2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 87: Why Baltimore Orioles’ Mark Reynolds Will Bounce Back Despite Low Average
Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.
Over the last three seasons, Mark Reynolds is one of eight players to hit more than 100 home runs. The other seven players all rank among the top 54 on my 2011 big board, but Reynolds’ embarrassing strikeout rate (39.5 percent since 2008) and paltry batting average (.198 in ’10, .234 since ’08) limit his fantasy value.
Yet despite this, Reynolds’ power/speed combo at the hot corner cannot be ignored. Let’s not forget, his 2009 campaign (98 runs, 44 HRs, 102 RBI, 24 steals, .260 average) made him a popular top-20 pick at this time last season.
Reynolds’ .257 BABIP in 2010 (career .323), in addition to a more realistic 19.9 HR/FB rate (26.0 percent in ’09), yielded just 79 runs, 32 HRs, 85 RBI, seven steals, and the second-lowest batting average (.198) among qualified batters.
Looking forward to 2011 in Camden Yards (the fifth-most home run-friendly park last season according to MLB Park Factors), batting sixth in a loaded Baltimore lineup, Reynolds should hit at least 35 HRs. Given a normalized BABIP, his batting average should creep back into the .240 range. Ideal? No. But when it comes with nearly 100 RBI and 10 steals at the thin third base position, it definitely warrants value.
Reynolds’ current ADP on Mock Draft Central is 133, though Yahoo! Composite ranks him at 89, much closer to where I have him pegged.
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Image courtesy of: Amanda Rykoff
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