We quizzed Bryan Reynolds on his 100 career HRs

April 17th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Alex Stumpf's Pirates Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

There’s an old baseball expression that some people will forget more about hitting than others will ever know. knows plenty about hitting, but how well does he recall his own hits?

“I don’t have an incredible memory, but I can remember specific at-bats,” Reynolds said.

Case in point, his first career Major League homer. On April 30, 2019, he launched a go-ahead solo shot in the 11th against Jesse Chavez at Globe Life Field to lift the Pirates to a 6-4 win over the Rangers.

“It was a long at-bat,” Reynolds recalled about the six-pitch battle. “Backdoor cutter. Out to center. Probably my favorite.”

Reynolds also has good memory of his running home run total. On April 8, he clubbed his 100th Major League home run, becoming the 25th Pirate to do so. Reynolds was very aware of that number, saying that day that he had a counter going with Pirates director of baseball communications Patrick Kurish dating back to last season. In March, he included his 14 Spring Training homers in that tally to give himself 112, which raises the question of if a spring homer really counts.

“If it’s someone I know and I can talk trash to,” Reynolds said.

Fair. Nevertheless, this reporter was interested to see how well Reynolds knew those first 100 regular-season home runs. This past weekend at Citizens Bank Park, he agreed to take a short quiz to find out.

1. How many homers have you hit righty? And how many have you hit lefty?

Reynolds: Probably like 80-20?

Actual answer: 77 left-handed, 23 right-handed.

“Ok, pretty good,” Reynolds said.

Not bad for a warmup question.

2. Which pitcher and team have you homered against the most?

Reynolds: Pitcher, Kutter Crawford? I know I got him twice last year.

Answer: A bit of a trick question. Reynolds has homered off of nine pitchers multiple times, but he doesn’t have three against anyone. Crawford is one, and he will be in Pittsburgh with the Red Sox this weekend. So perhaps Reynolds’ answer was a premonition and not a guess.

The others are: Elieser Hernández, Josh Winckowski, Sonny Gray, J.C. Mejía, Luke Weaver, Dauri Moreta, Drew Smyly and Alec Mills.

And for the team?

Reynolds: Brewers? Reds. Probably the Reds.

Answer: It’s the Reds with 13, while the Brewers are second with 11. Of those 13 homers against Cincinnati, 11 came at Great American Ball Park, the most he has hit at a road park.

And given Great American Ball Park’s outfield dimensions, it’s not surprising that Reynolds loves hitting there.

“It is a small park,” Reynolds said, smiling.

3. Who did you hit these memorable homers against?

Reynolds beat me to the punch with his first home run, but revisiting a couple other notable shots:

Who did you hit your inside-the-park home run against?

Reynolds: It was the Cardinals. It was, shoot, one of the lefties. Was it Zack Thompson? Or [Matthew] Liberatore?

Answer: The latter, on May 21, 2022. His wall-clearing homer against Thompson wouldn’t be until later that season, on Oct. 2.

Which pitcher did you hit your walk-off homer against?

Reynolds: Devin Williams. That’s an easy one.

Answer: It’s Williams (Aug. 3, 2022). And while Reynolds usually needs a second to reflect on the question, this one was pretty instantaneous. Add this to the short list of his personal favorites.

4. How many current or former teammates have you homered against?

Reynolds: [Bailey] Falter. Jordan Lyles, I got Lyles.

Answer: 7

This is the one that gave Reynolds some pause. I offered a hint, saying one player is currently on the injured list.

“Man, I know I’ve talked [trash] to him about it,” he said, still searching.

Eventually, he yields, and I tell him it’s Moreta. That one seemed to sting, but he redeems himself shortly after.

“I got Bryse Wilson twice. Got him in Spring Training, too,” Reynolds said. “Told him all about it. Then we faced him and I popped him. That was funny.”

Reynolds guesses there was another one, but in addition to Falter, Lyles, Moreta and Wilson, there are three more: Tyler Bashlor, Rich Hill and Tyler Anderson. You could also include 2024 Spring Training invite Chase Anderson, if Spring Training teammates count like Spring Training homers.

5. In what count have you homered the most?

Reynolds: Probably 0-0.

Answer: He’s right. He’s homered 17 times on 0-0, as well as 17 times in the first inning. He’s ready to hit when he steps in the box.

“Guess I should swing 0-0 more,” Reynolds said.

After a moment, he leaned back into his chair. “Pretty good, huh?”

I’d say he passed.