Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by teel, Mar 28, 2019.
Bryan Reynolds has his OBP up over .400
And he's so handsome
without looking it up, I assume Reynolds went to vandy
bumgarner is so hateable
would be a good fit for the cardinals or red sox
Vasgersian should offer his opinions less
Couple facts on the day
The Tampa Bay Rays are 72-39 over the last 111 games on a 61m payroll
With his 24th home run, Yelich officially has more regular season home runs with the Brewers (60 homers in 206 games) than with the Marlins (59 homers in 643 games)
Today's game is the 3rd time this year that the Braves have come back to win after being down 3+ going into the 9th
Brentwood HS too
haha no fucking way. i wasn't able to watch, but i saw they scored 4 runs in an inning. that is amazing
padres had their longest homestand of the season, and failed to win a single series and went 4-6 and are back to .500. it was alwasy going to be a struggle to get one of the 2 wild card spots, but given that we've gotten above average starting pitching (which was a major concern), the padres probably should be better than .500 right now. #TheresAlwaysNextYear
The twins number 9 hitter in their lineup is on pace for like 80 rbi's
these are good facts. thank you for sharing
David Ortiz apparently got robbed and shot within the hour while he was in the Dominican Republic. Can’t find an actual update on his status
34, please, let's focus on what matters.
Wtf? Really hope he's ok.
No clue if legit
Spoiler: Blood, not Papi's
Surprised that Gardner hasn't failed a test for roids.
He is going to get in so many fights at little league games when he hangs it up
Brett? He threw a helmet. I don't remember any instances of him really losing his shit.
Oh no big papi :(
That was a fun sweep :)
oh boy if true
Guy was just trying to kill Papi. No robbery attempt.
Glad he got stomped out.
Yoan Moncada is on pace for:
The turn around seasons by Moncada and Giolito have been so damn uplifting
Pretty sure the rest of MLB combined has only done the same one time
Playoff updates by projected match-up:
Fangraphs: AL - Houston v. Tampa / Boston, New York v. Minnesota; NL - Dodgers v. Milwaukee / Philadelphia, Chicago v. Atlanta
FiveThityEight: AL - Houston v. Tampa / Boston, New York v. Minnesota: NL - Los Angeles v. Milwaukee / Atlanta, Chicago v. Philadelphia
Franmil Reyes stood in the visiting dugout, enthralled by the scene unfolding on the field. The day’s main event, a Low-A baseball game, was still minutes away, but a man holding a microphone had seized his attention. The West Michigan Whitecaps’ on-field host was announcing the starting lineup for the home team, a potentially dull exercise. This was not that.
The microphone-wielder delivered each name with enthusiasm and a creative flourish. Some of the noise made sense, while other portions veered toward nonsense. Reyes, then a Padres outfield prospect with a developing grasp of English, listened in giddy delight.
DOMINIC “ARCHDUKE” FICOCIELLO! … WILLY “THE KID” ADAMES! … WYNTON “OH NO YOU DIDN’T” BERNARD!
Before long, Reyes set to work on an impression. A post-victory bus ride served as his stage. The voice of the exuberant, young Dominican boomed from the back of the vehicle. The other Fort Wayne TinCaps erupted in laughter as Reyes recited the West Michigan lineup, nicknames and all.
A certain entertainer would’ve been proud. Five years later, Bob Wells now is in his 23rd season as the Whitecaps’ “Director of Fun.” The high school math teacher logs dozens of summer nights and afternoons at a minor-league ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich. As part of the gig, he introduces West Michigan’s starters while channeling his inner Chris Berman.
“A play on words is the first thing I look for,” Wells says. “Sometimes it’s inside information about them, whatever else works. I try to make it a clever thing where everyone can get a kick out of it, whether they know anything about the player or not.”
Reyes, meanwhile, is an emerging Padres slugger who touched every level of the farm system. Progress has been more of a steady drip than a flash flood. Two Decembers ago, he tasted the disappointment of going unselected in the Rule 5 draft. Last spring, he reported to Arizona as a hulking presence and an afterthought.
