Chihuahuas Outfielder Franmil Reyes Takes ‘Slow’ Approach for His Return to El Paso
It’s been almost a week since Franmil Reyes was optioned to Triple-A from San Diego, and the outfielder believes he can take his game to another level.
“When they sent me down here, I put it into my mind, ‘come back here, do my best; keep doing what I was doing before they called me up,’” said Reyes, who is currently riding a five-game hitting streak with El Paso.
“Now I’m waiting for that call to do it again.”
He left El Paso sporting (at the time) a league-leading 14 home runs and 38 RBIs.
And he returns with a .228 batting average, with 21 hits in 92 at bats in the big leagues. Overall in San Diego, Reyes hit .228/.260/.457.
“When I was here, I was doing a lot of good things; trying to have good days on the field here. So when I was up there, I would say my game was going so fast. When I started to slow my game down, I did pretty good, but it was tough,” he said.
“When I was here, I gained my confidence every day—go out and give my best every day. When I was up there, I was a little nervous.”
As the novelty of being in the majors calmed, so did his game. Reyes was red-hot at the beginning, getting four home runs by the end of May, including a Gatorade bath after a two-run homer against Miami. Through tough series against the Braves, Marlins and Cardinals, respectively, Reyes went through a lull in batting, seeing his batting average drop as low as .205.
“I played three years with the guy and he’s been grindin’ like no other. He can hit the ball better than anyone out there,” Chihuahuas starting pitcher Brett Kennedy said. “This year he hit the league on fire. For two weeks there he was the best hitter on the planet.”
While he was up in the majors, Reyes caught the attention of some baseball veterans, like Eric Hosmer, AJ Ellis and Freddy Galvis. Each of them were able to serve as mentors for the 22-year-old and offer him advice going into his career.
“Freddy Galvis and Hosmer were the ones with the mental stuff to try to slow the game down,” Reyes said. “AJ Ellis was obviously the one who gave me the report of the pitchers every day. It’s something that got me prepared for every game.”
His 29 games with the Padres brought him a taste of playing in the MLB and rekindled his deep-rooted passion for the sport. During his time in the majors, Reyes was able to bring his mother up from the Dominican Republic to see him, as well as catch up with a childhood acquaintance in Manny Margot.
“I enjoyed every moment I spent in San Diego, especially when I have my family and my mom over there. It was an unbelievable feeling. It was incredible."
“It feels good. Just being up there and be able to make my family proud of me and make my community proud of me. I enjoyed every moment up there, especially when I was up there with Franchy [Cordero]. Franchy is a guy I signed the same day with San Diego. We started our careers together. I saw Manny Margot up there. I met Margot at the age of 15 years old. It was incredible.”
The Palenque, Dominican native is being patient about his team option back to El Paso and continues to have an optimistic view on being called back. He already has hit in each game back with the Chihuahuas and continues to improve his impressive .338 batting average in the minors.
“Any of us as competitors—we want to be up there,” Kennedy said. “He showed he can hit up there in the big leagues and does pretty well at it.”