Franmil Reyes Deep Dive: What Should We Expect?
This is an exciting time for Franmil Reyes truthers. Reyes has finally been freed from that mess in San Diego when he was traded to the Cleveland Indians. He was one of the biggest winners of this deal. Reyes went from a part-time player to having what appears to be a full-time spot in a solid lineup. This is a very exciting change for Reyes and with a full-time role, it is time to see what type of player he truly is or can be. Will he flourish or could he possibly be exploited?
That has yet to be determined. But I am going to take a deeper look to see what type of player he can be and what we can expect with this newfound opportunity.
Franmil Reyes Deep Dive
This season has been interesting, to say the least. Franmil Reyes has mostly been a part-time player up until roughly the final month prior to getting traded. The 24-year-old has still managed 27 home runs with a triple slash of .241/.297/.503. Sure, you’d prefer the BA and OBP to be higher, but they are hurt a tad by the .254 BABIP. This is the lowest BA, OBP, and BABIP he’s had since 2013. This was in low A Ball just for reference.
What is also surprising is how he has managed only 48 RBI when he has all those home runs. Alright, alright, enough with the basics, let’s move onto the fun stuff.
The first thing I notice is the WRC+ of 103. This is basically league average. That’s not bad considering some the stats we just discussed. The walk rate of 7.8% and K-rate of 26.8% are basically in line with 2018.
Batted Ball Data
Well, here are some nice developments. Franmil Reyes has increased his fly ball rate (or FB%) from 29.8% in 2018 to 35.9% in 2019. This coincides with the drop in ground ball rate (or GB%). In 2018, the GB% was 49.2% and it now sits at 43% even. These are the type of changes you love to see in a power hitters profile.
Reyes has also begun to pull the ball more as he has raised his pull% by 5.1 percentage points. It currently sits at 37.8%. More fly balls, plus big-time power, equals big-time home run potential. This is exactly what he’s offered up to this point. It’s definitely nice to see it in the profile.
Unfortunately, not everything is looking as promising in the plate discipline. Reyes appears to have taken a step backward in his plate approach.
He has become more aggressive. This isn’t always a bad thing for a hitter, but for Reyes, it unfortunately has been. It’s actually a surprise his K-rate has not increased on the season as his swinging strike rate (or SwStr) has shot up from 14% in 2018 to 18.1% this season.
This is due partially to chasing more pitches this year. Reyes is actually swinging at more pitches outside as well as pitches inside the zone. He is swinging more all-around while dropping contact rates on pitches outside and inside the zone. This would definitely explain the added swing and miss to his game on the year.
As you can see, Franmil Reyes has had issues with offspeed and breaking ball offerings this season. This appears to be in part due to some bad luck as a whole on pitches this year. Reyes’s expected BA (or xBA) is higher than his actual batting average on every pitch type.
There are also notable issues with pitches low and away.
As you can see, opposing pitchers attack him low and away. Unfortunately for Reyes, the results suggest it won’t stop anytime soon.
His highest whiff rate, as well as k-rate, come from that zone.
Not to mention, the launch angle is -7 low and away. That is absolutely terrible and it would definitely explain part of the reasoning behind throwing him there. Not to mention the ground ball rate that comes from that zone.
Inducing ground balls is always a plus for a pitcher and if you’re going to do it, you need to aim low in the zone for Reyes. Not only is inducing ground balls part of the plan but if you can induce soft contact as well you’re in business.
Well, they’re able to induce that soft contact. Low and away has the lowest exit velocity of any zone. It is okay to have a weakness, but it’s on Reyes to adapt to this, show some patience and make pitchers give him pitches where he can do some damage.
Well, well, well, what do we have here?
Franmil Reyes is in the 96th percentile in exit velocity, 92nd percentile in hard-hit rate, 92nd percentile in xSLG (or expected slugging percentage) and 83rd percentile for xwOBA. These metrics are absolutely amazing. We always knew the power was real but it’s nice to see it in the numbers as well.
The overall numbers suggest he’s slightly under-producing and maybe Reyes is due for positive regression. The BA of .241 is 22 points lower than the xBA of .263 he currently holds. This would lineup up with the BABIP woes of earlier. If the BABIP improves as it should, this would help towards the correction in BA.
The SLG of 503 is already really good, yet he’s actually expected to have a higher one. The xSLG is 25 points higher at .528.
Not only are the BA and SLG coming up short so far, but so is the wOBA. His wOBA sitting at .332 is 31 points lower than his xwOBA of .363. There just appears to be positive regression at every turn for Franmil Reyes.
Another couple of notable stats are his hard-hit rate and launch angle. The hard-hit rate is in line with last year and is still among the top 8% of the league. There’s a tangible change in Reyes’s launch angle, however.
It has increased from 6.8 degrees in 2018 to 9.8 degrees in 2019. This would likely explain the increase in FB% and decrease in GB%.
Lastly, it is worth noting he is in the top 8% of the league in barrel rate. This currently sits at 13.9% and has improved from last year as well. The quality of contact likely makes up for the increased swing and miss we’ve seen he’s added to his profile this season.
Franmil Reyes stock is now on the rise. He is in a weak division on one of the two good teams so he should be able to take advantage of the pitching within the division. He has also fallen into a full-time opportunity. No more is playing the platoon game should allow him to flourish and actually gain momentum once he gets rolling. Due to the slow start he’s had in Cleveland, he may be available in your league. If that’s the case, and you’re in need of power down the stretch I’d scoop him up and ride him out.
I believe he has a Khris Davis type of upside as far as power goes but actually offers a .250-.260 upside in batting average. Too late to buy low as it’s likely past your trade deadline but he’s definitely someone I’d like to add if available and someone I’m monitoring for the remainder of the season. Reyes could be a sleeper again or a breakout candidate entering next season.