Franmil Reyes: An underappreciated MLB powerhouse

Chloe Burdette
Editor in Chief

Franmil Reyes. When I say that name, does it ring a bell? If you aren’t a sports fan, I am sure you are completely clueless. But, even a baseball fanatic might not recognize the name. Why? Well, in my opinion, it is because he is one of the most underappreciated names in Major League Baseball — and he deserves better than that. 


For those who are unaware, Franmil Reyes is a six-foot-five, 270-pound powerhouse from Palenque, Dominican Republic. Beginning his MLB career with the San Diego Padres at age 22 in 2018, he had a batting average of .280 and a slugging percentage of .480, which is pretty decent for a man his size and stature. His defense was nothing to shake a stick at, but it wasn’t phenomenal. But there is one thing for sure — if he got a hold of the ball, he hit it hard. As a rookie, the Padres found it difficult to gauge his talent as a hitter, but they knew he had power and it was only a matter of time before he blew up the league. 


Reyes’s time with the Padres was a game of back-and-forth. When he was playing for the Padres Minor league affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas, he was called up to the Majors right as two of the Padres’ best players were put on the disabled list. It was Reyes’s time to shine. During his MLB debut, Reyes hit his first homer on May 21, 2018, and Padres fans were excited for their talented new rookie. Yet after only two weeks, one of the two regulars was healthy again, which sent Reyes back down to the Minors. On July 10 of that same year, he was brought back again with a whole new hitting approach and attitude — only to be sent back down as the second player was revived. He went back and forth a total of four times until he got a somewhat permanent spot on the Padres’ roster. Personally, I wish Reyes hadn’t been tossed around so much because I had faith in him. His power on the plate was quite impressive to watch and the guy had eyes like a hawk when determining balls from strikes. Coming from a baseball family myself, I enjoyed every moment of watching him even when he was playing for the Padres. But then, something magical happened.


At the time of the trade deadline in July 2019, the Padres, the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians were part of a surprising three-team deal where the Reds traded center fielder Taylor Trammell to the Padres and pitcher Scott Moss and right fielder Yasiel Puig to the Indians and the Indians traded pitcher Trevor Bauer to the Reds. Lastly, the Padres traded right fielder/designated hitter Franmil Reyes, pitcher Logan Allen and third baseman Victor Nova to the Indians. Confusing? Yes. But this trade brought Reyes to my home team, and the Indians were able to benefit from his overlooked brilliance.


In Cleveland, Reyes is surrounded by teammates Carlos Santana and Jose Ramirez and together they create a triple-powered hitting squad of sorts. He is so powerful surrounded by those two that he was given the nickname “Franimal.” Absolutely fantastic. One of my favorite articles on Reyes about his ultimate power says this quote: “When he was just a boy, Franmil Reyes derailed a train when he reached out to touch it as it passed. The train flew off of the tracks, burst into flames, and incinerated the nearby woods.” 


As of 2020, I think Reyes has proven himself with his stats — his last 30 games he has a slugging percentage of .545 — but I am so excited to see what’s left in the tank for the rest of the season for him. If there are any Reyes fans out there, let me know and I can hook you up with my FOX Sports Go account. No, seriously.