Now, he cannot be overlooked. Through 150 big-league games, he has compiled 35 home runs, a .266 average and exit velocities befitting an imposing frame. At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Franmil La Mole (“The Beast”) Reyes is carving a place among baseball’s more noticeable characters.
“The personality’s bigger than the person, which is saying a lot,” says Padres manager Andy Green, “because there’s not much bigger than him.”
Reyes, 23, has made himself heard in more ways besides loud contact. Last month, he sat in front of a microphone and belted out his best impression of Petco Park public-address announcer Alex Miniak. A few hours later, before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a recording was played on the stadium video board and disseminated on social media. The influence of a Michigan math teacher was clear.
“Tell Franmil that I recommend Austin ‘Trimmin’ the’ Hedges,” Wells texted after being shown the final product. “But HE’S GOOD!!”
A few months ago, Wells drafted Reyes onto his fantasy baseball team. The selection is proving prescient. Reyes has swatted 19 home runs in this, his second major-league season. Only five players have hit more. Meanwhile, the right fielder’s liveliness may be unmatched.
When he isn’t honing his baseball skills or imitating broadcasters, Reyes spends much of his time singing or dancing. Coaches praise his aptitude and work ethic. Teammates laud his talent for unifying a clubhouse and inciting laughter. And, in an essential development, his English has improved to the point of fluency.
“Something that got in my mind, as soon as I signed, is I have to learn the language,” Reyes says. “Why? So I can communicate with my teammates. I can translate for my Dominican teammates and Latin Americans. And I really, really put in the effort.”
Randy Johnson, an Escondido native who shares a name with the Hall of Fame pitcher, played 10 seasons as a professional infielder. He owns another three decades of experience as a scout, roving instructor and special assistant to multiple general managers. To this day, he says, he has not met a Latin American-born player who picked up English as quickly as Franmil Reyes.
“The lack of communication is huge when you’re working with American guys who don’t speak (Spanish) and they’re telling you stuff and you’re nodding your head because you don’t want them to think that you have no idea what they’re talking about,” says Johnson, a pro scout for the Detroit Tigers. “He took it upon himself to close that gap.”
The two met in late 2011. Johnson was in the Dominican Republic, working as the Padres’ minor-league field coordinator. International scouts Felix Feliz and Martin Jose had witnessed an intriguing combination of brawn and intelligence while working out local prospects. So had Randy Smith, then the vice president of player development and international scouting.
The trio signed Reyes for $700,000, a significant investment at the time. The outfielder displayed impressive size and power, but he also showed a rudimentary understanding of English and an ability to absorb instruction.
“You never know how it’s going to turn out with a 16-year-old, but in that case we felt good about it,” Smith says.
Reyes was, of course, an unfinished product. In the 2012 Dominican Summer League, he exhibited a tendency common among young hitters with power.
“He was a dead-pull guy with a huge leg kick and a big, big barrel tip,” Johnson says. “I mean, you’re talking pointing at the pitcher, which is a long way to go.”
Franmil Reyes has developed at the plate since signing in 2011 at age 16. (Jake Roth / USA Today)
Reyes arrived in Arizona in 2013. Playing in extended spring-training games, he discovered he could drive home runs to each part of the field. He started to shorten his swing, a process that would continue in ensuing years.
Around the same time, his English education began in earnest. No longer in his home country, he found himself surrounded by non-Spanish speakers. He possessed an outgoing nature, so he sought a lesson whenever possible.
“I was not embarrassed to talk to Americans,” Reyes says. “If I don’t know how to say a word, I do signs till they tell me the word and I just try to repeat it every time.”
One day, Reyes was exiting the showers at the Padres’ complex when he crossed paths with an unfamiliar face. Seeing that the newcomer was barefoot, he offered his shower shoes in broken English. Justin Livengood, a pitcher the Padres had recently drafted out of UNC Wilmington, felt as if he were slipping into a pair of skis. “And I’ve got a 12 1/2, 13,” Livengood says.
