Mark Reynolds (baseball)
Reynolds with Yankees in 2013
|First baseman / Third baseman|
August 3, 1983 |
|May 16, 2007, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
(through 2015 season)
|Runs batted in||661|
Mark Andrew Reynolds (born August 3, 1983) is an American professional baseball first baseman who is a free agent . He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007, and has also played for the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. A right-hander both when batting and throwing, Reynolds has gained attention for his frequent and long home runs, high strikeout totals, and defensive versatility, having been primarily a third baseman before transitioning to first base for the Cardinals.
The Diamondbacks drafted Reynolds in the 16th round of the 2004 MLB Draft from the Cavaliers of the University of Virginia, where he played mainly shortstop. In the minor leagues, he played second base, third base, shortstop, and left field. He broke out in 2006 with Lancaster and Tennessee, batting .318 with 31 home runs (HR) and 98 runs batted in (RBI) in 106 games. With the Diamondbacks in 2009, he established career highs in HR (44), RBI (102), stolen bases (24) and runs scored (98).
Known for his extreme statistical output, Reynolds displays prodigious power-hitting, record-breaking strikeout totals and high error totals. Between 2009–11, he finished with top ten home run totals and at bats per home run rates. In 2009, he set the all-time record for most strikeouts among batters in a season. He also holds two other of the ten highest single-season strikeout totals (211 and 204), and led the league in strikeouts in four consecutive seasons.
- 1 Playing career
- 1.1 Amateur baseball
- 1.2 Arizona Diamondbacks (2007–10)
- 1.3 Baltimore Orioles (2011–12)
- 1.4 Cleveland Indians (2013)
- 1.5 New York Yankees (2013)
- 1.6 Milwaukee Brewers (2014)
- 1.7 St. Louis Cardinals (2015)
- 2 See also
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Born in Pikeville, Kentucky on August 3, 1983, Reynolds later moved with his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia. In 1994 he played for the Virginia Blasters Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) baseball program, where one of his teammates was B. J. Upton. Both would eventually join B. J.'s younger brother Justin, David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman on a Hampton Roads-based autumn showcase team called the Mets in 2000. The five players, who were all shortstops at the time, rotated among the three positions on the left side and middle of the infield. While with the Mets, Reynolds was nicknamed "Skeletor" due to his lanky build and "Forrest Gump" because of his awkward running style.
In his three years at the University of Virginia, he was the starting shortstop on the Cavaliers baseball team. During his sophomore and junior campaigns, he played alongside Zimmerman, who had been shifted to third base. Reynolds led the team in home runs (15) in 2002, runs batted in (46) in 2003 and triples (5) in 2004. His 60 runs scored in 2004 matched a school record which has since been broken. His 35 career homers at Virginia is tied for second all-time in Cavaliers history. Through August 2011, he was one of 29 former UVA players to have made it to the major leagues, along with former Cavaliers Michael Schwimer, Javier López, and Zimmerman.
Arizona Diamondbacks (2007–10)
Reynolds made his major league debut on May 16, 2007, against the Colorado Rockies. He had been called up from Double-A Mobile when Chad Tracy was placed on the disabled list. Reynolds made an instant impact with the Diamondbacks, driving in 14 runs in his first 15 MLB games.
Reynolds was the latest of a number of players from the Tidewater, Virginia region to make it to the major leagues in recent years, a list that includes David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, B.J. Upton, Justin Upton, and Michael Cuddyer.
Reynolds ended the season 3rd among NL rookies in strikeouts (129), 4th in runs (62), tied for 4th in triples (4), and tied for 6th in home runs (17). He also drove in 62 runs and had a .279 batting average.
On October 3, 2007, when Arizona faced the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the 2007 NLDS, Reynolds' seventh-inning home run off of Cubs reliever Carlos Mármol led the Diamondbacks to a 3–1 victory and winning the division series in just 3 games. Reynolds also hit a home run in Game 3 of the 2007 NLCS against the Colorado Rockies. The Diamondbacks would eventually lose the series to the Rockies in just 4 games.
On September 25, he set a major league record by striking out for the 200th time in one season when he failed to check his swing against St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joel Piñeiro. He broke the record of 199 set in 2007 by Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. Reynolds ultimately finished the season striking out 204 times. He also led the majors in strikeout percentage, with 33.3%.
He did have a good offensive year, leading the Diamondbacks in home runs (28) and RBIs (97) to go along with 11 stolen bases and 87 runs scored. His batting average saw a significant dip from his rookie campaign, however, ending with a .239 clip.
On July 28, Reynolds hit a two-run home run off of Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge landing at 481 feet, making it the longest home run of the 2009 season, and the second longest home run in the history of Chase Field. He quickly became recognized for hitting towering home runs (25 of his 44 home runs being over 400 feet), averaging his home runs at 430 feet (longest in baseball).
In the Diamondbacks' four game series against the Mets on July 29 – August 3, Reynolds managed to hit the longest home run in the short history of Citi Field, at 461 feet, as well as capped off the series finale with home runs in consecutive innings (first and second). His four home runs at Citi Field rank second all-time in home runs hit at the park by a visiting player.
On August 10, 2009, Reynolds was named the NL Player of the Week for the week ending August 9, beating out teammate Ryan Roberts (who finished second) in voting for the honor. Reynolds finished the week hitting .448 with 6 home runs, 32 total bases, 10 RBIs, 1 stolen base, a .515 on-base percentage, and a slugging percentage of 1.103. This has been Reynolds's second NL Player of the Week award (the other being earlier this season for the week ending June 14). As tradition with the Player of the Week award, Reynolds has received two wrist watches (one for each week), one of which he gave to his father, and the other of which he gave to his grandfather.
