Nov. 1, 2011: Reyes signed with the Padres as a non-drafted free agent, out of the D.R., for a bonus of $700,000.
- May 14, 2018 : Reyes' red-hot start to the 2018 Minor League season paid off with a big league promotion.
The hulking outfielder had his contract selected ahead of the game against the Rockies. Second baseman Carlos
Reyes led all Minor Leaguers with 14 homers, and he was hitting .346/.440/.748 in 35 games for Triple-A El Paso. A 22-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, Reyes is known for his easy power and muscular 6-foot-6 frame.
Reyes had a very detailed Petco Park tattoo on his chest.
Franmil remembers that November night vividly. He knew the situation. He knew the Padres needed to add him to the 40-man roster by 8:00 that night or his fate with the organization—the only one he'd ever played for—would be at the mercy of the Rule 5 draft. So Reyes, in his childhood bedroom, waited for the phone call that would tell him he'd been added to the San Diego roster. It never came. Despite having led all Padres Minor Leaguers with 26 homers in 2017, Reyes was exposed in the Rule 5 Draft. Two weeks later, he was unselected.
"When the Padres didn't protect me, it was: 'I'm not going to let them know that I'm feeling down,'" Reyes said. "I'm going to give my 100 percent, and I know I'm going to make the Majors this year. So I worked hard. And here I am."
"There were a lot of people here who believed in him," said Padres manager Andy Green. "But you have 40 spots. You make 40 tough decisions. Some guys are just on the periphery of that. Sometimes it comes down to, 'Hey, do we think somebody's going to take this guy? No. But do we think somebody's going to take this other guy?' That doesn't mean that we necessarily value somebody over somebody else."
To hear the Padres tell it, their decision to leave Reyes unprotected was a calculated risk. Earlier that month, Reyes underwent minor hand surgery. They thought that might dissuade teams from selecting him. His shoddy defense probably had the same effect. The gamble paid off. But make no mistake: It was a gamble. The Padres almost certainly wouldn't have made it had they foreseen this much success this quickly for Reyes.
"He has stepped up and taken another huge step in his development this year," Green said. "There's no doubt about that. What he did in El Paso, it's off the charts. And what he's done here has been really special, too." (Cassavell - mlb.com - 8/12/18)
Reyes is a massive human with massive power. His plate approach is already very refined. It's easy to forget he's only 23 years old. No question, the Padres have been impressed by the results. They've been just as impressed by the mental side of Reyes' game. Upon his most recent demotion, Reyes watched old videos of his swings and compared them to his current one. He noticed he'd inadvertently increased his leg kick and the length of his swing.
"When I was in Triple-A, everything was quiet, and I was good," Reyes said. "When I got here, maybe there was something in me that was trying to show the people, trying to show the fans, the power I have. I tried too much. It was about trying to slow down my game a little bit and be quieter, react."
It's paid dividends. Reyes is going to play at least semi-regularly down the stretch, with Myers poised to see time at third. It'll be up to Reyes to sustain that success and state his case for the future right-field job.
"He's definitely played his way into the mix," Green said. "He's got more work to do out in front of him. But he has done a lot to draw everybody's attention to his ability." (Cassavell - mlb.com - 8/12/18)
Franmil speaks good English. He has gotten tremendously better since the spring. The commitment he makes is so blatantly obvious that it is really hard not to love everything about this guy. With a language barrier, sometimes Latino players don't always embrace the American culture. “It is really important," he said. "Some players don’t understand how important this is. Some ignore the coaches requests to go to English class. It is not really hard to learn English if you put effort into it. You should never feel embarrassed to talk. Your teammates are NOT going to make fun of you. They know that is not your primary language. If you try to talk to them, they are going to see your effort and help you.” (James Clark - East Village Times- September 3, 2018)
Reyes likes to have “swag” out on the field. The energy he brings is very useful to the Padres in a losing season. Here is what else the big man had to say: "Being from an island paradise like the Dominican Republic, you naturally have a certain calmness about your demeanor. In participating in the game of baseball professionally you learn very quickly about 'the grind' players go on."
That term is used to describe the length of a baseball season and the fact that there are seldom any days off. The typical fan has no sense of this commitment and how it can completely wear down a professional athlete unmercifully. It makes things way easier for a team if they have a player or players that can keep everyone loose.
Franmil Reyes certainly provides that calming influence, as he is a social butterfly and enjoys interacting with his whole team. He keeps his teammates loose while understanding how to be prepared at the same time. (James Clark - East Village Times- September 3, 2018)
- "Franmil's looked so good [in 2018]," Padres manager Andy Green said. "As an organization, he's become one of the success stories. [Signed] by us, developed by us, and he's just grown so much. We're thrilled we have him. He's done a really, really nice job." (Cassavell - mlb.com - 9/18/18)
|Birth City:||Palenque, D.R.|
|Draft:||2011 - Padres - Free agent - Out of Dom. Rep.|
Reyes has impressive righthanded power, garnering a plus-plus 70 for his raw power. That is his only average-or-better tool. All other tools are 40s.
Franmil is the so unusual, "good breaking ball hitter." Yes, he does chase a few, but he has a feel for hitting.
- August 5, 2018: Reyes connected on a Jon Lester offering in the top of the fourth inning. He demolished it.
Reyes' long ball went so far that it went over the batter's eye in center field. The damage was estimated at 477 feet—the longest by any Wrigley Field visitor since Statcast began in 2015.
- 2018 season:Key stat: 477-foot max HR distance
Reyes is listed at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, and he looks every bit of it. Unsurprisingly, then, he can hit the ball a long ways when he makes solid contact. On Aug. 5 at Wrigley Field, Reyes did just that, crushing a Jon Lester pitch over the center-field batters eye and nearly off a TV camera perched above it. Projected at 477 feet, it was the seventh-longest homer of 2018. Reyes also hit two others at least 440 feet, and was one of nine players to homer multiple times with an exit velocity of 114 mph or higher. ( Andrew Simon -MLB.com - Dec. 27, 2018 )
- Franmil profiles best in left field. The big man doesn't move well in the outfield.
October 2017: Reyes injured his wrist during the Arizona Fall League and surgery was needed.
Nov 28, 2018: Reyes was diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his right knee, which he sustained while playing for Escogido in the Dominican Winter League. The 23-year-old right fielder underwent surgery, and he's expected to be sidelined for 4-8 weeks, per a team official.
Franmil is expected to be healthy in time for the start of Spring Training in February, but don't be surprised if the Padres play it safe when 2019 camp opens. In any case, the injury shouldn't affect his prospects for Opening Day.