Mark Reynolds: NL Home Run Champion?
Mark Reynolds is closing the gap between him and Albert Pujols in the NL home run race.
Reynolds has hit 11 homers and drove in 17 runs since the All Star break. Meanwhile Pujols has hit only four homers and driven in 13 runs since the break.
Pujols has a slim one home run lead over Reynolds as of today with 36 to the 35 of Reynolds. It is amazing that Reynolds is this close to Pujols when looking at their strikeout totals.
Reynolds has struck out 151 times this season while Pujols has struck out only 44 times. Reynolds is only one home run behind Pujols despite Pujols making contact more often because he strikes out less.
Both players have hit well for average in August with Reynolds hitting .419 and Pujols hitting .400 for the month.
Reynolds has hit 10 homers in his last 12 games while Pujols has hit two homers in his last 18 games.
When looking at the year to year statistics of Reynolds it is easy to see that he is making a dramatic improvement in his power numbers.
He hit 17 homers in only 366 at bats in 2007. Then in 2008 he hit 28 homers in 539 at bats. This season he has hit 35 homers in 130 less at bats than last season and an improvement of seven homers over last season.
ESPN.com projects Reynolds to hit 52 homers this season and strike out 222 times. He already holds the single season strikeout record of 204 set last season. He is the only player in major league history to strikeout more than 200 times in a season.
It is taking him less at bats to hit homers each season. In 2007 he hit a HR every 21.5 at bats, in 2008 he hit a HR every 19.3 at bats but has drastically improved that number this season with a HR every 11.7 at bats.
Even his baserunning has improved with each season. He didn’t steal a base in 111 games in 2007, stole 11 in 152 games in 2008 and has 20 stolen bases in 108 games this season. He only needs 10 more stolen bases to join the 30-30 club.
He may even be the only player in the majors to have a 30-30 season since the next closest player Ian Kinsler with 23 homers and 22 stolen bases is on the disabled list.
Reynolds has a chance of leading the majors in homers and strikeouts in 2009.
His name isn’t mentioned that much in the media considering the season he is having but if he is major league home run champion at the end of the season his name will be mentioned often during the offseason.