Livengood soon learned that Reyes’ generosity was matched by his exuberance. The next year, both players reported to Fort Wayne, where Reyes continued his assimilation into American culture. He took a special interest in impressions, from Livengood’s Will Ferrell-inspired take on a famed sportscaster — “He would come up to me,” Livengood says, “and be like, ‘Harry Caray! Harry Caray! Do Harry Caray!’” — to his own reenactment of Bob Wells’ lineup announcements.
In time, Reyes turned his attention to his teammates. Among his targets was Ryan Miller, a catcher with a gift for mimicking a clucking chicken.
“He would call out Ryan, like, ‘Your catcher… RYAN… bawk-bawk-bawk-a-baw… MILLER!’” Livengood says. “His English wasn’t that good, but it was good enough to where you knew he was trying so hard, and that was why it was funny.”
The language barrier steadily eroded. Early in the 2014 season, Reyes enlisted the aid of infielder Fernando Perez during videotaped interviews with Fort Wayne broadcaster John Nolan. Reyes answered most questions in English while Perez, who was born in Mexico and attended San Diego’s Otay Ranch High, acted as a safety valve.
By 2015, Reyes had gained unprecedented confidence in his second language. At his request, he and his wife, Marián, texted exclusively in English. In interviews, he no longer needed the occasional assistance of an interpreter. Instead, he began serving in the same role for certain teammates.
Reyes became an enthusiastic volunteer for promotional clips that played on Fort Wayne’s video board. In the home dugout following one victory, he concluded an interview by delivering an audacious message and a nod to the TinCaps’ marketing slogan: “I’m Franmil Reyes. Big fun starts now.”
“I don’t think he intended to troll by any means,” Nolan says, “but he was just kind of showing that, ‘Yeah, I can say what I want on camera.’”
On the field, translating raw strength into consistent results posed a greater challenge. Reyes hit .248 with 11 home runs in his first season at Fort Wayne. The next year, he repeated the level and hit .255 with eight home runs.
He demonstrated considerable opposite-field power, but rival scouts still saw a big-bodied player prone to overswinging. In right field, he showcased a strong arm. But his range was limited, his routes suspect.
“I felt like he was kind of being written off as a guy who was just not getting the most out of his ability,” Nolan says.
Reyes retained an important advantage: he didn’t celebrate his 20th birthday until well into that second season. His youth encouraged patience from an instructor who would experience much of his growth.
“His stroke was good,” says Lance Burkhart, Fort Wayne’s hitting coach in 2015. “It was trying to convince him to stay within himself and not try to do too much. It’s common for those guys who are so strong, who can hit the ball so far, to think they’ve got to swing hard. But they don’t.”
Burkhart witnessed a breakthrough in 2016. The coach had been promoted to managing the Padres’ High-A club in Lake Elsinore. There, Reyes hit .207 with a pair of home runs over the first two months of the season. From June on, he hit .315 with 14 home runs.
“He just got on fire,” Burkhart recalls. “He was using all fields, and any mistake he got, he didn’t miss. … I thought, ‘OK, I think he’s really going to do something.’”
Defense, however, remained a major obstacle. During the 2017 season, Reyes launched a Texas League-best 25 home runs. For a time, the power surge ran parallel to another trend: An already-massive baseball player was putting on weight. A visit from Luis Ortiz, then the Padres’ field coordinator, supplied a dose of reality.
“He flat told him, ‘Until you get in better shape and start taking care of your body, you’ll never play in the big leagues, because you’ll never be able to cover enough ground,’” says Phillip Wellman, the Padres’ Double-A manager. “And it made him mad. … He went on a mission and lost some weight and started moving around better out there.”
Reyes gained additional motivation that winter. After a broken bone in his wrist ended a stint in the Arizona Fall League, he underwent surgery, sequestered himself in his childhood bedroom in the Dominican and waited for a phone call that never came.
The Padres had opted not to add Reyes to their 40-man roster, instead leaving him exposed to selection in the Rule 5 draft. That December day, too, passed without incident.
“I know he was pissed off,” Johnson says. “He used it as fuel to spark him.”
