Jose Reyes said he’s 100 percent, but he’s not really. He’s not been the player he was before going on the disabled list with a hamstring, and while he’s still had a good year, he once again served reminder of the dangers of giving him a long-term contract in the neighborhood of seven years.
The offensive rap on Reyes has always been giving away too many at-bats at the plate and falling back into bad habits, such as pulling off the ball and adopting an uppercut swing.
What were line drives and crisp ground balls have turned into weak fly balls and pop ups. He’s taking a 2-for-13 slide into tonight’s game against the Braves, including nine fly ball outs.
Reyes has had had a marvelous season and somebody will give him a payday this winter. If not the Mets, then somebody.
However, two things have surfaced to warrant caution in anybody dealing with Reyes, with the first being his propensity to injury and breaking down.
He hasn’t played in 150 games since 2008, and since 2003 has only logged at least 150 games four times. From 2005 through 2008, Reyes had at least 56 stolen bases.
For a player who makes his living with his legs, there are breakdown signs for the 28-year-old Reyes.
With his health always a concern, so is his performance. Players will always have slides and slumps, but there are still holes in Reyes’ game that indicate Carl Crawford money of $142 million over seven years – which Fred Wilpon said he would not get – will be unattainable.
After three years of leading the NL in stolen bases, he has 32 now, his most in four years. His on-base percentage on .376 is the highest of his career, but how much is that playing for the contract? His career .339 on-base is more representative of his capabilities, and that’s not worthy of Crawford money. I don’t know if it is worth more than a $100,000 million package.
He’s never walked more than 77 times in his career and has only drawn 29 this summer. His career strikeouts-to-walks ratio is 498 to 319.
Reyes is a good player having a good season, but as the last few weeks have shown, there are vulnerabilities in his game that say Wilpon might have been right all along.