Reynolds picks up postseason hardware


By Robbie Neiswanger

Arkansas News Bureau

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas third baseman Matt Reynolds has headed off to begin his professional baseball career. But the newest member of the New York Mets organization was still grabbing some collegiate postseason honors Tuesday.

Reynolds was named a third-team All-American by Perfect Game and also earned second-team All-South Region honors by the American Baseball Coaches Association. The Tulsa, Okla., native also was named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball earlier this postseason.

The honors came after a junior season in which Reynolds led Arkansas in nearly every offensive category at the plate, going .323 with seven home runs and 45 RBIs. He also finished the season with a .950 fielding percentage, helping him earn first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors.

Reynolds was selected in the second round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft by the Mets. He will begin his pro career with the Savannah Sand Gnats, which is New York’s single-A team.

Bates signs

Arkansas outfielder Sam Bates signed with the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.

Bates, a senior, agreed to terms with the organization and will begin his professional baseball career with the Royals’ rookie league affiliate in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Bates, a Cabot native and former Pine Bluff resident, was selected by Kansas City in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

Bates hit .240 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in 2012, finishing tied for second on the team in home runs. He played in 70 games, with 56 starts, during his two-year Arkansas career.

He is the second member of the 2012 team to sign a pro contract. Reynolds agreed to terms with the New York Mets on Monday.

Arkansas No. 6

Arkansas finished the 2012 season ranked No. 6 in Baseball America’s final poll.

The Razorbacks were ranked in Baseball America’s top 25 to begin the season and climbed as high as No. 3 during the year. But Arkansas was not ranked in the poll entering postseason play after struggling through the second half of the season.

Arkansas finished behind Arizona (No. 1), South Carolina (No. 2), Florida (No. 3), Florida State (No. 4) and UCLA (No. 5). The other two College World Series participants — Stony Brook and Kent State — finished No. 7 and No. 8, respectively.

Other SEC teams included: LSU (No. 9), Kentucky (No. 20), and Mississippi State (No. 22).