Mariners #3: Harold Reynolds – 12.3 fWAR
While Cruz is impressive for his stolen base rate success, Harold Reynolds should be held accountable for his. Just because you have speed doesn’t mean you should be able to steal bases. In today’s game, Reynolds would likely be given the red light, and rarely ever be allowed to steal.
If you think I might be over-exaggerating, check out his percentages over his career. I’m not including his first three seasons, as he didn’t play much, and went 4 for 7.
- 30 for 42: 71.4%
- 60 for 80: 75.0%
- 35 for 64: 54.7%
- 25 for 43: 58.1%
- 31 for 47: 66.0%
- 28 for 36: 77.7%
- 15 for 27: 55.6%
- 12 for 23: (Orioles)
- 10 for 17: (Angels)
During his time with the Mariners, he was 65.5%. That’s actually just under league average for the time, but some of those bad seasons really stand out. It shows, in a way, why the game has been going away from steals a bit, as it just isn’t worth it if you are getting caught so often.
Anyway, back to his good seasons. In 1989 and 1990, Reynolds put together back-to-back All-Star worthy seasons, with 4.2 and 3.9 fWAR. It’s funny because he didn’t make the All-Star game in either season, even though he did the two seasons prior while having seasons that were nowhere near as good.
He would earn gold gloves both years, playing stellar defense at second. He would also slash a combined .276/.347/.358. 1989 was his best season offensively, and he would hit .300/.359/.369, with career-highs of 106 WRC+ and five home runs.
With a slick glove, speed, and a decent bat to go along with it, it makes sense that Reynolds shows up as one of the Mariners best second baseman of all time. Some might even put him higher on the list, depending on how you feel about supposed, or proven, off the field issues, as we will see with the top two players on the list.