#MLBPlayers411 | Mark Reynolds
Slugger Mark Reynolds, today's #MLBPlayers411 subject, was signed by the Rockies as an insurance policy, but he's been playing like an all-star through the first quarter of the 2017 season. An 11-year veteran who has played with seven teams, Reynolds got an opportunity to play this spring when Ian Desmond suffered a broken hand and he's been too hot to take out of the lineup with a .319 average, 12 home runs and 35 RBIs in 40 games for the upstart Rockies.
“I'm just trying to have fun,” Reynolds told the New York Times recently. “Just try to keep producing so I can keep playing.”
Mark was part of an elite group of prospects from the Virginia Beach area while growing up. He played alongside B.J. Upton for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Virginia Blasters in 1994. Six years later, both Mark and B.J. played for a Hampton Roads autumn showcase team along with B.J.'s younger brother Justin, as well as David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman. All five players, who were all shortstops at the time, rotated around the infield. Due to his awkward running style and lanky build, Mark was given the nicknames “Skeletor” and “Forrest Gump” by teammates.
Mark was a four-year letterman in baseball, basketball and golf at First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach. Following graduation in 2001, Mark stayed home and played for the University of Virginia. In three years at UVA, Mark was the starting shortstop and Zimmerman was the team's third baseman. During his freshman year, Mark led the Cavaliers with 15 home runs. His 35 career-home runs are good enough for second-most all-time in UVA history.
Drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 16th round of the 2004 MLB draft, the Pikeville, Ky., native entered professional baseball as a shortstop, but he became a jack-of-all-trades, learning to play second base, third base and left field, as well.
Mark reached the majors in 2007, when he finished fourth among NL Rookies with 62 runs, tied for fourth in triples with four and tied for sixth in home runs with 17. In 2009, he hit a career-high 44 home runs with the D-Backs.
After four seasons in the desert, Mark moved on to play for the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals before settling in with the Rockies prior to 2016 season.
Check out some photos of Mark here.