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Reynolds returns to San Fran as big leaguer

Giants organization selected Bucs OF during 2016 Draft
@goodforball
September 10, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- On Monday, Bryan Reynolds returned to the ballpark where he’d be playing home games, had it not been for an ill-fated trade by the Giants. He made his impact felt, delivering the go-ahead hit in the ninth, en route to a 6-4 Pirates victory at Oracle Park.

SAN FRANCISCO -- On Monday, Bryan Reynolds returned to the ballpark where he’d be playing home games, had it not been for an ill-fated trade by the Giants. He made his impact felt, delivering the go-ahead hit in the ninth, en route to a 6-4 Pirates victory at Oracle Park.

When the Giants selected Reynolds with the 59th overall pick in the 2016 Draft, the club’s baseball operations personnel rejoiced in the belief that they had secured a performer who was skilled enough to rank among the first 20 to 25 picks.

Reynolds initially believed that his baseball wardrobe would include a lot of long-sleeved shirts.

Reynolds recalled attending a Giants game against the Nationals when he played for San Francisco’s Class A Advanced San Jose affiliate.

“We came in July and it was freezing,” said Reynolds, singing a refrain that’s often repeated among visitors. “But it was fun.”

When the Giants decided in 2018 shortly before Spring Training that they needed an experienced big league outfielder right away, they traded Reynolds and right-hander Kyle Crick to Pittsburgh for Andrew McCutchen.

Since then, Reynolds has developed into the type of player that the Giants would want, but sorely lack: A switch-hitter with gap-to-gap power who can play any outfield position.

The 24-year-old’s skills were evident during Pittsburgh’s triumph in the series opener. Reynolds not only singled to drive in the go-ahead run during the Pirates’ four-run, ninth-inning rally, but he also doubled in the sixth inning to tie Hall of Famer Paul Waner’s franchise record for most doubles by a rookie (35). Reynolds improved his slash line to .328/.391/.529.

“I just hope there’s a bunch of people out there watching who know who Paul Waner is,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

Reynolds, said Hurdle, is “putting himself in some fine Pirate history company right now.”

For the uninitiated, Waner batted .333 lifetime and amassed 3,152 hits in 20 seasons.

Said Reynolds: “It’s awesome. To have your name mentioned with all those guys is cool. I’m just gonna try to keep going.”

Before the game, Reynolds expressed gratitude toward the Giants.

“I’m just really thankful that they picked me and I started my pro career with them,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. It’s come around full circle.”

Injury update

Center fielder Starling Marte was out of the lineup Monday after injuring his left wrist while making a sliding catch Sunday. Manager Clint Hurdle deemed Marte’s playing status day to day. Hurdle said that Marte’s wrist was “sore to the degree where he can’t get off a competitive swing.”

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @goodforball.