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Astros Spring Training Spotlight: Danny Reynolds

One man's trash is another man's treasure. That approach has worked for the Astros before.

This is not Danny Reynolds, but it is kind of what it looks like after he's pitched up to his ability
This is not Danny Reynolds, but it is kind of what it looks like after he's pitched up to his ability
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Look no further than the #2 spot in the rotation, currently manned by Colin McHugh, who was given up on by both the Mets and Rockies. Josh Fields had mid-90s heat and a wicked slider, but the Red Sox didn't like him enough to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. His bullpen mate Will Harris wasn't deemed worthy of a 40-man roster spot by the Diamondbacks; the Astros scooped him up and he rewarded them with a 1.90 ERA.

Houston will try to get something for nothing again with Danny Reynolds. A sixth-round pick of the Angels back in 2009, Reynolds has climbed the system slowly. They tried him as a starter for a couple of years, but with spotty command and no decent secondary offerings, it quickly became apparent that he was destined for the pen. He didn't start a single game in either of the last two seasons, and it helped a lot; he posted strong FIPs no higher than 3.57 during that time, and finished the year in Double-A with solid numbers.

But he still has warts; his control and command really haven't improved, thanks largely to some funky mechanics that make consistency difficult. Aside from his fastball, he really only has a fringy cutter/slider thing that he leaves over the plate too often. "Fringy cutter/slider thing;" when that's how your secondary arsenal is best described, you had better have some thunder in your arm. Reynolds does; he sits easily in the 93-96 range, and has hit as high as 99 in the past. His fastball is more thunderbolt than straight flamethrower, too, with excellent life, especially boring in on right-handed batters. It's an easy plus-plus pitch when he commands it, and the reason he was worth a look. He will miss some bats in the minors with that pitch, even without any further improvements, and the life on it does help induce some grounders, too (a hair shy of 40% in 2015).

If the Astros can tidy up those mechanics and get his control squared away, just that fastball will be enough for a decent MLB relief role. If the secondary offering tightens up as well, he has legitimate closer upside. This will be his sixth full season as a professional, though, and he has all of two innings total in Triple-A. He's going to need to fix his issues quickly or he may find his new team giving up on him, too. He's definitely a guy to watch for and dream on. Ten Astros Spring Training games will be broadcast on RootSports Southwest this coming March; get that DVR set and maybe you can catch a glimpse of him for yourself.