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Mark Andrew Reynolds (born August 3, 1983, in Pikeville, Kentuckymarker) is a third baseman/first baseman in Major League Baseball who plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is nicknamed "The Sheriff".

He is 6' 1" and weighs 220 pounds. He is known both for his power-hitting abilities and for his record-breaking strike out totals. He will occasionally make a sensational play including diving into the stands.

Playing career

Reynolds attended First Colonial High School in Virginia Beachmarker, Virginiamarker, and the University of Virginiamarker, playing primarily shortstop. Reynolds was drafted in the 16th round (476th overall) of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft.

2007 season

Reynolds made his major league debut on May 16, , against the Colorado Rockies. He had been called up from Double-A Mobile when Chad Tracy was placed on the disabled list. Reynolds made an instant impact with the Diamondbacks, driving in 14 runs in his first 15 MLB games.

Reynolds was the latest of a number of players from the Tidewater, Virginia region to make it to the major leagues in recent years, a list that includes David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, B.J. Upton, Justin Upton, and Michael Cuddyer.

Reynolds ended the season 3rd among NL rookies in strikeouts (129), 4th in runs (62), tied for 4th in triples (4), and tied for 6th in home runs (17). He also drove in 62 runs and had a .279 batting average.

On October 3, 2007, when Arizona faced the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Division series, Reynolds' seventh inning home run off of Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol led the Diamondbacks to a 3-1 victory.

2008 season

On September 25, he set a major league record by striking out for the 200th time in one season when he failed to check his swing against St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joel Pineiro. He broke the record of 199 set in by Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. Reynolds ultimately finished the season striking out 204 times. He also led the majors in strikeout percentage, with 33.3%.[491754]

Reynolds made the most errors (34) and had the lowest fielding percentage (.904) of all major league third basemen.

He did have a good offensive year, leading the Diamondbacks in home runs (28) and RBIs (97) to go along with 11 stolen bases and 87 runs scored. His batting average saw a significant dip from his rookie campaign, however, ending with a .239 clip.

2009 season

He was also named one of the five finalists for the National League Final Vote for the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Former republican presidential-nominee John McCain formally announced his endorsement for Reynolds as the NL Final Vote winner. However, he finished third behind Shane Victorino and Pablo Sandoval.

On July 28, 2009, Reynolds hit a two-run home run off of Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge landing at 481 feet, making it the longest home run of the 2009 season, and the second longest home run in the history of Chase Fieldmarker. Reynolds quickly became recognized for hitting towering home runs (25 of his 36 home runs being over 400 feet), averaging his home runs at 430 feet (longest in baseball).

In the Diamondbacks' four game series against the Mets on July 29-August 3, Reynolds managed to hit the longest home run in the short history of Citi Fieldmarker, at 461 feet, as well as capped off the series finale with home runs in consecutive innings (first and second). His 4 home runs at Citi Field rank him 2nd all time in home runs hit at the park by a visiting player.

His offensive stats have helped Reynolds be considered in the race for the NL MVP Award along with Albert Pujols.

On August 10, Reynolds was named the NL Player of the Week for the week ending August 9, beating out teammate Ryan Roberts (who finished second) in voting for the honor. Reynolds finished the week hitting .448 with 6 home runs, 32 total bases, 10 RBIs, 1 stolen base, a .515 on base percentage, and a slugging percentage of 1.103. This has been Reynolds's second NL Player of the Week award (the other being earlier this season for the week ending June 14). As tradition with the Player of the Week award, Reynolds has received two wrist watches (one for each week), one of which he gave to his father, and the other of which he gave to his grandfather.

Reynolds played at first base for 26 games, where he has a .974 fielding percentage, the second-highest in the league of players with 125 or more innings at first base, and a 8.21 range factor, the best in the league. Reynolds helped improve his defensive skills by working with former DBack Matt Williams during Spring Training, work that has raised his fielding percentage by over 50 points from the previous season. He has also made headlines for several notable catches including July 21 in Colorado , July 24 in Arizona , and August 1 in New York.

He broke his own major league record for strikeouts in a season in 2009, with 223. He also hit .260, hitting 44 home runs, driving in 102 runs, and scoring 98 runs.

References

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. [6]
  7. [7]
  8. [8]
  9. [9]
  10. [10]
  11. [11]
  12. "MLB Player Batting Stats - 2009," ESPN, accessed October 8, 2009


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