Ely breaks down the Marlins’ surprising series win over the Astros (3:30), then brings in special guest Sean Reynolds of the High-A Beloit Sky Carp (18:30). Drafted by the Marlins way back in 2016 and developed solely as a position player prior to COVID, Reynolds has converted to the mound and emerged as a legitimate arm to monitor. The 24-year-old details his unique professional journey, including what it was like to be a two-way player and how he has improved as a pitcher so far in 2022.
Enjoy Episode 167!
The 6-foot-8 Reynolds was selected by the Marlins in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Only Braxton Garrett, Thomas Jones and Parker Bugg remain with the Marlins org from that Jeffrey Loria era draft class. Reynolds played 293 minor league games as a position player, slashing .178/.287/.344 (89 wRC+) with 35 home runs and 31 stolen bases.
A former pitcher during his amateur days, Reynolds tells Fish Stripes that he stumbled back into while building up arm strength following a 2019 injury. During the canceled 2020 MiLB season, he linked up with Marlins catcher Nick Fortes for a throwing session, who encouraged him to pursue it.
Reynolds began the 2021 campaign as a two-way player—first baseman and relief pitcher—with Low-A Jupiter, but he physically felt “pretty beat up” by the demands of doing both. He has put all his focus toward pitching since then.
After returning from a midsummer IL stint last season, Reynolds posted a 1.56 earned run average over his final 17 1⁄3 innings pitched with Jupiter.
He looks even better at the High-A level in 2022 with more consistent command and increased velocity (maxing out at 99 miles per hour). Reynolds has had his strikeout rate (24.8 K% to 31.8 K%) and ground ball rate (27.2 GB% to 44.4 GB%) both trend in the right direction from year to year. He leads the Sky Carp with five saves this season.
Reynolds’ pitch mix includes a four-seam fastball, slurve and circle changeup (embedded in that order below).
Reynolds says he has not been told specifically by the Marlins what’ll take to earn a promotion to Double-A Pensacola.
“The work doesn’t change no matter where you are,” he says. “How you work and how you approach the day and how you go about your business, that should remain the same, in my mind.”
Unless selected to the Marlins 40-man roster by the end of this year, Reynolds can elect minor league free agency.
Fish Stripes is ranked by Feedspot as the world’s No. 2 Miami Marlins podcast (trailing only the pod that’s produced by the franchise itself). Our programs include The Offishial Show, Big Fish Small Pod, Fish Stripes Unfiltered and Earning Their Stripes. All new episodes are posted to FishStripes.com/podcasts. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, Megaphone or wherever you normally get your pods from.