KEVIN McREYNOLDS- CENTER FIELD
Kevin McReynolds was the San Diego Padres #1 pick (6th overall) in the 1981 Draft. It only took two years for McReynolds to make his pro debut and he did that for the Padres in 1983.
That season as a rookie McReynolds got into 39 games and had 140 plate appearances. He hit .221 but displayed power with four home runs and 14 runs batted in. He played all three outfield spots and at the age of 23 seemed to have endless potential.
The 1984 season was Kevin McReynolds coming out party. He had a great year and actually finished 17th in MVP voting that year. McReynolds hit .278 with 20 home runs and 75 runs batted in. He also finished 2nd in fielding at center field with a .991% fielding average.
More interesting was his WAR rate that year. He totaled a WAR of 5.4. Easily the highest WAR that McReynolds amassed as a professional. He was the total package, a power hitting outfielder with great defensive prowess.
In April of 1984 as the Padres started out hot, McReynolds carried the team hitting .325 with 5 home runs and 17 runs batted in. He put the team on his back at a young age and helped the team start out on the right foot. Unfortunately for the Padres McReynolds broke his wrist in the National League Championship series and missed the entire World Series. The loss was huge for the Padres, as Bobby Brown could not provide the offensive punch McReynolds provided.
The 1985 and 1986 season and the disasters that they were angered McReynolds and he wanted to be traded. The Padres team seemed to be going in the wrong direction and their slugger from Arkansas was getting disgruntled.
On December 12th 1986 an eight player trade with the New York Mets was the end of his tenure as a Padre. McReynolds was dealt to the Mets with Adam Ging and Gene Walter for Kevin Armstrong, Kevin Brown, Shawn Abner, Stan Jefferson and Kevin Mitchell. I was heartbroken as a 10-year-old Padres fan, something I would unfortunately get used to as a Padres fan.
Kevin McReynolds is an avid duck hunter and fisherman. He still resides in Arkansas and built the Kevin McReynolds Sports Complex near a local high school. He is giving back to the community which cultivated his talent. McReynolds can be seen sometimes at Padres throwback events signing autographs for the fans. He was, and still is a fan favorite.
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