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Reyes of Hope

By Mike Silva ~ February 2nd, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

It’s become fashionable to bash the Mets, after all, they make it so easy. Despite all the concerns regarding their depth, player development and health, there is still reason to believe they could contend for a playoff spot in 2010: Jose Reyes

In the latest stop on the Mets “PR Tour”, members of the media were allowed to watch Reyes workout yesterday on Long Island. Kevin Kernan of the NY Post watched the” Mets shortstop work, testing his surgically repaired right leg time and again during the strenuous workout. There were 90-foot dashes; explosive 10-yard sprints, on which Reyes would grab a tennis ball on one bounce; ground balls hit to his left and right; high choppers where he had to fly across the diamond; weight-lifting; dynamic stretching; core exercises and hitting.”

The quote that should excite Mets fans is from Reyes himself as he told Kernan “I’ll be ready in 2010. Be there, it’s going to be a show.” That confidence and swagger is what makes Reyes a great player, and could help return the Mets to contention.

There is no bigger reason for Mets success than Jose Reyes. His last full season, 2008, showed that he put up an OPS just under 1.000 in Mets wins, but was under .700 in Mets losses. For years SNY has been showing a graphic about how successful the Mets are when Reyes just gets on base during a game. It wasn’t long ago that Bobby Cox compared him to Rickey Henderson during an early season series in Atlanta.

Obviously, Reyes need to finally put everything together and show he can stay healthy and consistently perform at a high level. To date, he is a slightly above average career hitter (OPS+ of 101), but that does factor in some of his early career seasons in which he was injured. If you look at his career numbers since 2006, Reyes is at a 111 OPS+ and has an OPS over .800 from the leadoff spot. Defensively, they are going to need his range to shore up the spotty up the middle, which includes gimpy Luis Castillo.

There are many keys for the 2010 Mets to overcome their dysfunctional corporate infrastructure. Jose Reyes is right at the top of the list. On a day where J.J Putz exposed the Mets management for the frauds that they are, Jose Reyes reminded us about why the players might be able to succeed in spite of it all.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to Reyes of Hope

  1. birtelcom

    “To date, he is a slightly above average career hitter (OPS+ of 101), but that does factor in some of his early career seasons in which he was injured. If you look at his career numbers since 2006, Reyes is at a 111 OPS+ and has an OPS over .800 from the leadoff spot. ”

    Keep in mind, OPS and OPS+ leave out a meaningful chunk of Jose’s offensive value because they do not reflect his stolen bases. Reyes has stolen more bases than any shortstop his age in MLB history. Since 2006, Reyes has averaged 6.1 Runs Created per game according to b-ref, a terrific number for a shortstop (Runs Created, unlike OPS, includes the value of SBs).

  2. birtelcom

    Following up on my previous comment, as to how OPS and OPS+, which you used to characterize Jose’s offensive performance, underestimates Jose’s contribution because it doesn’t reflect his SBs.

    In late December you created a bit of stir, Mike, with a post questioning the value of a stat developed at Fangraphs called wRC+ (http://nybaseballdigest.com/?p=18999). The discussion of that post got not only a bit heated but also a bit abstract, dealing with the value of advanced baseball metrics generally. But with Reyes and your use of OPS+ in the current post, we have a very concrete example of why wRC+ is indeed a useful improvement in some cases over a stat like OPS+.

    Your post on Reyes points out that his career OPS+ is 101 and from 2006 on it is 111, which are nice numbers for a shortstop but not really star territory. Unlike OPS+, wRC+ takes into acount Jose’s base running, while also continuing to do the good things that OPS+ does: adjusting for home park factor and league-wide offensive perfomance, and measuring against an intuitively comprehensible standard average of 100. Reyes has a career wRC+ of 111 and a wRC+ from 2006 on of 121. These are much more impressive numbers than his OPS+ numbers, and they more accurately reflect Jose’s value on offense to date.

    This application to the specific example of Reyes is a good demonstration of why sabermetrics folks continue to try to refine the field’s methods and stats — to more accurately reflect player performance. It’s true that Jose Reyes is an unusual player, with very distinctive attributes, and for most players the difference between OPS+ and wRC+ will be much smaller. But for the occassional player with attributes like Jose’s, wRC+ really does do a much better job, while also accurately describing less distinctive players than Jose at least as well as OPS+.

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