar to what he’s done over his first two major league seasons:

  • 2007 – 43.8%
  • 2008 – 45.2%
  • 2009 – 44.2%

What has jumped up, obviously, is his HR/FB, sitting at 28.6% after posting marks of 16.2% and 18.2% over his first two years.  This season he leads baseball, ahead of Adrian Gonzalez (27.0%), Albert Pujols (25.8%) and Raul Ibanez (25.3%).

While it is not impossible for him to maintain that type of level, in the past five seasons there have been only 10 seasons above that mark, three of which came from Ryan Howard, one of the elite home run hitters in the game today, and one came from Barry Bonds (29.0% in 2004).

A regression in power is very likely, though I am not about to suggest that he’s going to completely fall off the table.  It wouldn’t be surprising to produce at the rates he had over his first two seasons in the big leagues.  That still is going to make him usable, but more of a middle of the road option, as opposed to the elite player he’s been this season.

As for the other numbers, we all know he strikes out way too much.  This season he is at 36.9%, right at his career mark of 36.8%.  Considering his BABIP of .343, there is almost no way I see him maintaining the modest .269 average he’s currently sporting.

Just a little change in luck is going to send him down to the .245-.250 range, hardly a player that you would be lusting after.

Yeah, the RBI are going to continue to be there.  The runs scored seem slightly on the high side, considering the lack of true protection after him in the line-up, so unless someone gets scorching hot, a regression there is possible as well.

So, we have a player that is likely to regress in the home run department, all but certain to regress in his average and could slow down in the runs scored as well.  Sounds like the perfect sell high candidate, no?

People I’ve seen him traded for, who I would agree with, include:

  • Kevin Youkilis – it seems like maybe a bit of a downgrade, but if you need an average hitter who is going to produce, he’s a perfect fit.
  • Josh Beckett – No-brainer here.  You are getting a potential ace for your rotation.
  • Vladimir Guerrero – He’s struggled, but this is Vlad we are talking about.  Seems like a good swap if you’re looking for a bat in the OF.

Basically, what I’m suggesting is to aim high and get as much as you can.  I can’t see his value getting any higher, can you?

What are your thoughts on Reynolds?  Can he maintain this pace?  Is he a player you’d rather hold onto?  If you are going to trade him, what are you looking for?

To read the previous article, click here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

5 comments

  1. Keith says:

    Do you think Aramis Ramirez for Reynolds would be fair?

  2. Rotoprofessor says:

    I’m really big on Aramis, but I think you could get slightly more for Reynolds right now. Maybe try to get him to throw in a pitcher or something, but my guess is that Aramis outperforms Reynolds in the second half.

    So, from that standpoint, I wouldn’t have a problem with the deal.

    What does everyone else think?

  3. Tim says:

    The Aramis/Reynolds deal would be a fair exchange, but keep in mind that Aramis’ shoulder is not fully healthy and I don’t think Reynolds BABIP is out of line when compared to his career norm. I would lean towards Reynolds outperforming Aramis the remainder of the year.

    I am really happy that my fellow league owner turned down my offer of Reynolds and Kershaw for Youkilis a couple of months ago. I’ve been trying to sell Reynolds high for awhile now but no takers in my league which makes it a great “non move” for my team.

    Keep in mind that we may be seeing the development of a great power hitter… Reynolds turns 26 in August.

  4. I got to completely disagree with this and the suggested trade targets. Right now we are talking about a guy using his ZiPs rest of season projections has a target of 40/97/109/20/.263(includes a regressed HR rate)

    You didn’t address that he has upped his steals this season as well and is now a potential 40/20 player. Sure he won’t hit 50 homers, but there is no way I am trading him for an upgrade at one category (AVG) in Youkilis or Guerrero.

    He will surely be overvalued in 2010, but for now there is no way I am trading him for anything less than first or second round type talent. I don’t mean underperforming talent either.

    I called for Reynolds to be a top 5 third baseman this year and the best value in the draft… http://www.rotosavants.com/2009/01/2009-sleeper-mark-reynolds.html

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    Troy, I’m not necessarily saying to go for those specific players, but they are guys that I’ve seen traded for Reynolds who I wouldn’t quibble about. I’m also suggesting that you aim high in trading him.

    Yes, he is a potential 40/20 player, he’s already 24/14 and he’s never shown this type of stolen base potential in the past.

    He’s hitting at an average that is going to be hard for him to maintain and a power level that is likely to regress. To me, his value is never going to be higher, so if you can get a bounty for him, I would pull the trigger. If you want to say no to someone like Vlad, I can buy that, but I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of dealing him.

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