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Reynolds leads St. Lucie laser show05/09/2013 11:57 PM ET
By Jonathan Raymond / Special to MLB.com
Matt Reynolds, a Mets second-round pick in last year's Draft, had probably the best game of his short career Thursday, and he wasn't the only one in the Class A Advanced St. Lucie lineup having a big day.
Reynolds went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two runs scored and a career-best five RBIs as part of a 16-hit, 17-run outburst for the Mets in a 17-1 romp over Palm Beach.
The 22-year-old was one of three Mets to compile a three-hit game, one of five with a multi-RBI effort, one of six with an extra-base hit and one of seven to score at least twice.
"That was unbelievable, everyone contributed, it was a whole team effort," said Reynolds. "Just unbelievable to be a part of that. We just wanted to keep adding on, didn't want to get complacent, wanted to have a threat every inning and we kept adding pressure throughout the whole game."
It was the second three-hit effort of the season for New York's No. 18 prospect. It marked a halt to a stretch that had seen him hitting .220 (11-for-50) in the 14 games since he produced his last three-game effort against Charlotte on April 20.
"I've been in kind of a slump so far, and to have a game like that definitely boosts your confidence, gets the momentum rolling. It's huge for me," he said. "I've been working my butt off in the cages before the game every day, getting to the field around 12 o'clock to talk with my hitting coach [Benny Distefano], watching video of my swing, just to get out of this little slump. Tonight it felt good to finally see some results from that."
After Reynolds was taken out of the University of Arkansas last year by the Mets, he bypassed Rookie-level and short-season ball to play out the year with Class A Savannah. The native of Tulsa, Okla. hit .259/.335/.367 in 42 games for the Sand Gnats after batting .323 with a .427 on-base percentage in his junior season with the Razorbacks.
Reynolds was again rapidly advanced this offseason to the Florida State League, where after Thursday's output, he now sports a .277/.356/.412 line in 31 games for St. Lucie.
"I was recognizing pitches a lot better, my swing felt a lot shorter and quicker and more compact. Those are the things I've been working on," he said. "I feel like that was one of my most complete games. I pulled a ball down the left-field line, hit a ball into left center, hit the triple to right center and lined out another time to right field, so I was using all the parts of the field. My swing felt great."
The top and bottom of the St. Lucie order did much of the damage, with Reynolds slotted into the second spot in the lineup behind second baseman Robbie Shields, who went 3-for-5 with a double, a walk, three runs scored and two RBIs.
Cam Maron, hitting eighth, went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, three RBIs and two runs and Gilbert Gomez, batting ninth, went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, two RBIs and two runs.
Third-ranked Mets prospect Noah Syndergaard (2-1) also starred in the contest, holding Palm Beach to one run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
The right-hander has allowed just two earned runs over 26 innings through his last four starts, and for the season, he has a 2.61 ERA in 38 innings with 38 strikeouts and 13 walks.
"[Syndergaard] looked great, he's a fun pitcher to play shortstop behind," said Reynolds. "He goes after hitters, attacks them with his fastball. He was commanding all his pitches to any part of the plate, and when a pitcher's doing that, it's a lot of fun to watch."