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MVBrewers Honorable Mention: Mark Reynolds

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He was calm like a bomb

Hannah Foslien

When Mark Reynolds hit his first home run of the 2014 season, he didn't smile and simply shook Ed Sedar's hand.  This earned him the nickname "Grumpy" in the clubhouse, which even Ron Roenicke used.  It was all fun and games when Reynolds led the club with twelve home runs on May 30th.  Reynolds was signed for dingers, and he was delivering.

The environment surrounding Reynolds was decidedly less jovial (some might say downright grumpy) at the end of the season.  After May 30th, Reynolds hit just ten more home runs.  Nor did he show any other signs of power, hitting just six doubles during that time.  Indeed, while Reynolds' first two months concluded with a contractually passable .207/.281/.445, he slashed just .187/.291/.355 in the final four months.  As is Reynolds' nature, he struck out  in nearly 30% of his at bats during that span.  By the end of August, Reynolds found himself a bit player mostly coming off the bench.

Yet all things considered, Reynolds 2014 performance was a very good return for a guy being paid just $2 million.

According to Fangraphs, Reynolds was worth 1.6 WAR this season despite his offensive struggles in the second half.  Surprisingly, much of this positive value sprung from Reynolds' defense.  For the first time in his carer, UZR identifies Reynolds as a defensive asset at every position he played, primarily 1B and 3B.  This was a welcome change for a Brewers team not known for defense at the corner positions in recent years.  Jeff Sullivan labels Reynolds his second-most-improved defender, although he can't explain it (his paragraph on Reynolds begins with, "Look, I don't know.").  Reynolds certainly passed the eye test, though, with defensive gems like these:

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Let's just forget that time he couldn't remember how many outs there were.

Best Game

By WPA, Reynolds best game came against the Yankees on May 11, going 2-5 with an RBI.  But let's face it, you came here to watch the big blasts, and we've got them.  It's all here, grand slams, second-deckers, and leaping grabs by elderly Cubs fans.  This right here is almost a better binge than Breaking Bad:

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Contract Status

Mark Reynolds was on a one-year deal with the team.  He's a free agent this offseason.