Image: USA Today
2021 age: 25
Bats: Right; Throws: Right
2020 stats: .275/.344/.450 – 9 HR 34 RBI – 113 OPS+- 0.3 WAR
2020 season review: Reyes had a stellar spring training in 2020 and looked like he was ready to break out and lead the AL in homers. He didn’t quite have that same heat in the 60 game regular season, though he did have a week stretch where he went on a hitting binge. (.954 OPS in August). Reyes was in the 91st percentile of exit velocity in MLB in 2020. He finished with a .696 OPS in September, so he was streaky, as power hitters tend to be. Additionally, after losing weight and working hard in the outfield over that previous winter aiming to get in right field more, he spent just five innings in left field for the season.
Offensive impact: As a power-first bat, Reyes is huge boom and bust material. When he makes contact it’s usually squared up, and going far pretty fast and is near the top of the league in average exit velocity. With that power also comes strikeouts, to the tune of a 28.4% clip, which is roughly 7% above league average. He still hits for a solid and obtainable league average but very much like a middle-of-the-order “slow pitch softball” type of bat. He will hit home runs and drive in runs. That’s the meat and potatoes of his offensive impact for this Tribe team. The good news is Reyes will take his walks with those strikeouts at times. He walked in roughly 10 % of his at-bats in 2020 which is above league average, leaving him with a solid .344 OBP, giving him a little more floor as a boom or bust bat. Reyes has never had 600 at-bats in season in his young career yet so expect his highest homer and RBI totals this season.
Defensive Impact: Reyes will mostly DH for this team in 2021. He does not have very quick foot speed. In his career since coming to Cleveland, he has only played four out of his 109 games in the outfield. He was in the 33rd percentile in sprint speed in 2020. He was only at -1 in Outs Above Average according to Statcast in 2019 before he was traded to Cleveland, but was -4 in 2018. Still, expect him to not get a lot of playing time in right field this season.
2021 role: Reyes will be expected to hold down the middle of the order of this Tribe lineup behind Ramirez. He will be expected to drive in runs and be a piece of comfort and stability in a lineup with uncertainty and new younger faces. He will not play in the field often, and at 25, Cleveland will hope to get a breakout season out of his bat.
Fantasy impact: Franmil Reyes is someone I would look at decently early to the middle of the draft. He ironically is on my fantasy team. One projection website has Reyes hitting 37 HR and 105 RBI for the tribe this season. That’s a lot of value for your team in a utility role. He will strike out a lot so do your research on when to draft him in your league.