Summer vacation has provided little downtime for former center fielder Javaris Reynolds. Reynolds missed his high school graduation last month for a chance to work out with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. A few weeks later, he was drafted 220th overall by the Astros in Major League Baseball’s first year player draft.
Reynolds was drafted in the seventh round, making him Hillsborough County’s second-highest high school draft pick. Even Reynolds said he was surprised he was picked in the seventh round.
“My dad was listening to the draft, and he came into my room and told me they called my name,” he said. “A huge smile just came over our faces. I was so surprised and just really happy.”
His father, Sydric Reynolds, said he knew this moment in his son’s career would happen some day.
“I knew from the first minute I saw my son play that he would do really well in this game as long as I kept him interested enough,” he said. “When I was at home and heard his name, I went crazy. Our whole family jumped up and down. It was definitely a proud moment for me.”
Reynolds credits his recent successes to his coach, Jim Macaluso, and claims he might not have been drafted if it weren’t for Macaluso’s help.
“He has worked with me all throughout my career here (at King),” he said. “If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have been that good this past season. I struggled at the beginning of my senior year, but he kept working with me, telling me that it would eventually come together.”
And it did. Reynolds ended up having a terrific senior season, hitting .403 from the leadoff spot, with 14 RBIs and 34 runs scored. He also stole 27 bases.
According to Reynolds’ father, the center fielder started to add additional practices to an already demanding schedule, something he thinks put him over the top.
“Since his junior year, we would go over to the fields at the Temple Terrace Little League the day before each one of Kings’ games so he could get some extra batting practice in,” he said. “He is just one of those kids that once he sees a certain amount of pitches, it begins to click for him. That’s what happened to him. He went on a hitting streak and he got hot.”
There was little speculation whether or not Reynolds would go to State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota on the full scholarship he was offered, or if he would go straight to the pros.
“I thought about it a little bit, whether I wanted to go to school or not, but I wanted to play on a bigger stage,” he said.
When asked whether or not Reynolds was ready to play on a grander stage, there was no hesitation.
Reynolds signed a minor league contract with the Astros earlier this month, but the details of the deal are unknown. He has already reported to the Astros’ Gulf Coast League rookie team in Kissimmee and says he is adjusting quite well.
“The organization is on the rise,” Reynolds said. “After working out with them last month I knew I fit well into where this team was going and I believe the team is a perfect fit for me.”