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Over/Under 2021 Preview: Franmil Reyes

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Will Franmil Reyes be worth more or less than 0.9 fWAR in 2021?

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Based on ZiPS projections, Franmil Reyes is expected to finish 2021 with the following stats:

574 PA, 32 HR, 0 SB, 9.1 BB%, 30.8 K%, .257/.324/.488, 106 wRC+, 0.9 fWAR

Read what our writers think, then vote in the poll below and drop your own opinions in the comments and on the Let’s Go Tribe Discord.

Blake Ruane’s Prediction: OVER

ZiPS is not a fan of Franmil Reyes, that much is clear. Not only does the system doubt that Reyes will record the first stolen base of his career in 2021, but its projections for the Cleveland designated hitter are lower than every other prognosticator in nearly every statistical category.

I’ve been on the “Franimal” bandwagon since he was acquired from San Diego, even after he looked lost at the plate in his first 20 or so games in Cleveland. The slugger seemed much more comfortable last season, producing a .275/.344/.450 slash line that was much more in line with his rookie season production in 2018. He delivered an August to remember by crushing seven home runs and finishing the month with a .954 OPS. Reyes even managed to post a career-high 10% walk rate in 2020, which helped compensate for a career-worst .175 ISO.

There is no question Reyes can smoke the ball. His average exit velocity last season was 92.4 mph, good enough to rank in the top 9% of the league. He just needs to be more disciplined at the plate to make effective — and most importantly, consistent — use of that power. Look no further than his 51% groundball rate from a year ago. He strikes out at an astronomical rate (28.6% in 2020) and I can live with that, but a man who can blister the baseball like Reyes should not be hitting groundballs half the time he puts the ball in play.

It should come as no surprise that his average launch angle and hard-hit percentage both cratered during his September slump last year. If he can learn to lay off a few high fastballs and get more lift under the ball, Reyes will be a middle-of-the-lineup monster for Cleveland.

ZiPS does not see that happening. It expects him to mash 32 dingers but walk less, strike out more, and post a sub-.500 SLG. I think it’s a mistake to assume he is a finished product at this point. With this being his fourth season in the big leagues, I am inclined to believe he can progress enough as a hitter to easily eclipse 0.9 fWAR on the year, especially when you consider that would be a career-low outside of last year’s abbreviated season.

Because we must have Franmil dingers. We must all have Franmil dingers forthwith.

(I’m also not ruling out a stolen base.)

Poll

Will Franmil Reyes finish 2021 with an fWAR over or under 0.9?

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    Over
    (178 votes)
  • 8%
    Under
    (17 votes)
195 votes total Vote Now