SEATTLE -- Rockies slugger Mark Reynolds' two-run home run in the second inning on Thursday provided a reminder he's still a power hitter to be reckoned with.The 33-year-old right-handed-hitting slugger muscled a high fastball for a Statcast-projected 450-foot home run to left-center field in the Rockies' 6-3 series-ending win over
SEATTLE -- Rockies slugger Mark Reynolds' two-run home run in the second inning on Thursday provided a reminder he's still a power hitter to be reckoned with.
The 33-year-old right-handed-hitting slugger muscled a high fastball for a Statcast-projected 450-foot home run to left-center field in the Rockies' 6-3 series-ending win over the Mariners on Thursday. It was his sixth-longest home run of the Statcast™ Era and the fourth-longest by a Rockies player this season. It was hit at a 20-degree launch angle with an exit velocity of 110.8 mph, the third hardest-hit home run for Colorado this season (Reynolds boasts all three of the Rockies' hardest-hit homers).
"It was a big hit for our club," said Reynolds. "To get a couple runs early, hitting is contagious, and we were able to get a few more runs that inning, and get [Kyle] Freeland to go out there and not feeling like he has to be perfect."
It was a powerful start to the month for Reynolds after a mild, but effective May. His slugging percentage dipped from .606 in March/April to .484 in May, but his batting average (.319) and on-base percentage (.404) were improved from the opening month of the season (.298, .362).
An emphasis on being patient at the plate helped with that.
"Sometimes you have to hit what you're given," said Reynolds, who had only one extra-base hit in the previous 19 games entering Thursday. "You're not going to go out and hit doubles and homers every time. Sometimes you're going to have a battle, take your singles and get on base with walks or whatever. You have to try and pick your spots where you have to hit one far."
Reynolds can only dream of how far it would have traveled at slugger-friendly Coors Field in Denver, but he'll settle for his second-longest home run outside of Coors Field in the Statcast™ Era; he launched one a Statcast-projected 451 feet in Milwaukee while with the Cardinals in 2015.
Playing in an American League ballpark allowed manager Bud Black a rare opportunity to place Reynolds, Gerardo Parra and Ian Desmond in the lineup together since Desmond has come back from a left hand injury.
It's been a balancing act, but a good day-to-day predicament for Black.
"We've talked about our depth, and we need all these guys," Black said. "It's going to take all of them. It truly is."
But it will be hard for Black to exclude Reynolds from the lineup after he's proven to be a viable hitter in several ways.
"He's got a powerful swing. He's got strong hands, strong forearms. He's got that type of lift in his swing," Black said. "But what's been impressive for us is that, even though he still has that life, he's made some adjustments the last couple of years to cut down on strikeouts and shorten up when he needs to.
"He's really done some good things with his swing to improve his batting average, to improve his production."
Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.