Reynolds crushes MLB's second-longest HR of year

Rockies pinch-hitter launches 484-foot shot vs. Braves

July 22nd, 2016

DENVER -- The explosion from the Rockies pinch-hitter ' bat and the almost-equal pop when the ball rebounded off a seat beyond the left-center wall were impressive and special. But even Reynolds admits homers like his on Thursday night were expected to be commonplace.

Reynolds, a reformed high-risk swinger, launched the second-longest homer in the Majors this year, according to Statcast™ -- a 484-foot, leadoff shot in the seventh inning against Braves relief pitcher -- in the Rockies' 7-3 victory.

Reynolds' homer had an exit velocity of 108.8 mph. According to Statcast™, the longest homer this season came from the Rangers' , a 491-footer off the Angels' on May 25.

"You figure something like that would happen, me playing at Coors," Reynolds said. "Right?"

For much of his decade-long career, Reynolds' home runs were loud and strikeouts were almost as loud, and numerous. Until last year, when he hit 13 homers in a part-time role for the Cardinals, he eclipsed 20 homers each year from 2008-14, including 44 for the D-backs in 2009, 32 for the D-backs in 2010 and 37 for the Orioles in 2011.

But when the Rockies signed Reynolds to a one-year, $2.6 million contract during the offseason, they received Reynolds 2.0 -- an opposite-field guy who is hitting .277 (high for him) with 10 homers (low for him) as a regular at first base.

He was his old self on one swing, though.

"It felt like me in 2009," Reynolds said. "I honestly think that's my first pull homer on a fastball this year. I don't know what's going on with my swing or my approach, but I'm trying to be as consistent as I can and as productive as I can so we can win as many games as we can.

"That was a pinch-hit, where I was like … I'm going to take a shot, and it worked out. As an everyday player you can't go up there and try to pull everything. You're not going to be very successful."

Teammate -- whose three-run shot off Braves' starter went 459 feet with a 114.1 mph exit speed for his second-longest and second-hardest homer this season -- welcomed the old Reynolds to the dugout after the homer.

"I told him to stop shooting the ball to right field," Gonzalez said, laughing.

But distance is a secondary matter.

"Long as it's over the fence, it's good," Gonzalez said.