Going Deep: Franmil Reyes Is Coming to The Forest City

Franmil Reyes is heading to The Land! Daniel Port takes a look into how his new home paints his ROS outlook now that he'll be able to DH and get full-time ABs!

Let me set the scene. Last night on July 30th at around 7:30 PST or so I was sitting in a quaint but charming restaurant casually chatting with my significant other over some of the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. Our topic of conversation? How incredibly lame the trade deadline had been so far. Suddenly my phone started lighting up like crazy with message notifications from MLB, from the Twitter, and perhaps most importantly from your Discord Channel (it’s awesome by the way you should totally be a part of if you’re not). We both knew something big must have gone down. Perhaps knowing somewhere deep inside that I wouldn’t be able to sit still until I saw what the news was, my SO gave me a “Go ahead” look (secretly she wanted to know what happened too) and so I unlocked my phone. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My hometown Indians had traded Ace (ish) starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to the Reds in a 3-team trade including the Padres and would be receiving Yasial Puig, Logan Allen, a handful of prospects and FRANMIL REYES. I just about lost my mind right there in the restaurant.  The Indians haven’t had a consistent DH in half a decade and now I get to see The Franimal hit 30+ bombs for The Tribe every single year through 2025? I could hardly contain my excitement. I knew I had to write about what had just happened. Here’s the thing. I’m on vacation out in islands around Seattle up near Canada. This is my view right now.

Here’s the thing. It didn’t matter. Beautiful views and nature be darned, I had to find out what Reyes (and by proxy, his fantasy owners) stood to gain from him getting traded to Cleveland and what it likely held in store for the rest of his season.  A so with the sun in my eyes and a seal taunting me from about forty feet away, let’s start by diving into Reyes’ season so far.

Here are Reyes’ base numbers for the 2019 season as of 7/30:

84 349 .253 27 42 46 0 .347 116 .282

There’s a lot to like there.We looking at 30+ HR power with a stunning .282 ISO and a league-average wOBA and above-average wRC+ all while still maintaining a respectable if not great AVG. One other stat worth noting is that 84 Games Started. While Reyes has played in just shy of 100 games on the season he hasn’t started in nearly as many, especially when you consider the Padres have already played in 107 games so why the discrepancy? Mainly his defense as according to Statcast he has below average Sprint Speed and a godawful Outfield Jump rating which given that he is 6’5″ 275 lbs. isn’t all that surprising? This is a big boy who was born to DH somewhere (more on this in a moment).  Of the 14 games Reyes played in but didn’t start, he accrued exactly one PA in each of those games. If we’re willing to grant the premise that on average a player gets roughly 4 PAs per game than Reyes’ defense (and to some degree San Diego’s outfield crunch) cost him 78 PAs so far this season. He gets those PAs and at the rate he’s been hitting flyballs and HRs and he’d likely have closer to 33 HRs so far this season.  Now he heads to Cleveland where he’ll almost assuredly going to be the everyday DH and he’ll get those PAs. So we’re already seeing better things for Reyes and that’s before we even get into the discrepancy in park factors.  Before we get into that though let’s dip over and look at Reyes’ xStats data.

.253 .274 .535 .554 .352 .376

So just for perspective xStats is saying that Reyes is getting shortchanged pretty much across the board. If you adjust Reyes’ .312 OBP to account for his xBA it gets bumped up to .337. When you add that to his xSLG you’re talking about an xOPS value of .891 which would have him just above Mookie Betts for 28th in the league. In addition that .554 SLG would be good for 15th in the league and a .376 xwOBA would just beat out Luke Voit for 23rd in the league. So not only is he likely heading to a better offense and a better offensive park (and against way worse pitching) but he was also getting unlucky so we might end up seeing some positive regression at some point to go along with it.

Okay so now on to the question on everyone’s mind. How does moving to Cleveland affect Reyes’ ROS numbers? First things first, let’s start with a side by side park factors comparison. Much like last week’s piece on Castellanos I am going to use ESPN’s 2019 park factors as I do think it helps compensate for the new ball and the heightened weather conditions.

Team Runs HR H 2B 3B
Padres .815 .939 .888 .898 .612
Indians .978 1.129 .943 .994 .321

So it’s clear that we’re talking about a park that is better for hitters in nearly every single way outside of triples. Of his 27 HRs, Reyes hit 17 of his HRs at home. If you adjust for the difference in park factors, that would have been 19 HRs if he played all his home games in Progressive Field, which would put his season total at 29 HRs.  The park is also much better for doubles hitters which should help increase Reyes’ value in points leagues. Now let’s take a look at the offense he’s joining versus the one that he is currently leaving. One twist I’m going to throw in here is that I’m going to measure the rankings starting in June. Why? Because the temperature rarely gets above 50 degrees Fahrenheit in Cleveland until then. Pretty much from June onwards through the weathers sits solidly between 75 degrees and 95 degrees. Comparing their full-season numbers won’t get an accurate picture of how the team is going to perform now as opposed to in April and May.

