The Pittsburgh Pirates have Two Rookie of the Year Candidates

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Pittsburgh Pirates Reynolds
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Bryan Reynolds was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 2nd round and was acquired by the Pirates in the Andrew McCutchen trade. Bryan Reynolds may have been the most underrated prospect in the Pirates farm system. Reynolds has always hit well in the minors with a .312 career average but was underrated due to his below average power metrics and lack of elite speed to make up for the missing power.

With zero plate appearances in AAA going into the 2019 season, Reynolds was expected to log an entire season in AAA Indianapolis, with a small chance of earning a September call-up.  But, the Pirates outfield was struck with the injury bug and Reynolds was promoted to the Big League club out of pure necessity with very low expectations.

I highly doubt Reynolds will ever log that full season in AAA.

Reynolds has absolutely crushed the ball this season, hitting .345/.406/.569/.975 over 116 at bats. On top of this, Reynolds has hit five home runs and has 17 RBIs. He has also had two separate 10+ game hitting streaks. Hurdle has started to bat Reynolds in the top five slots of the order and it isn’t hard to see why.

Reynolds batting average and OBP lead all rookies in 2019 and would put him second in the entire MLB if he had enough at-bats to qualify. I don’t expect this offensive prowess to

change any time soon. Game after game Reynolds puts together complete at bats and looks very comfortable at the plate.

Reynolds defensive metrics are also above average for navigating the large left field at PNC Park for most of his MLB tenure. He has a 0.4 UZR in left and already has two outfield assists. If the season would end today, only Pete Alonso from the New York Mets would be in competition with Reynolds for the NL Rookie of the Year award. Looking at the WAR metric, Reynolds currently sits at 1.6 and Alonso at 2.3.

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Without a doubt, both Kevin Newman and Bryan Reynolds are helping the Pirates win games this season. It’s exciting to see these young players step up and contribute well above expectations.