Breakout Candidate: Will Victor Reyes Emerge As A Can’t Miss Option?

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There was hope that the switch hitting Victor Reyes would breakout and emerge as a fixture atop the rebuilding Detroit Tigers’ lineup. However that never occurred, as he failed to post impressive numbers despite appearing in 57 games in 2020:

.277 (56-202), 4 HR, 14 RBI, 30 R, 8 SB

Granted, if you project those numbers out to a full 600 AB season he’d have produced 12 HR and 24 SB. With speed down across the game those would clearly hold appeal, the question is whether or not he could actually maintain that pace over a full season.

His career high in the minor leagues was 20 SB, which came in 469 AB at High-A in 2016. That’s not overly impressive, and you have to get on base if you are going to tap into any speed. That’s something that isn’t a guarantee, as his aggressive approach and ability to make contact is highly concerning:

  • Swing% – 54.1%
  • SwStr% – 13.8%
  • O-Swing% – 43.8%

For someone without extreme power, he needs to be patient and get on base. Instead he takes an ultra aggressive approach, with the Swing% tying him for the 10th highest mark in the league. Just adding to the concern was his struggles against all types of pitches, as his 14.07% Whiff% against Hard pitches was his “best” mark.

Considering his career 54.3% Swing% it’s hard to imagine things changing dramatically. It’s easy to imagine his 21.1% strikeout rate regressing, and without the power to counteract it that’s going to drag down his average even further. A career .271 hitter in the Majors, would it be shocking to see him hit .250ish?

If the average falls like that, without the ability to get a walk, how many stolen bases can we expect? Does a .250/10/12 player look as palatable?

Reyes could emerge as a sleeper, but at this point he’s nothing more than a end of the bench gamble or a player to monitor off the waiver wire in shallower formats.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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