Name: Bryan Reynolds
Born: Baltimore, Maryland
Age: 21 (1/27/1995)
Height/Weight: 6'2"/210 lbs
School: Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tennessee)
Bryan Reynolds was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but grew up in Tennessee. Playing at Brentwood High, the switch-hitter rubbed elbows with many of the top players in the upcoming draft. In fact, Reynolds is one of many top prospects, along with Nick Senzel, Will Craig, Jordan Sheffield, and Dakota Hudson, to have grown up in Tennessee. "It's been a great class for Tennessee, the graduating class of 2013," Craig said. "Our class was probably one of the strongest classes in Tennessee history."
Reynolds was offered a handful of athletic scholarships as a high school junior and senior, but went undrafted in the 2013 draft due to surgery on his right shoulder and unrealistic expectations he set for himself that dragged his overall game down. He accepted Vanderbilt's offer, citing his appreciation of the coaches and how hard the players there play.
Putting less pressure on himself, Reynolds hit .338/.395/.480 in his first season with the Commodores, and was able to hoist the NCAA Championship Trophy over his head. Along with teammates Carson Fulmer and Dansby Swanson, the switch-hitter played for the USA Baseball Collegiate Team. When he returned to Vanderbilt for the 2015 season, Reynolds experienced something of a sophomore slump. Though his numbers for the season were more or less in line with how he performed in 2014, Reynolds went through a rough six-week, 23-game slump in the middle of the season that saw him hit .194. He pulled himself out of it near the end of the season, however, delivering in the SEC Tournament and the rest of the postseason.
As is often the case, Reynolds figured something out during a brief sabbatical he took during the summer of 2015, when he played with the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Baseball League. In 21 games, he hit .346/.470/.395. While he did not demonstrate his power potential, Reynolds was able to hone his eye at the plate. When he returned to Vanderbilt for the 2016 season, he put all of his tools together and had a season with some helium, hitting .330/.460/.614 during the regular season.
|NCAA Div I (SEC)
|NCAA Div I (SEC)
|NCAA Div I (SEC)
What The Scouts Think
Reynolds is one of the more complete position players in this year's draft. According to his coach, Tim Corbin, Reynolds is a "very talented young man who possesses multiple skills sets. Bryan [can] virtually play any position on the field but has transformed himself into an accomplished center fielder." Corbin continued, "He can impact the game from an offensive and defensive standpoint. In the short amount of time that he has been at Vanderbilt, he has developed as much as anyone as a player. He certainly has ‘special player' abilities."
At the plate, Reynolds has a smooth swing from both sides, but has a noticeable hole in his swing from the left side. He starts out with a relatively closed stance, takes a step in, and then loads his hands, limiting his coverage of the lower inside corner of the plate. Reynolds has had problems covering that quadrant throughout his career, tending to either swing over pitches or weakly ground out.
Reynolds has quick hands, and uses them to generate excellent bat speed. When he centers his bat path and is able to squarely put the barrel on the ball, he generates plus power—power that some scouts project to be enough to produce 15 to 20 home runs a year some day. Reynolds takes a gap-to-gap approach to hitting, spraying the ball to all fields. The switch hitter also has a well-developed pitch recognition mechanism, allowing him to be a disciplined hitter. Over the course of his college career, he maintained a roughly 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and in 2016, upped that to roughly a 1:1 ratio, with 56 strikeouts and 46 walks.
Defensively, Reynolds plays a smooth center field, a position at which he is likely to begin his pro career. He does not have plus speed, but he takes good routes and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Some scouts see him eventually adding additional mass to his frame and being unable to stay at the position.
Reynolds's arm is generally seen as fringe-average-to-average, and as such, if he has to shift to a corner outfield position, left field is a more likely destination than right. Despite average speed at best, and the possibility of becoming a bit slower, Reynolds has shown an aptitude for stealing bases, as he reads the ball well and is good at reading situations.