Mark Reynolds took a fastball from Nationals relief pitcher Collin Balester off the helmet in the bottom of the sixth inning of the D-backs’ game Tuesday.
He got up on his own after being on the ground for about a minute, but was removed from the game.
Today is Reynolds’ 27th birthday, which was notable when he homered to give the D-backs a 4-1 lead in the fourth.
We definitely hope Reynolds is OK. Will post an update as soon as we have word from the team medical staff.
Reynolds is back in the dugout, and seems OK (with the exception of an ugly gash on the left side of his head). The initial neurological exam was fine, but he’ll be reevaluated further later tonight.
D-backs slugger Mark Reynolds is featured in this week’s ESPN the Magazine.
You can read Jorge Arangure’s feature online at ESPN.com here.
He discusses Reynolds’ physical development from scrawny, line-drive hitting kid to a burly, big league masher.
Here’s a glimpse:
Reynolds had been so skinny that his teammates at First Colonial High in Virginia Beach called him Skeletor. His father, Greg, an accountant, used to research training techniques in the hopes of counterbalancing his son’s lack of muscle. “When you’re a little guy, you do what you can with what you’ve got,” says Mark, who was a good line-drive hitter but no slugger.
One of many schemes he tried was swinging a bat with plastic fans on the barrel, to create wind resistance. He hoped the contraption would strengthen his wrists and forearms, making him as powerful as his teammates. No small feat, that: Reynolds grew up playing on travel teams with B.J. Upton, David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman, all of whom would become first-round picks and major league stars. To help the scrawny Reynolds compete, his high school coach gave him a piece of hitting advice that he follows to this day: “Swing as hard as you can.”
The story is behind the Insider wall at ESPN, so you’ll have to be an ESPN Insider member or magazine subscriber to read it. Or, you can pick up a copy of the April 19 issue of ESPN the Magazine on newsstands. It’s worth it, the story is a great read.
Mark Reynolds on his contract:
Josh Byrnes on the Reynolds contract:
Mark Reynolds and the D-backs agreed to a contract extension this week for three years and an option for a fourth, allowing the club to buy out a pair of arbitration years and possibly a year of free agency if the D-backs exercise the option.
Reynolds is yet another good, young player signed to a multi-year deal for the D-backs this offseason. He joined Justin Upton, who signed a deal two weeks ago, and Edwin Jackson who signed a deal back in February.
Here’s a little statistical fun for you.
These are six players in their Age 25 season. The most recent is Reynolds, obviously. These players weren’t chosen at random. These are all guys who are sometimes derisively deemed “high-strikeout” players, but they’re all significant offensive contributors to their teams.
Player V – 1971 (150 games) 32 HR, 29 2B, 161 SO, .352 OBP, .508 SLG, 860 OPS
Player W – 1975 (158 games) 38 HR, 34 2B, 180 SO, .367 OBP, .523 SLG, .890 OPS
Player X – 2005 (160 games) 35 2B, 40 HR, 168 SO, .387 OBP, .540 SLG, 927 OPS
Player Y – 2005 (88 games) 22 HR, 17 2B, 100 SO, .356 OBP, .567 SLG, .924 OPS
Player Z – 2006 (159 games) 19 HR, 31 2B, 174 SO, .335 OBP, .433 SLG, .773 OPS
Reynolds – 2009 (155 games) 44 HR, 30 2B, 223 SO, .349 OBP, .543 SLG, .892 OPS
For comparison’s sake, this is what the counting stats for “Player Y” would be if multiplied by 1.8 to reach 158 games (40 HR, 31 2B, 180 SO).
The names will be listed at the end of this blog.
To add another layer, Reynolds has more positional value than all but one of these players. Reynolds and “Player W” are both third baseman, while four are outfielders, one is a first baseman. Only one of them, an outfielder, is even considered an above-average or better defensive player.
Reynolds gives the D-backs some significant punch in the middle of the lineup, but it’s made even more valuable when you consider the position scarcity. Finding an outfielder who can hit 40-plus home runs is easier to do than finding a third baseman who can do the same. And by playing third, Reynolds gives the D-backs the ability to use those outfield positions to find more offensive contributors.
Third base is one of the more offensively scarce positions in baseball, along with second base, right behind shortstop and catcher.
In 2009, National League third basemen posted a cumulative .756 OPS, approximately 70 points lower than Reynolds. The average NL third baseman in 2009 had 20 home runs, 31 doubles, 83 runs and 83 RBI, all well below Reynolds’ totals (44/30/98/102).
It’s tough to say where Reynolds’ career trajectory will go, but it’s worth noting that every player (except Reynolds… for now) on the above list is an All-Star, and the two older ones are in the Hall of Fame.
Chase Field is already buzzing for FanFest!
The doors opened at 9 a.m. for early arrivals, with D-backs season ticket holders and SUBWAY Value Meals customers entering an hour early.
At 10 a.m., D-backs fans started streaming in, already in great numbers (with photos to come).
Daron Sutton is conducting a Q&A right now on the stage out at center field, and fans are purchasing autograph session tickets at the plaza ticket windows. Also, check out the yard sale for all sorts of D-backs gear, as well as the memorabilia show for bobbleheads, posters, trading cards and more.
D-backs Training Centers personnel are throwing pitches on three fields located in the infield, and FOX Sports Arizona is filming great D-backs fans to air during broadcasts this season.
Sports 620 KTAR is broadcasting live, with Mark Reynolds and new first baseman Adam LaRoche on air right now. I just ran into Matt Williams downstairs, and he’ll be joining the crew soon. Justin Upton, Clay Zavada and Ian Kennedy are all hanging out together in the clubhouse, and all three will be participating in various activities soon.
You can listen to Sports 620 KTAR’s live broadcast here: http://den-a.plr.liquidcompass.net/player/flash/audio_player.php?id=KTARAM&uid=239
I’ll be back with a lot more, including photos, video and audio very soon!