It is no question the minor league affiliates for the Chicago Cubs have struggled this season. Triple-A Iowa is 10 games under the .500 mark. Double-A Tennessee is in last place. High-A South Bend and Low-A Myrtle Beach are both under .500 but have climbed a bit and will hopefully continue to trend upwards.
We have covered many of the Cubs’ prospects in their return with the comeback of Minor League Baseball in 2021. But, unfortunately, one of those names has largely gone uncovered and underreported. In a system full of underrated talent, 23-year-old corner infielder Ryan Reynolds has done his part so far, and it should not go unnoticed.
Chicago Cubs Minors: Ryan Reynolds is a key prospect to keep an eye on
Reynolds was a 14th-round selection by the Cubs in the 2019 MLB Draft. As part of the class who saw action in only one season before the national shutdown last year, the former Longhorn has revved up his production after struggling in his first season.
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Late-round talent can pan out, but Reynolds’ production at the collegiate level was largely sluggish. He was a career .243 hitter and never found himself on any big board. However, the Cubs have found success in late-round gems and, given how Reynolds has begun his 2021 campaign, it may pay off once more.
The main issue that has plagued Reynolds has been his significant strikeout rate. He has yet to recoup anything north of thirty percent, and this year has been no different as the infielder’s rate sits at a whopping 30 percent. There have been many more positives, however. These have outweighed that high strikeout rate.
Reynolds has notched a career-high in home runs and has all of the sudden discovered his power stroke. He has three long balls in 17 games and a respectable .308 ISO with a .558 slugging percentage. Defensively, Reynolds is one of the strongest gloves in the system. This season in 63 innings at third base, he has nine assists and zero errors and only one error in 37 1/3 innings at first base.
In the past week, Reynolds is slashing .286/.412/.643 with a home run and four RBI. Overall, he is hitting .250 with a 146 wRC+. A positive approach has helped build Reynolds up, and the production has shone through thus far. At 23 years old, the Chicago Cubs could have a future producer at the next level. He can become a solid middle-of-the-order bat, and that poses well for the club.