Matt Reynolds intriguing option to make Mets roster

By Justin Weiss

Eight Mets hitters are batting over .400 this spring, and Matt Reynolds isn’t a deviation to this surprising influx of impressive batting.

The 24-year-old was batting .423 with a home run and 3 runs batted in over a stretch of 26 at bats before entering the team’s matchup against their crosstown rivals, the Yankees, on Sunday afternoon.

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At 6-1, 198 pounds, it isn’t surprising that Reynolds constantly fails to produce power. Instead, the Arkansas alum utilizes a short, line drive stroke to punch the ball into the gap.

In Las Vegas last season, the former second round pick hit 5 homers, added 40 RBI’s and contributed a superb .333/.385/.479 slash line to the teams late-season run.

The biggest question mark surrounding Reynolds is his speed, which projects as below average compared to many other shortstops. But soft hands and a strong arm make him an intriguing choice to start off the season in the Major Leagues for New York.

Daniel Murphy, an all-star caliber second baseman for the Mets last season, pulled his right hamstring and could begin the season on the disabled list, Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said after the prognosis was announced.

“He’ll be out a week or so, maybe a little longer,” Alderson said. “Hamstrings take longer than people want to admit.”

The competition for Murphy’s starting job will come down to Reynolds and Anthony Muno, with Dilson Herrera surprisingly being optioned down to the Mets minor league camp. Herrera was the apparent heir to Murphy last season, but citing a Major League rule, Alderson has chosen to stick with Muno or Reynolds.

“Neither Reynolds nor Muno is on the 40-man roster. So if either became injured during the remainder of camp, he would not have the right to go on the major league DL and accrue service time to open the regular season. If Herrera returned and became injured in camp, he could be entitled to the major league DL,” Adam Rubin wrote on ESPN New York.

“You have to love his poise and anticipation in the batters box,” a friend told me about Reynolds. “He’s really looked comfortable. This guy’s the real deal.”

“I feel like I’m pretty close to playing in the big leagues,” Reynolds told Newsday last season.

“This year has been a really good year for me,” Reynolds continued. “I’ve gained a lot of confidence from it. And I’ve also seen what aspects I need to improve on a lot. It’s been a fun year, and the fall league has just helped out a lot more.”

The real deal he likely is. Since struggling in his first full minor league season in single-a advanced St. Lucie, the Mets have been really confident with his progression.

They should be, and so too should Mets fans.