Padres 17th 11th 16th 14th 11th 14th 11th
Indians 13th 10th 12th 4th 5th 8th 6th

So the Indians offense has been better than the Padres in every way imaginable since June 1st. This can only lead to an increase in the frequency at which he puts up the other counting stats especially RBIs. He’s going to be hitting behind Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Oscar Mercado, Jose Ramirez and most likely Yasiel Puig. That’s a ton of potential RBIs out there just waiting to get driven in.

One of the things that has me most excited about Reyes’ new home is his divisional opponents. The NL West is a really tough division with pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, German Marquez, Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, and Madison Baumgarner. In the AL Central, on the other hand, there’s pretty much Matt Boyd, Lucas Giolito, Jose Berrios and every other good pitcher in the division is on Cleveland. Let’s compare the two-division and all their teams.

Diamondbacks 4.29 4.20 4.43 14.4% 14.5%
Dodgers 3.45 3.06 4.17 14.4% 14.2%
Giants 4.36 4.79 3.75 16.6% 12.9%
Rockies 5.45 5.73 5.02 19.9% 14.5%

and here’s the AL Central minus the Indians.

Royals 4.97 5.14 4.70 15.8% 12.5%
Tigers 5.14 5.25 4.99 14.5% 16.5%
Twins 4.03 3.68 4.33 13.6% 13.3%
White Sox 5.06 5.49 4.40 16.2% 14.3%

Good lord that’s ugly. Reyes is heading to a division with significantly worse pitching, especially when it comes to giving up HRs from their starting pitchers.  That’s good news for our Human Launching Pad. There will certainly be plenty of meatballs for him to hack at and given that he’ll now get full time at-bats he might have a real shot at breaking 40 HRs on the season. At the very least he should easily eclipse 35 HRs. I think it seems reasonable for him to break the 80+ mark in Runs and RBIs while also slightly improving on his AVG as it catches up to his xStats. It’s also worth noting that half of Cleveland’s remaining games are at home and 50.0% of thier remaining games are against the AL Central. That level of competition combined with spending a significant amount of time in his shiny new hitter friendly home park could lead to the kind of output that could have a huge impact on your team heading into and during the playoffs.

So how available is Reyes? According to Yahoo, he is currently available in 52.0% of leagues while in ESPN he’s rostered in just 33.9% of leagues! CBS sits at the high mark at 72.0% but it’s clear he’s available in a ton of leagues and if you just lost Ramon Laureano or are hurting in HRs in general I cannot recommend enough that you pretty much sprint to the waiver wire and pick. It’s not every day that a massive power hitter gets every day at bats in one of the best offenses in baseball with a major upgrade in park and he stays this available for long. Get in on this while you can and watch your HR numbers explode down the stretch and throughout the playoffs.

(Photo by Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire)

Daniel Port

Daniel is a Fantasy Baseball writer, Brewer, and Theatrical Technician, located in Denver, Colorado. A lifelong fan of baseball and the Cleveland Indians since before Albert Belle tried to murder Fernando Vina, he used to tell his Mom he loved her using Sammy Sosa's home run salute, has a perfectly reasonable amount of love for Joey Votto and believes everything in life should be announced using bat flips. If you want to talk baseball, beer, or really anything at all you can find him on twitter at @DanielJPort !

4 responses to “Going Deep: Franmil Reyes Is Coming to The Forest City”

  1. Nels J says:

    Yes, we’re going to miss Franmil here in San Diego, but the big man has some growing to do as a hitter. I dug into his stats the other day, so these are a couple of days old. But in his first 287 ABs in which he did not hit a home run, he had 10 RBIs. He looks like he has no confidence with RISP when he is behind in the count. He is young. I would rather have him on my team than not. But so far he is a one category player and below league average in the others unless you are in a really deep league.

  2. al says:

    Would you rather have Big Franny or AJ Pollock ROS?

  3. Dave says:

    “The temperature rarely gets above 50 degrees Fahrenheit in Cleveland until then” (June). Was that suppose to be a joke? If not, shame on you for painting such a gloomy picture of Cleveland. According to AccuWeather, on May 1st the historical average high temperature is 63 degrees and it gradually rises until it reaches 73 degrees on May 31st. The high on May 1st this year was 84 degrees and every day in May this year had a high of at least 50 degrees with several days in the 80s (including 89 degrees on May 25th). Even in April, the average high temperature ranges from 52 degrees on April 1st, to 63 degrees on April 30th. If it was suppose to be a joke, please forgive my rant (although I’m sure many readers not familiar with Cleveland will not recognize it as humor).

  4. Orange WHIPs says:

    I don’t think the Indians are one of the best offenses in baseball. They’re 20th in Runs and 18th in wOBA.

    The Indians also face the Twins a ton down the stretch, who have thus far a top-8 pitching.

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