Rum Bunter Staff 2020 Pittsburgh Pirates Predictions: Marty Leap
By Marty Leap
2020 Pirate MVP – Bryan Reynolds
With how well he performed as a rookie in 2019 it may sound odd, but many people truly do not appreciate how good of a player Bryan Reynolds is. Yes, trading away Andrew McCutchen hurt. However, getting Reynolds in that deal made the trade more than worth it.
As a rookie, Reynolds accumulated 546 plate appearances in 134 games. He hit for a healthy .314/.377/.503 slash line to go with a 131 wRC+, .189 ISO, 8.4% walk rate, and an 11.6% extra base hit rate. This extra base hit rate included a Pirate rookie record 37 doubles. When it was all said and done, the Pirate left fielder owned a 3.2 fWAR.
Reynolds was such a pure hitter in 2019, and it was a joy to watch. He recorded hard contact 40.2% of the time and his average exit velocity was 89.5 MPH, both of which were above league average. He also hit the ball to all fields pulling the ball 38.6% of the time, going to center field 35.1% of the time and recording opposite field hits at a 26.3% rate.
Despite being an average defender in left field, Reynolds easily projects as a 4+ WAR player over the course of a full 162 game season. Unfortunately, fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates will have to wait until 2021 to enjoy their first full 162 game season from Reynolds, who will be the team’s MVP in 2020.