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Reyes Cannot Hit Lead-Off Anymore

After the game last night, Terry Collins joked, “I’ve got the FBI looking for the real Jose Reyes right now.”  

Instead of having the FBI look for Reyes, Collins should have the FBI look for a better option at third base and to bat lead-off. 

Now, no one can reasonably believe that Reyes is as bad as his current 1-27 streak. Even with Reyes fighting it since Spring Training, you’d expect him to at least beat out a throw with his speed. Reyes is better than this.

And yet, Reyes still isn’t good enough to be asked to play everyday and lead-off. Since Reyes’ career year in 2011 when he became the first ever Mets player to win a batting title, Reyes has been on a decline. That decline has been accelerated the past three years. 

Consider during his first go-round with the Mets, Reyes was a .292/.341/.441 hitter who averaged 25 doubles, 11 triples, nine homers, 47 RBI, and 41 stolen bases a season.  In that time, he accumulated 27.9 WAR. However, Reyes was more than just stats He was a dynamic shortstop whose exuberance pumped up the team and the crowd. 

Since leaving the Mets, Reyes has been a .281/.331/.410 hitter who has averaged 21 doubles, four triples, eight homers, 37 RBI, and 20 stolen bases. The bulk of those stats come from Reyes first year in both Miami and Toronto. The numbers get worse from there.

In the last three seasons, Reyes is a .279/.321/.400 hitter who averages 24 doubles, three triples, eight homers, 43 RBI, and 21 stolen bases. 

Now, with Reyes coming back to the Mets last year, the narrative was Reyes would be rejuvenated by playing for the Mets again. As we see with Reyes’ 1-27 streak this season, that has been proven false. 

Reyes is a 33 year old player in decline. He’s more in decline as a left-handed batter as he has been a .225/.276/.347 hitter. 

When you can’t hit right-handed pitching anymore, you can’t play everyday. When you have a .321 OBP over the past three seasons, you can’t hit leadoff. 

The issue here is that this is a problem with no easy solution. Wilmer Flores has the same issues against right-handed pitching. Many Mets fans solution would be to platoon him with Kelly Johnson, but Johnson is still a free agent. 

T.J. Rivera was a big part of the Mets push to the Wild Card last year, but it’s doubtful he can play everyday as his aggressiveness at the plate has suppressed his OBP in his minor league career. 
It’s probably still too early to consider Gavin Cecchini or Amed Rosario to get the call-up. No one can reasonably say when David Wright will return. 

And with that, the Mets are likely out of third base options. Arguably, Reyes is still the best option at third base. That argument gets harder and harder to defend with each out he makes. 

One thing that is indefensible is batting him lead-off. His .321 OBP over the past three years demands he hit lower in the lineup. His struggles this season beg for it to happen sooner rather than later. 

In his place, the Mets can literally pick anyone else as they cannot possibly be this poor. Ideally, that someone would also play third base. Unfortunately, that player does not exist, at least right now. 

Perhaps that player will be discovered as part of the FBI investigation. 

4 thoughts on “Reyes Cannot Hit Lead-Off Anymore”

  1. Luis says:

    Creative organizations maximize their talent. The Cubs put Schwarber in the OF, the Nats put Turner in CF..there is no reason to not give Conforto a shot at 3rd..he was an inf when he got to college, but nooo, the Mets wont try that. Pete Rose moved to 3rd at age 34! With NO Spring Training (which will be the excuse given for not moving Conforto..he needed some time at 3rd in ST…) Give it a shot..if it doesn’t work out, you will know pretty quickly

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’m all for radical, but I think the OF to 3B move takes much more time than dabbling at the position during Spring Training. That’s a complete overhaul.

  2. Gothamist says:

    Can Cabrera move to third if Rosario is called up in August?
    He played there for one game back in 2007!

    Gavin Cecchini had too many errors playing SS laxt year, maybe third is easier but 2nd seems to be his future.

    David Wright is not the answer, after the Matt Cain beaning his average in the 6-9 innings with men in scoring position is dismal.

    Shut him down enough to collect the insurance?

    WHAT ABOUT A MERITOCRACY with Reyes, Wilmer and TJ for starts?

    Reyes, ARod, Tiger Woods, Carlos Beltran had one thing in common, they used the same Canadian doctor.

    I think Reyes is just having emotional hell at home w his wife after the publicity of the other women with that trial on top of her knowing about it since she confronted him in Hawaii.

    He may be in deep self hate, he does not see his love child much at all despite living nearby in Upper Brookville/Glen Head during all those years in Miami, Toronto and Denver.

    My hunch, his seeking a thrill of a HR is for his own emotional escape, his immediate satisfaction, team acceptance, his temp thrill or his aspiration of being adored by others. His lost career success maybe about shortcuts?

    Was he not hitting lrad off much after the Mets ?

    One can potentially see after the dismal production and no intent to be a teamer as unreasonable and unfair to his teamates and the paying customers and advertisers?

    This is not new!

    Plus those vitamins are not available any more!

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-tiger-a-rod-doctor-admits-bringing-drugs-into-us-2011jul06-story.html

    Either way, drug tests changes in MLB speak for themselves ….

    I would not want him on my 25 man roster in a World Series nor I mever saw him as a core leader in the clubhouse….

    TC, hoping for the best will always be a sub .300 OBP anyway…

    TC, please play all three.

    We all have skeletons and I am probably being very unfair to accuse him of these and asking everyone also to abandon him?

    I am really pissed that he has not asked TC to not play him as often for he knows he is hurting the team.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Cabrera played Winter Ball at third, and he’s probably best suited for 3B defensively. Issue there is, it’s probably too soon for Rosario. Cecchini is probably best suited for 2B, but he has the arm to play third.

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