by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
After Franmil Reyes went on his home run barrage we took a look at him, which you can view by clicking here. At the time we noted that we needed 7-10 days of further action to get a feel for how far he’s matured, but it turns out we didn’t get that opportunity. Instead reports have surfaced that he is set to join the Padres, further creating a logjam in the outfield (even before Wil Myers returns from the DL).
Jose Pirela’s ability to play second base regularly helps to an extent, leaving Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero and Reyes as the likely starting trio (with Travis Janikowski filling into all three spots, though he could really push Margot for playing time). Obviously the big question now is if Reyes has the upside to run with the role, or could he struggle in his first taste of the Majors? Let’s dive in:
No one is going to question the power potential, though as expected he’s slowed significantly since his home run binge (1 HR over six games). That’s not a bad thing, because he couldn’t keep up the pace, but we have to remember what Baseball America had said after his 8 HR over five games):
Take a hitter with 70-grade raw power, give him 28 at-bats in El Paso and Albuquerque, and you get the kind of monstrous week Reyes had.
You take out those five games and you get 6 HR in 110 AB, or a home run once every 18.33 AB. That’s an improvement over his Double-A mark of a HR ever 20.28 AB from 2017, but we also have to remember that Reyes is going to be moving into a pitcher friendly ballpark (and out of the Pacific Coast League). As it is his HR/FB was 41.2% while at Triple-A this season, a number that he’s never going to be able to maintain.
The 22-year old has real power, but expecting him to be a 40+ HR threat immediately is misguided. He’s more of a 25-28 HR player, with the potential for a little bit more.
It was just six games, but Reyes kept the strikeouts in check after the hot streak, with 4 K. At the time we noted that his SwStr% was 10.8%, and he’s currently at 10.7% mark. We would expect a step back at the highest level, possibly into the 11.5-12.0% range, so it’s not like he’s going to avoid strikeouts completely.
At Double-A he posted a 23.7% strikeout rate, which he has improved to 19.3% at Triple-A (along with a 13.3% walk rate). It’s a positive sign, and even if he falls back to the Double-A mark it’s not a big red flag. The truth should lie somewhere in the middle, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The said, he’s a career .268 hitter in the minor leagues. With the power regressing and the strikeouts rising, even if just a little bit, it’s going to have a negative impact on his average. He’s hitting .346 at Triple-A this season, courtesy of an unrealistic .353 BABIP (courtesy of a 20.2% line drive rate). He’s simply not that kind of hitter, and it’s far more likely that he’s going to hit .250-.260 than it is that he hits .300+.
Reyes wasn’t recalled to sit on the bench, fantasy owners just need to know exactly what they are going to be getting when they add him (and in most cases they should add him). If you look at the Triple-A numbers and expect him to be a monster must add, you are going to likely be disappointed. There’s value and a lot to like, but there’s also a strong possibility that he struggles and finds himself back at Triple-A.
Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:
- 10 Team League – Worth stashing, but not a must add
- 12 Team League – Enough upside to grab, but not a must start
- 14+ Team League – Must Add
- NL-Only League – Must Add
- Keeper/Dynasty – Must Add
Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball America, Baseball Reference
Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings? Make sure to check it out by clicking here. Also don’t miss all of our 2018 Preseason Positional Prospect Lists: