Reynolds excited about first full season in pro baseball

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

Luke Reynolds is ready for the 2019 baseball to get underway. Reynolds has spent the winter months each of the last 19 years preparing for an upcoming baseball season, but this year was just a little different. This will be Reynolds first full year as a professional baseball player and as of now he is not quite sure what the new season hold for him.

Reynolds left for Mesa, Arizona March 1 to get his first spring training with the Chicago Cubs organization underway. Even though he does not know where he will be assigned at the end of spring training, Reynolds is ready to get the season started.

“I’m really excited to get going and I have been looking forward to it the whole offseason,” Reynolds said. “I have worked really hard preparing for this year during the offseason. I feel like I’m as mentally and physically prepared as I can possibly be for this season and I’m just ready to get back on the field.”

After being drafted by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, Reynolds first pro stop was in the Arizona League before finishing out the season with the Eugene Emeralds in Oregon. “I was able to get my feet wet last year while playing in Arizona and Oregon,” he said. “Everyone at this level are really good at what they do and make very few mistakes. Getting to play at the pro level I saw the difference of how everyone goes about their business like a professional. You are surrounded by people who are all very focused and take the game very serious. Everyone at this level treats the game like a job they really love showing up for.”

During the 48 games Reynolds played in 2018 he hit .265 BA with 1 HR, 15 doubles and 20 RBIs. He said that there is a difference in the pitchers you face at the professional level as opposed to the pitchers in college. “There’s definitely a difference in the pitching,” said Reynolds. “In college you faced the top two starters and maybe the closer that had a very good fastball and good secondary pitch, but after that the pitching really fell off. In the pros every pitcher you face throws mid 90s on the gun and they all have very good secondary pitches. There is no drop off in the pitching.”

Reynolds said one of the biggest adjustments he has had to make has been understanding that in the minor leagues the ball clubs are focused on player development more so than the win-loss records. “I have always been a competitor and I would say I hate to lose more than I love to win,” explained Reynolds. “In the minors there is a lot more emphasis on player development and the win-loss record is not the most important. That is something that I’m still getting accustomed to. Also, the preparation for a pro season is like preparing for a marathon instead of a race. In college we played a lot of games, but we were not playing every day like we do now. You really just have to understand that in your approach and especially in your preparation.”

Reynolds spent some of his offseason at camps with the Cubs organization. This gave him the opportunity to put his skills on display for team officials. “I got invited to a few camps and that was a great opportunity to show them what I can do,” he said. “We reported to Spring Training on March 1, but I will not know where I’ll be playing until the first of April. All players from Triple-A to the Rookie League will be there and when Spring Training is over we will be assigned to a team for the season.”