Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Goals For 2021
By Marty Leap
Bryan Reynolds Bouncing Back
In terms of what the Pittsburgh Pirates do at the Major League level in 2021, few things are more important than seeing Bryan Reynolds bounce back. As a rookie in 2019 Reynolds hit for a .314/.377/.503 slash line to go with a 131 wRC+ and a 3.2 fWAR. This led to him finishing 4th in National League Rookie of the Year voting.
Then in 2020 Reynolds took a step back. In a COVID-19 shortened season Reynolds hit for a .189/.275/.357 slash line in 208 plate appearances across 55 games. This included a wRC+ that fell to 72 and a fWAR that fell to 0.0.
Reynolds walk rate did increase in 2020, rising from 8.4% to 10.1%. However, his strikeout rate also went up. After striking out 22.2% of the time in 2019, this number rose to 27.4% during the 2020 season.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to compete in 2022 or 2023, they need Reynolds to find his 2019 form. Following his big 2019 season he appeared to have solidified himself as a key member of the Pirate core moving forward. In 2021, for both the immediate and future success of the team, the Pirates need Reynolds to bounce back.