Yankees: 3 players who could transform NYY lineup more than Joey Gallo

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Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

1. Bryan Reynolds

Are you aware of Bryan Reynolds? The former Giants top prospect has blossomed into exactly the type of powerful switch-hitter Aaron Hicks was supposed to be, and he now stars for a familiar Yankees trade partner in the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Reynolds may be the least available name on this list, considering we have no idea where the Pirates stand and he costs a pittance, not even arbitration eligible until next year. His unique brand of pop and patience, though, would make him a perfect Yankee, even if it takes a semi-drastic overpay.

Debuting at the age of 24 in 2019, Reynolds burst onto the scene by hitting .314 with a .377 OBP and 129 OPS+ in relative obscurity, though he still finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but he struggled in 2020 for unexplained reasons, still OBP’ing 90 points above his average even in a brutal year.

2021 has marked a resurgence for the 26-year-old, though; he’s already been worth 1.6 WAR, hitting .299 with a .396 OBP. Basically, Reynolds is Benintendi but with heightened on-base skills and no embedded rivalry. He’s a name that should not be ignored, as long as these conversations are being had throughout the league.

A switch-hitter and not a pure lefty, Reynolds would provide a cushion in the middle of the lineup in the same way that Gio Urshela currently does. Put it this way: the ’90s Yankees would be banging down the door to try to pry him away from a franchise dedicated to obscurity and give him a chance to shine in the spotlight.