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AFL Player Journal: Reynolds bids farewell11/16/2006 10:30 AM ET
By Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds is an infielder/outfielder in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Taken in the 16th round of the 2004 draft, Reynolds really jumped on the map in 2006 both the bat and with his gloves. Reynolds entered the season in Lancaster (California League) with a .253 career average, though he did hit 19 homers in his first full season in South Bend. With Lancaster, though, he hit .337 with 23 homers and 77 RBIs in 76 games. While he slowed a bit moving up to Double-A, he still hit .272 with eight homers and 21 RBIS in 30 games. For the season, Reynolds hit .318 with a 1.034 OPS across two levels before heading to Cuba with Team USA. He did all of that damage with offensively while playing five different positions in the field. The 23-year-old is now in Arizona playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions and he's agreed to chronicle his experiences for MiLB.com.
With the Fall League coming to an end, my thoughts shift from grinding away at baseball day in and day out to offseason workouts and plans.
Today is our last day, and unfortunately the Phoenix Desert Dogs won our division so I will be leaving Arizona without a championship ring. But I still have many great memories and have made a lot of friends.
I feel really fortunate to have been able to play with and against some of the best players in the Minor Leagues. I will take this experience, and the lessons I have learned from it, and apply it to my goal of becoming a Major Leaguer.
As for the offseason, I'm really looking forward to going back home to Virginia and spending time with my family and starting my workouts. A couple days after I get home I'll be heading to Kentucky to visit my grandparents for Thanksgiving and finally getting a home-cooked meal. It's been a while since I've had a meal outside of a restaurant or the clubhouse.
After the much-needed Thanksgiving break, I'll head back to Virginia and begin working out for next year. I will work out four days a week, taking Wednesday and the weekends off, and will be doing that until Spring Training.
I wouldn't trade my experience in the Arizona Fall League for anything in the world and I look forward to what lies ahead in 2007. Thanks to all of you who have read my journal, and thank you for all of the emails you've sent throughout the fall season. See you in 2007!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.