Reyes made an impression in the spring of 2018, when newly signed first baseman Eric Hosmer watched the non-roster invitee dominate a batting-practice competition.
“He was just hitting opposite-field home runs on command,” Hosmer says. “You see how big he is, but at the same time, you see how he approaches his at-bats and how advanced of an approach he has. He’s not just trying to hit the ball as far as he can.”
That approach carried into the 2018 season at Triple-A El Paso, where Reyes nonetheless proceeded to rip off moonshot after moonshot. In 36 games, he hit .346/.442/.738 and paced all minor-league hitters with 14 home runs. “It was absurd,” says Rod Barajas, the Padres’ bench coach and former El Paso manager. “If he had stayed there the whole year, we’d be talking about 60 home runs in probably 130 games.”
Their hand forced, the Padres summoned Reyes to San Diego in May. He hit .228/.260/.457 during his first call-up, went back down to El Paso and shortened his swing, especially with two strikes. He returned to Petco Park in July, was optioned again near the end of the month, and then recalled on Aug. 4.
From then until the end of the season, he hit .318/.385/.548 with six doubles and 10 home runs. He reported to spring training in February as an apparent fixture in the lineup. So far this season, he has cemented that status.
Rival scouts, who once doubted Reyes would ever reach this level, now remark on his plate coverage and all-fields approach. “He’s more than just a power hitter,” Padres hitting coach Johnny Washington said. Sunday against Washington’s Stephen Strasburg, Reyes notched a pair of singles to center, raising his average to .248.
According to Statcast, he has been one of the game’s unluckier batters. The same system pegs his average exit velocity at 93 mph, eighth-highest in the majors.
Right field, meanwhile, remains a challenge. But Reyes’ primary weakness is no longer as glaring. According to first-base coach Skip Schumaker, the outfielder routinely arrives at the ballpark ahead of his teammates. He works on conditioning, then on some aspect of his defense.
“There’s no fluff to him,” says Schumaker, the Padres’ outfield instructor. “He always wants to get better.”
“I know it’s not the best,” Reyes says of his right-field play. “It’s not there, where I want it to be. But it’s way better than the two years before.”
Reyes traces his buoyant disposition to Sabana Grande de Palenque, the coastal city where he was raised by Dominga Uribe.
“My mom is so happy,” Reyes says. “She’s a happy woman, and I have seen that from her since I have senses, man. Like we say in the Dominican … what teachers or parents teach you, that has to start from your house. Like, being a good person starts from your house. And if you see a lot of trouble in the family, that’s how the kids are growing up. But I saw, every time, happiness in my house and a lot of laughter from my mom.”
Manuel Margot saw that influence roughly a decade ago, when he and Reyes met on the Dominican tryout scene. The memory draws a grin from the Padres’ center fielder.
“He was always out there yelling, cheering and being excited,” Margot says through an interpreter. “That personality isn’t just showing up now. He was who he is, and he is who he was.”
The emergence of Franmil Reyes, major-leaguer, has had the effect of a bullhorn. A fan favorite as early as his days in Fort Wayne, the mammoth outfielder is fascinating baseball-watchers around the country. He proudly answers to La Moleor “Franimal,” a creation of former Lake Elsinore pitching coach Glendon Rusch. He openly campaigns for inclusion in the Home Run Derby.
Reyes’ high jinks tend to revolve around music. He honed his English by listening to U.S.-based artists. His singing voice can be heard on team flights and bus rides, throughout the clubhouse, on the field, in the dugout. This season, he and rookie pitcher Chris Paddack began leading pregame renditions of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
“It’s terrible,” third baseman Manny Machado says of Reyes’ pitch, “but we love it, though. We love it.”
Last season, Hosmer thought of a lofty comparison for the then-rookie: David Ortiz, the Boston great and likely Hall of Famer. This season, Machado has seen the similarities himself.
