Franmil Reyes Is the Next Giancarlo Stanton

Credit: Padres

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Credit: Padres

Statcast darling Franmil Reyes punishes the baseball as very few can. Is the San Diego Padres outfielder the next Giancarlo Stanton?

When you think about a power hitter like Giancarlo Stanton, it’s hard to think of any other player that can crush the ball the way he can outside of his teammate Aaron Judge.

The two players are fairly different in reality, but that’s not the point here.

There appears to be a young slugger who resembles Stanton in many ways, that everyone should be paying more attention to. This is a player who debuted in 2018 and is playing in his first full season in 2019.

Meet Franmil Reyes, the 23-year-old Padres outfielder who has 13 home runs through his first 44 games this season.

So obviously it’s pretty significant to compare any baseball player to Giancarlo Stanton, right? What’s awesome about this comparison is that Reyes stacks up with Stanton in almost every statistical category from the 2018 season.

Take a look at how their offensive numbers compare to one another:

Stanton 9.9 % 29.9 % 0.243 0.333 0.343 0.509 0.360 127
Reyes 8.4 % 28.1 % 0.218 0.345 0.340 0.498 0.360 129

As you can see above, Reyes and Stanton produced almost identically offensively last season. Of course, Stanton produced throughout a full season, while Reyes played slightly more than half of a season’s worth of games (87). Nonetheless, the similarities between their statistical outputs are remarkable. When we get into the Statcast numbers from the 2018 campaign, the two sluggers once again compare pretty well:

Player Avg Exit Velo FB/LD Exit Velo GB Exit Velo
Stanton 93.7 mph 99.7 mph 91.4 mph
Reyes 92.3 mph 96.4 mph 90.1 mph

So with this data, it’s clear that Reyes didn’t quite hit the ball as hard as Stanton. Despite their similarities statistically, Stanton showed a better ability to crush the ball than Reyes did. We’re looking at the 2018 data because Stanton is currently hurt, but Reyes’ 2019 Statcast data has improved this season. Here’s how he’s performed in the same categories thus far:

Avg Exit Velo FB/LD Exit Velo GB Exit Velo
93.0 mph 96.9 mph 87.6 mph

Outside of his ground ball exit velocities, Reyes has started hitting the ball harder this season. Reyes is much younger than the 29-year-old Stanton, so there’s room for him to grow as a player moving forward. The current fly ball and line drive average exit velocities of Reyes in 2019 (96.9 mph) are almost identical to Stanton’s 2016 average on the same batted balls of 97.0 mph. Still, the issue of age difference remains. So let’s compare each of their first seasons in the big leagues. Here’s how they stack up:

Season Player Games PA ISO OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
2010 Stanton 100 396 0.248 0.326 0.507 0.356 118
2018 Reyes 87 285 0.218 0.340 0.498 0.360 129

It’s pretty impressive that Reyes produced offensively better than Stanton did during his rookie year in multiple categories, and shows how similar the two players are. In most of the statistics above, Stanton and Reyes produced at roughly the same rate. What’s interesting is that Reyes has continued to improve, as illustrated by his 2019 Statcast data.

Reyes has a barrel percentage of 12.7% in 2019, which ranks third in baseball. MLB’s home run leader Christian Yelich is barreling balls at a 13.0% rate this season, giving you an idea of how well Reyes is performing. Stanton, by the way, has posted a career high of 14.2% in terms of barrel percentage in 2015. While his average exit velocities don’t quite compare with Stanton’s, Reyes has been better than the Yankees’ slugger in some aspects of his game.

Additionally, these are two hitters who have fairly similar stances in the box, as you can see in this side-by-side comparison:

As you can see, they both stand off the plate so they can get extended on pitches in all locations of the strike zone. The stances of each player aren’t identical, but they certainly resemble one another. It’s easy to think that this is something very small and that it doesn’t necessarily mean much as far as their performances are concerned. However, the two players have hit balls at nearly identical launch angles recently. Reyes’ average launch angle this season has been 11.3 degrees, while Stanton’s in 2018 (His most recent full season) was 11.6 degrees. That’s just another way that they’re remarkably similar and makes the comparison between the two sluggers even more intriguing.

Although Giancarlo Stanton is currently injured, a slugger named Franmil Reyes is now here to replicate his success. They both hit the ball harder than the vast majority of all major leaguers. Last season Stanton’s exit velocity was in the 99th percentile for exit velocity, while Reyes currently ranks in the 95th percentile among big leaguers in the same category in 2019. While Reyes’ 2018 performance put him on the map as a player, this is the year he’ll become a star baseball fans will talk about along with the other well-known mashers in MLB.

All Data in this article is courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Savant.

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