Colorado Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds wasn’t selected in most ESPN live drafts this season because the offseason signing of Ian Desmond supposedly spelled doom for his playing time. Also, he’s Mark Reynolds. He hasn’t been a valuable fantasy option since 2009. Reynolds has made a successful career out of hitting home runs, but he’s rarely helped anyone in batting average and, at the age of 33, he seemed destined for another year of mostly bench work. Reynolds had hit 27 home runs combined during the 2015-16 seasons, each with fewer than 400 at-bats.
Fast-forward to this weekend, when Reynolds bashed his 29th home run in Los Angeles against the sputtering Dodgers, an eighth-inning grand slam to trigger an eventual 8-1 win. For those who took the chance on this bench player who has rarely seen the bench, it’s been a huge success story. Reynolds is hitting .270, well above his career mark, and Desmond never did usurp his playing time. The thin air of Coors Field has certainly aided Reynolds, as he’s hitting .303 in the venue, with 20 of his home runs.