If I had told you a year ago that Cleveland would be cutting Franmil Reyes in August, you would have called me insane. Reyes posted an .846 OPS with 30 home runs in 2021, but the Opening Day cleanup hitter for the Guardians was designated for assignment over the weekend:
The Guardians have designated Franmil Reyes for assignment.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) August 6, 2022
There were signs that Reyes could be due for some regression. For starters, he struck out at a 32% rate in 2021 and has never been a strong defender. This year, Franmil Reyes has been striking out at an unsightly 37% rate while only walking at a 5% rate. This has led to a 72 OPS+ compared to a 128 OPS+ in 2021.
2022 is the first year Reyes has dipped below a 100 OPS+, which is considered league average. As a DH, Reyes frankly hasn’t done anything well this year. However, we saw the Braves turn around Jorge Soler after picking him up at the trade deadline in 2021. Could the Braves unlock Reyes’ swing like they did with Soler and tap into his raw power?
For his career, Reyes has an .820 OPS against left-handed pitching. With as abysmal as Marcell Ozuna has been against left-handed pitching, Reyes could be a good platoon option at DH. In 2021, he crushed righties to the tune of an .832 OPS and lefties with an .876 OPS. If the Braves can turn Reyes into 2022’s version of Jorge Soler by redefining his approach, it could go a long way in adding some juice to a lineup that has been underwhelming recently.
Photographer: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire