2020 season age: 24 – Throws: Right – Bats: Right- Contract: – Pre-arb
2019 in review: In 99 games with the San Diego Padres Franmil Reyes smashed 27 homers with an .849 OPS before he was traded to Cleveland. In 51 games in an Indians uniform he hit 10 homers with a .772 OPS. Overall he hit 37 homers with an .822 OPS between the two teams. The Indians acquired Reyes along with Logan Allen from the Padres, Scott Moss and Yasiel Puig from the Reds for Trevor Bauer.
Beyond the stats: Reyes is something of the Indians exit velocity darling. He ranks in the 99th percentile in exit velocity and 98th percentile in hard hit rate. His 14.8% barrel rate was in the top 6% of the league. Reyes does still own a high strikeout rate (28.5% in 2019) but when he hits the ball, he hits it hard.
Offensive impact: Dynamic, all fields power is Reyes’ carrying skill, without a doubt. While he’s not a total zero when it comes to getting on base, his walk rate generally hovers around average and he makes enough hard contact where he should carry a high-ish BABIP that can help his batting average. He’s still going to strikeout in the mid-20% but with his power and ability to get to it in game, it’s a playable range. 40 homers is the kind of power Reyes has and it’s about where he needs to get to in order to make a major offensive impact for the Indians to overcome his strikeout rate and lack of defensive value. (This is of course suggesting over a 162 game season, not whatever season the MLB may or may not have at this point.)
Defensive impact: Reyes reportedly lost 18lbs over the winter in order to be able to play the outfield on an at least semi-regular basis. With Domingo Santana on the Indians roster he will of course be needed in the outfield for the two to switch on and off to minimize their defensive shortcomings. Reyes is in the 44th percentile in sprint speed but was only in the 18th percentile in outfielder jump. Hopefully the weight loss will make him a little quicker, but he reaction time and routes will have to improve along with them. He’s going to be learning a new ballpark because he mostly was a DH upon getting to Cleveland. He played right field in San Diego, but the left field wall in Cleveland might be easier for him to handle once he learns its ins and outs of how the ball reacts off of certain angles of the wall. He and Santana were supposed to get ample time in left and right field to get comfortable, so we’ll see what happens there if the season resumes. However, there’s no way to learn the left field wall in Cleveland, if he plays there, in Arizona.
2020 role: If there’s a 2020 season the Indians will probably hope to deploy Reyes in one of the outfield spots in 50% of their games. He’ll hit fourth or fifth hopefully and produce massive power numbers in the middle of that order and hopefully reach a 40 homer pace for a potentially shortened season. The Indians offense will likely be heavily relying on him to drive in or provide thump and depth behind Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and maybe Carlos Santana.
Fantasy impact: Depending on the kind of ball the MLB will be using, whenever, if ever, there is a 2020 season impacts Reyes in some ways. Even without the crazy home run derby baseball they used in 2019, Reyes still has 40 homer power. However, the extra bouncy home run derby ball means more players can hit for more power, which in some ways may devalue Reyes’ skills because power is his top carrying skill in real baseball and fantasy. I would say don’t overpay for Reyes either way because he’s not going to help you in batting average tons, and he’ll only likely carry an average walk rate. He was hitting the ball incredibly well in spring training before it got cancelled due to the virus outbreak, so that’s important to note as well. You can use a middle of the draft type pick or maybe $10 on Reyes and hope for a 40 homer pace with OF eligibility, an average that won’t kill you with some upside if you feel good about his shape and how his spring was going. But just remember power may likely be in abundance, so it’s not something you need to overpay for.