Mark Reynolds had a career season in 2009, hitting 44 home runs while hitting a respectable .260. His on base percentage was .349, and while most fans thought his numbers were an aberration, no one expected such a nosedive in 2010.
As of this morning, Reynolds was hitting .213 on the season, and while he has hit 26 home runs, there have also been an abundance of strikeouts (165 over 112 games, which is an average of 1.47 K's per game).
His career path is alarming. Before the season began, ESPN the Magazine ran a feature article on Reynolds. One of his quotes was "swing as hard as you can," implying that as long as he got the home runs, the numbers would follow.
Josh Byrnes, the former Arizona GM, had this to say: "If we strike out a lot, we don't think it's a good thing. But we don't think strikeouts are a fatal flaw, either."
In terms of career path, I'm troubled by Reynolds. Last season, he was easily one of my favorite players, someone you could cheer for and always be impressed by his hustle and determination.
In 2010, however, he reminds me of a former Diamondback who quickly outstayed his welcome in most cities, playing for seven MLB teams over the course of 11 seasons.
Who is this mystery player? Tony Batista.
Perhaps better known for his wide batting stance (watch this video, it's funny), Batista hit 221 home runs over 11 seasons. His career average of .251 is nothing to scoff at, but his .299 career OBP over 4568 AB's is a terrifying statistic.
Batista used to hit meaningless solo home runs for a living. Despite having 221 home runs and 226 doubles over his career, Batista only managed 718 RBI, which is truly abysmal.
Will Mark Reynolds go down this path of darkness? Only time will tell. But Reynolds must place an impetus on raising his batting average and swinging for the outfield grass, rather than just trying to hit the HD scoreboard in center field.