With the exception of the 2016 All-Star Game, neither Hosmer nor Machado played alongside Ortiz. But both befriended the bilingual Dominican while facing him in the American League. Both note that Reyes, despite the gap in career achievements, already demonstrates some of the character traits that made Ortiz so beloved, and led so many in the baseball world to express their concern after reports emerged over the weekend that Ortiz had been shot.
“He’s got the style,” Hosmer says of Reyes, “and yeah, his game’s there, but you just see how he affects other people and people are drawn to him, his leadership abilities. That was one thing with Big Papi, hearing about it from guys who have played with him: No matter who you were on the roster, he treated you like the same guy.”
Reyes flits easily between various corners of the clubhouse, conversing in two languages. Teammates have glimpsed a sensitive side to the outfielder, a father of three young daughters.
“If you just go have dinner with him, you’ll realize how genuinely nice and kindhearted he is,” Padres left-hander Matt Strahm says. “He’s one of my all-time favorites that I’ve met in this game.”
More often than not, however, laughter fills the air.
“He’s modern-day Big Papi,” Padres catcher Austin Hedges says.
“He talks to everyone,” Machado says. “There’s a lot of different personalities in here, and he gets along with everyone and can interact with everybody. He brings a lot of life to the ballclub.”
Franmil Reyes (right) long has endeared himself to teammates with his personality. (Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)
Across seven seasons in the American League East, Machado came to view Ortiz as more than an opponent. So did many others of Latin descent, regardless of uniform. The Red Sox star was an older brother, a confidante and a source of advice, particularly for young players. Reyes, according to Machado, exudes a similar steadiness.
“Some days you’re going to be down or you’re not having the best of days,” Machado says, “and he always has a smile on his face and makes the club happy.”
Hosmer and Machado, the Padres’ leading veterans, have encouraged the right fielder to exercise his voice in meetings and other settings. Hosmer has spoken of the need to empower players who were in the organization prior to his and Machado’s arrivals. As the first baseman sees it, they are essential figures in transitioning from a rebuild to playoff contention.
“They tell us, ‘You’re a leader, too, on this team. Know that,’” Reyes says. “It motivates me to come here with a smile and give my best every day and motivate my teammates. Because when your teammates come here down, feeling down, that’s how the others are going to feel.”
Informed of the Ortiz parallels drawn by others, Reyes smiles as widely as ever. “Who wouldn’t like to be Big Papi?” he says. Yet he grew up idolizing another Dominican player, Vladimir Guerrero.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the Hall of Famer’s superstar son, is a close friend. And unlike Ortiz, Guerrero Sr. patrolled right field throughout his career. The designated hitter may come to the National League in the near future, but for an emerging Padres slugger, the thought holds no appeal.
“I really don’t like being a DH, just sitting on the bench,” Reyes says. “I like to move around, you know?”
(Top photo of Franmil Reyes: Denis Poroy / Getty Images)
Where’s the video?
Did it get taken down?
I think so. I’ve clicked a few links and nothing came up.
$19 lower level ticket to see Paddack tomorrow night #blessed
That's like 4 rows off the field there.
Is a 1.011 OPS good? I thought his numbers were only propped up by Miller Park
Such a weak double ejection in the pirates Braves game
NL playing patty cake. Sad!
Gausman talking shit to the Pirates’ 1st base coach while walking back to the dugout
He better keep his mouth shut.
Pirates are gonna claim him when the Braves shitcan him to make room for Keuchel in a week or two.
Now do this year.
Watching the Mets/Yankees game from 5/28/13 bc of the rainout tonight. It had rained earlier and they talked about how the Mets made sure to get the game in bc Harvey starts meant that much to them. Forgot just how big he was in NY for a while.
And this gave me nightmares.
Donaldson being ejected doesn't bother me. But that's it.
your team plays inside of an old circus tent. Take it easy
the Braves insisting on batting Dansby second is confusing to me
his plate approach is just nowhere near good enough to be a top of the order bat
Braves dont have a good #2 hitter candidate. Donaldson seemed good at first but he is really no better than Bae.
That's how the phils mascot copes with losing 1st in the division
13 hrs hit in the dbacks - Phillies game. That's a record