Mark Reynolds Batting Average in 2012…over/under .220
Reynolds’ battles with the Mendoza line have been well documented. Despite threatening it all season last year, he rallied to a .221 finish. He batted .198 in 2010 and .260 in 2009 both in Arizona and surely giving credence to both sides of the .220 argument. As fans I think we need to focus more on Reynolds’ production per plate appearance than his glaring strikeout or batting stats, as his willingness to accept walks and the reputation that precedes him are surely a big part of both issues. I like .220 to be just about right this year (as I set it there) but will take the under for drama’s sake.
Mark Reynolds Strikeouts in 2012…over/under 200
Speaking of Reynolds strikeouts being scrutinized too much, let’s scrutinize them a bit; shall we? Reynolds managed to compose himself to the tune of just 196 strikeouts in 2011, after piling up 211 in 2010 and 223 in 2009. Again, I think the strikeouts in particular to be a byproduct (to some degree) of his willingness to lay off of close pitches, coupled with his reputation as a hacker, which won’t get him many borderline calls. I like the downward trend, although it’s not downward enough yet for the liking of most. I’ll take the under on this one.
Mark Reynolds Homeruns in 2012…over/under 39.5
In the interest of equal time in the Reynolds portion of our card, he is the O’s most credible power bat by a long shot, and last year acclimated himself to life in the AL East to the tune of 37 taters. Reynolds had 32 HR in 2010 and 44 in 2009 and could be an easy threat to get to 40 or more as he continues to grow comfy in the AL. At the end of the day (or the season in this case) the answer likely lies in where Reynolds resides in the batting order and the number of at bats he’ll get in 2012. Batting 3rd through 5th he’d seem a good bet for 40 if healthy, in the bottom third of the order, with far less protection and opportunities the under would look pretty good. I’ll go under, as 40 homeruns in 2012 for anyone is a tough proposition once again.
Mark Reynolds errors in 2012…over/under 24.5
24.5? This should be an easy number for any player in baseball, but in Reynolds case perhaps not. Reynolds was a butcher at 3rd in 2011 committing 26 errors at the hot corner. He committed an additional 5 at 1st base as the season wound down, and actually played better than adequate defense there. Why the Orioles seem compelled to move him back to third is why they’re the Orioles I suppose, as is the decision to waste so much time working him successfully at 1st if his future was still going to be at 3rd anyway. All tolled Reynolds had 31 errors last year, 18 in 2010 and 24 in 2009. The answer to this one likely depends on how many games Reynolds plays at 3rd before possibly wearing out his welcome there and retreating to first again. Reluctantly, I’ll take the under.
Mark Reynolds Starts at Third Base in 2012…over/under 81.5
And finally, speaking of how many games Reynolds plays at either 1st or 3rd, that’s anyone’s guess at this point too. If he plays the hot corner like he did last season, I can’t imagine Buck Showlater would leave him there for more than half of the season, but again, the O’s have done lots of things I couldn’t have imagined over the last several years. I’ll take the over on this one and hope for the best.
When it comes to Orioles baseball, hoping for the best is all you can really do anymore anyway.