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Reyes the Mentor Narrative a Farce

Heading into the 2018 season, one of the justifications for the Mets bringing back Jose Reyes was for him to serve as a mentor to Amed Rosario.  Certainly, that seemed to be the case with Rosario publicly lobbying for the Mets to bring Reyes back into the fold and with article after article mentioning this as a positive from Reyes’ dreadful 2017 season.

Now, it’s quite possible Reyes was more than willing to give his time to a young Rosario who was in the minor leagues.  However, with Rosario in the majors serving as an impediment to Reyes’ playing time, it increasingly seems as if Reyes is less mentor and more malcontent.

Aside from his complaining publicly about his playing time and opportunities leading to a significant increase in playing time, there are some things which remain a real concern about his “mentoring role” which was highlighted last night:

Reyes, being the “mentor” and a former shortstop, knows that’s this shortstop’s ball.  He’s called off the play by Rosario.  Instead of giving way, which is the correct baseball play, Reyes lunges in front of Rosario to make the catch.

Looking at it, Rosario was not happy, and Reyes was quite dismissive of Rosario’s being irritated.

Even if this is reading too much into the situation, and Reyes is really mentoring Rosario, you have to ask the question of when that mentorship is going to bear fruit?

In Triple-A, Rosario hit .328/.367/.466, but there were some warning signs in his game.  Notably, Rosario had a 5.4 percent walk rate.  Another issues is despite his speed and athleticism, Rosario was only successful 76 percent of the time on his stolen base attempts.

When Rosario was called-up to the majors, he struggled mightily.  He hit .248/.271/.394 (74 wRC+).  In the field, he had a 1 DRS.  All told, he was a -2 WAR player.

The good news was supposed to be Rosario was just 21 years old, and really, he could only go up from there.  That hasn’t happened.

This season Rosario has been much worse.  He’s hitting .234/.279/.347 (69 wRC+).  In the field, an area he was supposed to thrive, he’s at a -10 DRS.  Overall, he’s a -0.7 WAR player.

He’s a -0.7 WAR player who has shown no improvement in his game.  His walk rate is 5.2 percent.  He’s got just a 50 percent success rate in stolen bases.  When you look at him, you see a 22 year old who is just over-matched.  Worse yet, his mentor is publicly lobbying for playing time which is likely to come at Rosario’s expense, and whent heya re in the field, his mentor won’t so much as defer to him on a ball that is his.

Even if Reyes is making an effort to serve as a mentor to Rosario, the results are not there.  Rosario is regressing instead of progressing.  Reyes’ presence is serving as a distraction, and it is now impeding the playing time of Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil.

In the end, the Mets have to really reassess this situation and see if this is a dynamic which is serving the best interests of their 22 year old former phenom.  If it isn’t, the team is going to have to do what is best for both Rosario and the franchise, not the washed up veteran.

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