As I have said time and time again, my favorite thing about fantasy baseball is how much fun it can be. Some players can provide their owners with a great deal of joy. Imagine the giddiness fantasy baseball owners experienced watching Barry Bonds crush his way through the Senior Circuit in 2001 (I was one of the lucky ones that year).
In contrast, some players can be truly frustrating to some fantasy owners. For several years now, it has been said that Mark Reynolds is one of the most difficult players to own in all of fantasy baseball. His propensity to strike out in bunches and hit for a low batting average (let’s face it, often a REALLY low batting average) can make him the type of player fantasy owners tend to avoid like the plague.
I respectfully disagree, however. For me, it’s players like Mark Reynolds that make baseball (and in particular, fantasy baseball) so darn much fun.
One of my favorite players of all time was Rob Deer. For the most part, Deer would either take a walk, strike out or hit a home run (and swing really,really hard in the process). In one memorable 1992 game in the old Metrodome in Minneapolis, Deer hit the roof of the stadium on a foul pop-up. No one had ever done that before. Not to let up, Deer promptly hit the roof with another foul pop-up in the very next at-bat. Some of his statistical accomplishments were truly mid-boggling. That is, until Reynolds came along and stole his thunder.
Rob Deer once held the honour (???) of having only 4 more points on his batting average (.179) than strikeouts (175) in a single season (1991 with the Detroit Tigers). I always thought this was so amusing simply because of how difficult it would be to accomplish. Of course, in 2010 Reynolds hit .198 with a staggering total of 211 strikeouts to shatter Deer’s accomplishment. Too much!
While some observers may feel that stats like these make a baseball player undesirable, I think they make a baseball player more likable. Okay, a .198 batting average is going to really hurt your fantasy team, but keep in mind that Reynolds has hit 44 and 32 home runs over the last 2 seasons as well. In addition, he throws in a nice bit of speed as displayed in 2009 with 24 stolen bases.
Also, Reynolds is very streaky and can be prone to periods of power outages where he simply doesn’t hit anything. A good example of this was the first month and a half of 2011 where he hit 3 home runs. However, he is heating up big time into June 2011 having crushed 9 since mid-May.
Third base is a very shallow position this fantasy baseball season. Having a character like Reynolds manning the hot corner for your fantasy team not only fills a hole at the position, it can make for some pretty amusing moments as well. After all, having fun is what it’s all about, right?
Do you like Reynolds? Hate him? Do you have another favorite fantasy baseball player (past or present) due to their ability to amuse and amaze? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the "comments" section below.