PABLO REYES, SECOND BASEMAN
|Born: September 5, 1993
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2012, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Reyes signed at age 18 and has shown some potential with the bat. He started off as a shortstop, but his defense there wasn’t strong, mainly because he lacks the arm for the position. He became a full-time second baseman for a while in the minors and has good range for the position. When he got to the upper minors he moved into a utility role. His speed is good.
Reyes played short regularly and had a good debut with the bat, showing gap power and rarely striking out. He also showed some speed.
Despite his good debut season, the Pirates sent Reyes back to the DSL for a second season. He improved a little at the plate. He split his time between short and second, possibly due to the presence of a prospect — Johan De Jesus — who got a larger bonus.
The Pirates finally brought Reyes to the US and, with him being 20, they moved him up to Bristol. He was the team’s most frequent second baseman but also saw a little time at short. He hit respectably, with very good plate discipline. He struggled against LHPs for some reason, posting only a .575 OPS against them.
Reyes was the regular at second for West Virginia and had a promising season, showing surprising power and good plate discipline. He finished the season strongly, with a line of 343/461/586 in August and September, although he played in only 21 games during those months. He had a slight reverse platoon split. Reyes also stole a lot of bases with a decent success rate of 73%.
With Bradenton’s crowded infield situation, Reyes was the odd man out. He spent the season as a utility player, mostly playing second and short, but also starting five games in center and playing a few innings at third. He started off well, slumped in June and July (missing some time in June), then was the team’s best hitter in August. His OPS month-by-month:
He showed very good plate discipline and good gap power, especially considering the bad hitting environment. He had no L/R or home/road platoon split. He has good range at second and had almost exactly the same fielding percentage as Kevin Kramer.
Reyes was eligible for the Rule 5 draft, but wasn’t selected. He went to Altoona and had a good year, finishing strongly. He played mainly center early in the season, but after Kevin Kramer got hurt he became the starter at second for the rest of the season. He played very well defensively, with only three errors in 71 games at second and very good range.
The Pirates sent Reyes back to Altoona to start the season, but promoted him to Indianapolis in mid-April. He served in a utility role there, playing mostly left, third, and center, with nine starts each at short and second. Reyes didn’t hit especially well in the first half of the season and had an OPS of .694 prior to the league’s all-star break. In the second half, though, he put up an .874 OPS, with surprising power as shown by a .528 slugging average. His plate discipline did decline from what it had been at lower levels. On September 1, the Pirates added Reyes to the 40-man roster and called him up rather than Max Moroff. He didn’t play much at first, but when he got chances he hit well and he played more or less regularly over the season’s final two weeks. He saw most of his time in the outfield, largely because of the injury to Gregory Polanco.
Reyes struggled to follow up on his late-season 2018 success. He opened the season in a utility role with the Pirates, but had a terrible time at the plate. By early May he was batting 128/190/128 and the Pirates sent him to AAA. He struggled initially there, too, putting up a .645 OPS in May. It’s possible he got home happy, as his K rate was way up through the first two months. He got hot in June, though, although he missed half the month with an injury. He had an OPS of 1.127 in June and 1.035 in July, and the Pirates called him back up. He didn’t hit well in August, but had a .746 OPS in September. In the majors, Reyes spent nearly all his time in the outfield, including four starts in center. He played fewer than 50 innings in the infield, mostly at second.
Reyes is probably a good enough hitter to make a useful utility player, but the Pirates have had an unfortunate tendency to use Reyes and other utility infielders in the outfield frequently. Reyes doesn’t hit well enough to play there much. Hopefully, that tendency will end with Clint Hurdle gone. Reyes has two options left, so he gives the Pirates some flexibility.
|2019: Major League Minimum|
|Signing Bonus: $90,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: 9/4/2018
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2024
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 9/1/2018
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2019)
MLB Service Time: 0.030
|April 5, 2012: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.
September 1, 2018: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.