Raise your hand if you were jumping for joy when we signed Garrett Atkins last year.
Ok. No one.
Now raise your hand if you were jumping for joy when we traded for Mark Reynolds.
Hmm. No one. Well this guy. Most of you were just nodding your heads slightly in approval. A tempered optimism. How could you have more than that? All you heard for the next 5 months was “200 strike outs” and “strike out king” (whoops, we were guilty of that one too).
So Mark is struggling and there are plenty of theories why. A new league. Lingering affects from injury last year. An overhaul in approach to appease the strikeout cry babies. The reason doesn’t matter. He’s struggling.
Now here are the reasons he and Garrett Atkins are not the same:
Garrett Atkins was signed as a free agent at 30 years old.
Garrett Atkins was never a big home run guy. His best year was 29 HR’s. Mark, is a home run guy. He’s an Adam Dunn type. Swing your balls off and hit it a fucking mile. Mark, with injuries and missed time last year, still hit 32 HR’s. His best was 44. That’s big power. So complaining about strikeouts and average is kind of like complaining to a shark when it eats your stupid ass for swimming on his turf. It’s the nature of the beast. Garrett Atkins was a solid offensive player, in his prime. He got on base, he hit for some power, BUT NOT A BIG HOME RUN GUY. Besides Mark has 3 already this year in 10 less plate appearances that Atkins ended with and he only had 1. Atkins was also pretty clearly a product of Coors Field, like so many before him. Atkins sported a .875 OPS at home vs. a .728 away. Atkins was coming off a full year where he OPS’d a .650 (64 OPS+ ?!?!?!), at Coors fucking Field. That followed a 2008 where he put up a .780 (96 OPS+). Atkins trends were alarming, especially for someone who really only had one good season and another decent one in his career. Garret Atkins was clearly a fluke one hit wonder in 2006 with some scary downward trends while entering his 30s. It was a recipe for disaster and pretty much everyone saw it coming. Mark Reynolds had a down year last year, but his bad year was still a .753 OPS (98 OPS+). Reynolds was actually a decent hitter for most of last season too. He has admitted that he stupidly tried to play through a hand injury in September/Oct and during that month he put up a .291 OPS in 18 games, destroying his end of season numbers. He was one year removed from a year in which he went .892 (127 OPS+) and received MVP votes. In fact, his OPS for his first 4 seasons had been .843, .779, .892, .753. He had nothing even resembling the trend Atkins had before he came to Baltimore.
Mark’s defense had been trending upwards and he had posted a positive UZR/150 for the first time in his young career.
This is all just the icing on the proverbial cake. The obvious answer as to why Mark Reynolds is not Garrett Atkins: Reynolds is 27, and he was brought here to play a totally different fucking position.
Ok. We’ve made our peace. Proceed spreading misinformation out of frustration, tired, beleaguered Orioles fan base.