The impact of Jose Reyes on the 2017 Mets

Reyes, Cabrera, CespedesThe 2016 Mets were heading into the middle of 2016 season with a record of 40 wins and 33 losses.  Their already anemic offense had suffered the losses of first baseman Lucas Duda and third baseman David Wright, then they signed former team hero Jose Reyes.  Reyes was coming off a disappointing season split between the Rockies and the Blue Jays in which he hit for a disappointing .274 Batting Average with 7HRs and 53 RBI.  He was also coming back from a suspension for domestic violence, which gave many people inside and out of the Mets organization great pause in acquiring the shortstop.

Eventually the team decided Reyes was worth the negative publicity and was signed for the league minimum with an option for 2017.  The move ended up being a wise one for Sandy Alderson as Reyes went on to hit .267 with 8 HRs and 24 RBI with nine stolen bases in 11 attempts.  He brought some needed speed to the lineup and filled in amicably in David Wright’s absence at third base.

The true value of signing Reyes was in the 2017 option.  Alderson showed good foresight in adding the option to the deal.  Now that Reyes has reestablished some value with his play the Mets could retain his services for an additional season at minimal cost.  His defensive versatility will be a boon to a team featuring three starting infielders coming back from major neck and back issues.

He also provides the team with a true leadoff hitter, something the Mets have been searching for since he left the team in free agency following the 2011 season.  He had a decent OBP of .326 last season though he did score 45 runs in just 60 games last year.  He will be the team’s leadoff hitter in every game he starts this season allowing Curtis Granderson to slide down in the order and collect more RBI chances.

Reyes is a great insurance policy for a team that has a myriad of injury concerns.  With Wright’s spinal stenosis and Neil Walker’s return from back surgery, Reyes is a nice option to fall back on.  He will also be taking balls in the outfield this spring training were his speed and strong arm could play nicely in center field if needed.  Reyes is also a steady fielder with an above average arm who can slot in at any infield position other than first.

Aside from the incident last offseason he has been a good citizen, and a return to the organization in which he came up in has seemed to do him a world of good.  Hopefully he will not have to play every day and can be something of a super sub along with Wilmer Flores and possibly Michael Conforto the Mets should have an extremely strong bench.

We will see how he performs over the course of the season and perhaps the Mets will consider keeping him around beyond this season.  If they do not, he was a low risk gamble that has seemed to pay off quite well.

10 comments for “The impact of Jose Reyes on the 2017 Mets

  1. February 21, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose… Jose… Jose…

  2. Jimmy P
    February 21, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I think Jose is potentially a valuable weapon for the Mets, but we have to be clear-minded about which Jose we are talking about. The one of yesteryear, or the current version.

    Fact:

    In 2016, Jose had 80% of his ABs against RHP and achieved an OBP of .293.

    That shouldn’t be anybody’s idea of a leadoff hitter. Mets should consider him at #8.

  3. Jimmy P
    February 21, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    One stat I could wish for — and maybe it exists somewhere deep in FanGraphs — is SPP: Scoring Position Percentage.

    That is, not all OBP is created equal. A guy who hits a lot of doubles, or steals a lot of bases, is far more likely to score than a slow-footed singles hitter.

    In that sense, Jose’s OBP is not as bad as it looks (though .293 is unacceptable for any leadoff hitter). He has that knack for touching home plate.

    It would be interesting, perhaps, to know his percentage in getting into scoring position. Likewise, you have to wonder if 2B is “scoring position” for a slow runner, so the math guys would almost not to weight those numbers. With two outs, going at the crack of the bat, Bruce scores from second. But does he with only one out? Or might the team need “two events” to bring him round?

    • Eraff
      February 23, 2017 at 10:53 am

      That’s a Great Idea/Insight….. “when Jose was Jose”, I used to consider the impact of his stolen bases as additive to his OPS….it’s a Total Base, in reality)

      Your idea is actually considerably more precise— when you look up and notice, “Wow…it seems like that guy is always in scoring position!”….Bam!!!–There’e Your Stat!

      Do you have a Name for it?

      (Personally, I’m still miffed that “The Danny”, my beloved stat, has never taken hold!)

      • February 23, 2017 at 11:34 am

        You absolutely have to factor in the ability to steal bases. However, if you want any kind of serious number, you cannot just add in SB to OPS.

        If you want to isolate a player’s contributions while running the bases – use BsR. At Reyes’ peak in 2007, his baserunning alone – stolen bases, caught stealing, extra bases taken, outs on the bases and avoiding double plays – was worth over a win. That was the third-best mark in the majors and one that could easily be the best mark in any given year. As recently as 2014, Reyes had an 8.3 BsR, which was the fourth-best mark in the majors. Last year, in about 40% of a full season, Reyes had a 2.0 BsR.

  4. Metsense
    February 22, 2017 at 7:00 am

    At this point in his career, Jose is not as good a player as Cabrera and Walker so he should only be getting playing time at those positions once a home stand or road trip per position. The experimental outfield play still should keep Reyes behind the starting three and Lagares, Conforto and possibly Nimmo. That leaves third base where Wright has not been able to get past the 38 game mark in the past two seasons. It is because of this that I believe Reyes will log the majority of his time at third base. A somewhat healthy Wright will keep Jose on the bench. A disabled Wright will probably overtax Reyes for the season along with Cabrera and Walker because TC has a tendency to run veterans to exhaustion. If TC will allow Flores and TJ some opportunity if Wright is injured then the 34 year old Reyes might be able to stay fresh. A fresh Reyes does seem to be able to generate runs. Alderson indeed made a good signing when he brought Jose back.

  5. Jimmy P
    February 22, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I agree with the Metsense take on Jose. SA insisted on the option year and it was tough, smart negotiating.

    One of this season’s experiments is if the Mets can build a quality offense without a true leadoff hitter or speedy table-setters at the top of the lineup.

    The Nationals blow the Mets out of the water in this department, and will be a much better team at manufacturing runs. Every time Daniel Murphy steps to the plate there’s going to be someone on second base.

    They just added Wieters, Lind, and will very likely add David Robertson in the pen.

    Game 163 is not a worthy outcome for a team that possibly has the best starting rotation in baseball. Right now, today, I’m not seeing the Mets as favorites in the NL East.

    I hope that Rosario plays in NYC in the second-half of the season w/ Cabrera at 3B.

    • Name
      February 22, 2017 at 9:23 am

      “SA insisted on the option year and it was tough, smart negotiating”

      Reyes original deal ran thru this year, so he was going to make the min no matter where he played so it was just a matter of where he wanted to play. Clearly it was the Mets. Even if he hadn’t given the Mets the option, i’m sure he would have resigned here anyways.

      The interesting question is what happens next year when the team employing him will have to start paying actual dollars.

      • NormE
        February 22, 2017 at 10:23 am

        Next year? Not only Reyes, but Cabrera, Walker, Granderson, Duda and Bruce—-lots to contemplate. The Mets could be getting a lot younger and the payroll will be reduced in time to deal with the starting pitchers.

      • Jimmy P
        February 22, 2017 at 11:14 am

        From the accounts I read, when Jose visited Sandy w/ his agent to hammer out the deal, SA insisted on the 2017 option.

        Make of that what you want.

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