Reynolds played at first base for 26 games, where he has a .974 fielding percentage, the second-highest in the league of players with 125 or more innings at first base, and an 8.21 range factor, the best in the league. Reynolds helped improve his defensive skills by working with former Diamondbacks third baseman Matt Williams, during Spring Training; work that has raised his fielding percentage by over 50 points from the previous season. He has also made headlines for several notable catches including July 21 in Colorado, July 24 in Arizona, and August 1 in New York.
He broke his own one-year-old major league record for strikeouts in a season in 2009 with 223. He also hit .260 (batting average), hit 44 home runs, had 102 RBI, and scored 98 runs, along with 24 stolen bases.
He led the major leagues in the Three True Outcomes (the total of the three main outcomes not involving defense) with 343.
After signing a three-year, $14.5 million contract extension on March 18, 2010, Reynolds began the season with two home runs in the first four games of the season. On May 20, Reynolds hit his 100th career home run off of the Giants' Tim Lincecum. Though he finished the season with 32 home runs, the sixth highest total in the National League, along with 85 RBIs and a career high 83 walks in 145 games, Reynolds again led the league in strikeouts with 211 and, having reached the mark three times, remained the only player in major league history to have at least 200 strikeouts in a season. Most notably, his .198 batting average established him as the first full-time position player in Major League history to finish the season with a lower batting average (x 1000) than strikeout total.
Baltimore Orioles (2011–12)
Reynolds and a player to be named later (John Hester on April 30, 2011) were traded to the Baltimore Orioles for David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio on December 6, 2010. From the Diamondbacks' standpoint, the transaction, which was executed by new general manager Kevin Towers, was to improve the bullpen and reduce the record-breaking strikeout total by the team's batters (1,529 in 2010). The Orioles, on the other hand, needed a starting third baseman and a power hitter.
In 2011, Reynolds led all major leaguers in errors, with 31, as his .897 fielding percentage was the lowest of all major league third basemen, and led the AL in strikeouts, with 196. He batted .221, and was fourth in the league in homers, with 37.
Reynolds was homerless until May 4 when he hit a home run against the Boston Red Sox. On the next day, May 5, he hit a three-run home run, his second of 2012. On May 29, he became the fastest position player to reach 1000 strikeouts in Major League history, having done so in only 747 career games.
Reynolds started off the 2012 season at third base, but was moved over to play first base, (moving first baseman Chris Davis to third) early on in the season, where he has since excelled. He has played in 108 games at first base in 2012, committing only 5 errors, and currently has a fielding percentage of .995, which is tied for 4th best fielding percentage by first basemen in the Major Leagues.
On August 17, during a game between the Orioles and the Detroit Tigers, third baseman Manny Machado fielded a ground ball off the bat of Jhonny Peralta. Machado threw off line to Reynolds, who had to lay all the way out to catch the ball, but was able to keep his foot on the bag for long enough to record the out. Peralta and Tigers manager Jim Leyland argued to first base umpire Jeff Kellogg, who conferred with home plate umpire Tim Timmons. Kellogg's call was reversed, giving Peralta first base. Reynolds angrily threw his glove to the ground, causing him to be ejected by second base umpire Vic Carapazza. Orioles manager Buck Showalter angrily argued that Reynolds could not be ejected for throwing his glove, but he too was tossed, by third base umpire Marty Foster. Reynolds initially walked back onto the field, as if the umpires reversed the ejection call, only to return to the dugout moments later.
On September 6, Reynolds hit 2 home runs against the New York Yankees in an Oriole 10–6 win. It was only the second time since 1918, that a player had three multi-homer games against the Yankees in a single season, and it was Reynolds eighth home run in 6 games.
On October 31, 2012, the Orioles declined Reynolds' 2013 option. He was non-tendered on November 30, making him a free agent for the first time.
Cleveland Indians (2013)
On December 9, 2012, Reynolds agreed to a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians. On April 13, in a game against the Chicago White Sox, he hit his second career grand slam off of Chris Sale. He had eight home runs with a batting average of .301 in the month of April. However, he batted only .187 from May and there on. The Indians designated Reynolds for assignment on August 8. When he was designated for assignment, he was leading the team with 15 home runs. He was then released four days later.
New York Yankees (2013)
On August 15, 2013, Reynolds agreed to a deal with the New York Yankees. In his first at-bat as a member of the Yankees, he hit a home run against the Boston Red Sox. On August 28, Reynolds started at second base for the first time in his career while Robinson Canó and Eduardo Núñez were stricken with injuries.
Milwaukee Brewers (2014)
On January 17, 2014, Reynolds signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, with an invitation to big league camp. Reynolds would make $2 million, with an additional $500,000 in possible bonuses, if he made the big league team. On March 25, 2014 the Brewers announced that Reynolds had made the Opening Day roster.
St. Louis Cardinals (2015)
On December 11, 2014, Reynolds signed with the St. Louis Cardinals on a one-year, $2 million contract that included playing times incentives. After five consecutive seasons with at least 21 home runs but batting averages that hovered between .196 and .221, he agreed to take a role as bench player to back up Matt Adams at first base and Matt Carpenter at third base. Reynolds hit his fourth career grand slam on May 4 against the Cubs, aiding the Cardinals to a 10–9 win. The next game, Reynolds' pinch-hit double drove in the go-ahead runs as the Cardinals defeated the Cubs, 7–4. He drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded infield single on June 23 against the Miami Marlins in a 4–3 win.
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