There are underlying numbers that indicate Bryan Reynolds could be in line for a huge season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2024
Bryan Reynolds was handed the largest contract in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ history at the start of the year. But while Reynolds is coming off the ‘worst’ season of his career, it was still a good year, and there are many underlying factors to his campaign that could point to maybe his best season of his career thus far.
Reynolds finished the year off with a .263/.330/.460 slash. He had a .338 wOBA, as well as a 110 wRC+. Reynolds hit for plus power once again with a .190 isolated slugging percentage and going yard 24 times. This marks the third season in a row he’s hit at least 20 bombs. While Reynolds’ 8.3% walk rate was a career low, his 21.6% strikeout rate falls right in line with his career average.
But a look under the hood reveals a lot of positives. The first is his raw power was at its best in 2023. His 90.9 MPH exit velocity, 47.1% hard-hit rate, and 11.1% barrel rate were career bests by a fair margin. He was in the 70th percentile or better of all three stats. Reynolds’ expected numbers were also above the 80th percentile with a .359 xwOBA, .278 xBA, and .488 xSLG%. He also finished the year with a 116 DRC+. Reynolds also nearly met, if not exceeded these expectations in the second half of the year.
Through his final 264 plate appearances of the season, Reynolds hit .277/.345/.514 (.857 OPS) with a .363 wOBA, resulting in an overall wRC+ clocking in at 127. While Reynolds struck out more often with a 23% strikeout rate, he also hit 14 of his home runs. In terms of OPS, wOBA, and wRC+, these are near identical numbers to his rookie year when he had a .880 OPS, .371 wOBA, and 130 wRC+.
Reynolds was playing through an injury and had a short stint on the IL, but once he got back into the swing of things, he ended the year on an extremely high note. In reality, aside from July, Reynolds had a great season. Reynolds’ improving raw power is potentially a sign of much better things to come from the outfielder. He is entering what should be the prime years of his career, so hopefully he is able to carry over the numbers he posted in late July through the end of the season, as well as meet the expected numbers he posted in 2023.