SAN FRANCISCO -- My apologies if this sounds like every other Bryan Reynolds story from this year.
You know, like when I called him a robot and his teammates likened him to a "video game player" back in May. Or when his calm, no-nonsense approach stole the top bullet of my game report from the team's Aug. 7 loss against the Brewers.
But, man ... That's just Reynolds. As a 24-year-old rookie, Reynolds exhibits this methodical, calculated approach at the plate, in the field, in the clubhouse — everywhere.
Think I'm exaggerating?
OK, OK, chew on this. Reynolds is back in San Francisco as the Pirates gear up for a four-game tilt against the Giants. The Giants drafted Reynolds with the 59th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft before shipping him to Pittsburgh in 2018 as part of the Andrew McCutchen trade.
While working his way to the big leagues, Reynolds played with the Class A Augusta GreenJackets, the short-season-A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and the Class A-Advanced San Jose Giants. He also appeared in the 2017 All-Star Futures Game. So being back here now, at the major-league level, facing the team that drafted him has to be pretty cool.
Mr. Reynolds, what was the visit like when you first came here with your fellow draftees in 2016? And how does that feel now that you're back here in this situation?
"It was cold," Reynolds deadpanned at his locker before Game 1.
Reynolds isn't going to play up a storyline for the cameras. We asked a question, and we got the answer in pure Reynolds fashion.
And to be fair, he did expand and offer his thanks toward the Giants for helping him get his start.
"I was just really thankful that they picked me and I started my pro career with them," Reynolds said. "I played for, I don't know, I guess three different teams in the organization, made some good friends. So, yeah, it was good times. It's cool to come back and now play in the major-league stadium for them ...
"It's pretty cool, just coming around full circle, playing here. It'll be a good time."
I then turned to a man of more words, Clint Hurdle, to expand on this narrative around Reynolds. Hurdle's managed over 1,250 career games. He played for a decade in the big leagues. He coached at various levels in between. He's been around some players — and Reynolds' attitude and approach only reminds him of one of them:
"Todd Helton was a guy that didn't talk a lot," Hurdle was saying in his office before the game. "He played as a stoic, pretty much. He'd share in the clubhouse, but as far as when you'd ask him questions about himself? Very reclusive, not a whole lot to say. So he [Reynolds] does remind me of Todd ...
"He's special that way. And I don't anticipate a whole lot changing."
Something tells me the Pirates will be tickled if Hurdle's words hold true and not a whole lot changes with Reynolds. He's batting .327 — fourth in the National League — with a total slash line of .327/.391/.529 with 16 home runs and 65 RBIs. He's made some incredible, diving, sprawling catches in the field, both in left and in center.
And he's more concerned with the weather than with any fluff or hype that can accompany a rising MLB star.
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