The Pittsburgh Pirates have been somewhat of an outfield factory over the last decade or so. It looks like they have another up and coming All-Star.
Back in 2016, I wrote an article looking at a draft prospect by the name of Bryan Reynolds. I had a conversation with a scout who said the Pittsburgh Pirates had a close eye on him that spring and they were very much interested in drafting him. The team ended up going in a different direction and Reynolds, who surprisingly slipped to the second round, was selected by the Giants with the 56th overall pick.
Flash forward to the 2017-2018 offseason and it should not have come as a surprise when the team made him the focal point to the Andrew McCutchen trade. The Bucs were not only getting a top prospect but one who would be major league ready quickly. Never did they expect him to make his debut in April of 2019 and, for that matter, force himself into the lineup for the rest of the season.
While it was surprising to see Reynolds have such immediate success, it should not have been a complete shock. For instance, over the course of his minor league career, he hit for a .312 batting average while posting a .844 OPS. Put that together with his pedigree and being a standout at Vanderbilt, and it makes sense why he was a part of the McCutchen trade.
On top of that, Reynolds quickly showed that he had a very unique attitude toward the game. He is very driven, always looking to get better, and he treats hitting like a craft. He understands the game; you can tell when he simply puts a ball in play the other way when the situation calls for it. Furthermore, when he has a big night at the plate, he talks no different than if he had a mediocre night.
Reynolds is once again displaying this “never satisfied” approach this summer. After having a really strong spring, Reynolds has quickly made an impact at Summer Camp. He has proven to be one of the best hitters at camp already. Yesterday, the team played a couple of intrasquad games. After the games, Reynolds spoke with the media about his approach to his second season (video courtesy of AT&T Sports Net PIT):
There is just something about Bryan Reynolds that makes you believe he will come out and hit .300 for the rest of his career. He handles himself in such a humble and professional way. He does not let success go to his head but rather wants to continue and play his game. However, the end of the clip is what is most interesting.
Reynolds says ” I don’t care” about whether or not he is getting enough respect. That tells you all you need to know. He is a player who will let his play on the field speak for him. If he continues to hit the ball the way he did in his rookie season, then there will be plenty of respect by opposing pitchers. Still, don’t expect another strong season to change the way Bryan Reynolds plays the game.