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What to expect from Pablo Reyes

Another defensively reliable super-utility player 

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at San Diego Padres Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Pablo Reyes moved up to the big leagues from the alternate site last night, replacing the optioned Corey Ray, who made a hometown MLB debut in Chicago just this Saturday.

Reyes got the start at 3B for his Milwaukee Brewers debut on Monday. It will probably be a typical start for him. He’ll offer relief to fatigued starters and will likely make appearances in right-handed heavy lineups when the Brewers face a LHP.

At one point, prospect projections had Pablo Reyes as the Pirates’ everyday shortstop. When his development plateaued, he reinvented himself as a swiss army knife super-utility fielder. At the professional level, he’s spent time in both middle infield positions, third base, and has played all over the outfield. His tools are average to just above average. Still, he can reliably hold it down just about anywhere behind the pitcher’s mound, which provides tremendous value to the currently (and already) injury-addled Brewers.

It’s hard to know what to expect from Pablo Reyes at the plate. He has been offensively inconsistent at the major league level but has only had 220 plate appearances. Across those appearances, he’s slashed .229/.295/.368 with a wRC+ of 77.

The Pirates had high hopes for Reyes in his debut season in 2018. Across a limited 63 plate appearances, he slashed .293/.349/.483 with a wRC+ of 126. His offensive production tanked with a larger sample size in 2019 when he slashed .203/.274/.322 with a wRC+ of just 57 across 157 plate appearances. His production in 2018 is a bit of an outlier, but it’s closer to his time in the minors and Dominican Leagues when Reyes slashed .268/.342/.401 and occasionally hit for power. Reyes did not play in 2020 after a PED suspension. He’s squarely a pull hitter for power but can hit to all fields to get on base.

At worst, Reyes won’t hit a bit, and he’ll still provide value as a reliable and versatile defensive presence off the bench. At best, he’ll get on base at a similar clip to Kolten Wong and hit a few home runs while providing relief to weary or banged-up starters anywhere in the field.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs