So much has been made about the fantastic season Jose Reyes is in the midst of right now that it’s easy to forget that this is what we missed the past two seasons. In Reyes’ last full year before the assorted leg injuries that torpedoed his 2009 season, he set career highs in hits (204), doubles (37), triples (19) and on-base percentage (.358). And Reyes did this as a 25-year old.
Would we be surprised at his 2011 season if Reyes had been healthy and continued a “normal” aging process the past two years? Yes, he’s been terrific this season. But he was also fantastic before the leg injuries and what he’s doing now underscores what as fans we missed out on the past two seasons.
Right now Reyes is leading the league in runs (55), hits (105), triples (13) and average (.335). According to ESPN, Reyes is on pace for 119 runs, 227 hits, 43 doubles, 28 triples and 56 stolen bases. He currently sits with an .889 OPS. Earlier this year, owner Fred Wilpon declared that Reyes wasn’t worth Carl Crawford money. It’s fair to point out that Crawford, a left fielder, has never posted an OPS higher than .851 and never scored more than 110 runs. Additionally, Crawford’s career high in doubles is 37 and triples is 19.
Hard-luck Dickey: R.A. Dickey lost a win last night when the bullpen blew his lead in the ninth inning. While Dickey’s overall record looks lousy, in his last seven starts he has a 2.23 ERA and a 0.985 WHIP. In that span he’s thrown 44.1 IP and has allowed just 12 BB to go along with 37 Ks. But Dickey is just 2-2. He’s pitched well enough to have earned five wins in that stretch. If Dickey keeps pitching like this the wins will come eventually
Paulino punishes LHP: When the Mets signed Ronny Paulino, he seemed like an ideal platoon-mate for the lefty-hitting Josh Thole. And while it took awhile for Paulino to make his Mets debut, he has been just as good as advertised. In 42 PA this year versus southpaws, Paulino has a .342/.390/.368 line, which tracks nicely with his career line against lefties. Overall, Paulino has a .338/.390/.482 line against portsiders. Which means that Paulino could be thought to have underperformed against LHP this year, as his slugging percentage is 114 points below his lifetime average.
The RBI machine: No Met has been better about coming through in the clutch than Justin Turner. Last night he drove in the game-winning run when he turned into a ball and was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded. Turner now has 30 RBIs in 178 PA. According to Baseball-Reference, the average MLB player has 18 RBIs after 178 PA.
Baseball Prospectus shows Turner driving in 25.4 percent of the runners that were on base when he came to the plate. Not only is that the top mark on the Mets (Reyes is second with an 18.3 percent rate) but it is also the best mark in the majors among players with 100 or more PA. Last year Carlos Gonzalez led all major league players with at least 500 PA with a 22.3 percent rate. Angel Pagan had the top rate on the Mets with an 18.4 mark.
Rapid Robert Returns: Bobby Parnell has been extremely good this month. After returning from the minors, Parnell allowed 2 UER runs in his first outing on the last day of May. Since then he’s allowed 1 ER in 9 IP. In that span he’s allowed 2 BB and has 11 Ks. Parnell has limited opponents to a .558 OPS. And all of this comes about even though opposing batters have a .364 BABIP against him. Parnell has been pretty hittable in his major league career, with a lifetime .342 BABIP with the Mets. He’s going to have to limit the HR and keep down the walks in order to succeed. His results in June show what can happen when everything is clicking.
Finally, Frenchy: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Jeff Francoeur joins a new club, a bunch of stories make the rounds about how he’s made the adjustment that’s going to turn his career around and he gets off to a hot start. This year, Francoeur had a .980 OPS after 30 games and 130 PA.
Since then, Francoeur has a .222/.274/.302 line in 179 PA (.576 OPS). He still doesn’t walk and he still doesn’t hit for power, so when the singles stop falling in, there’s nothing left. Just in case you forget how his Mets tenure ended, Francoeur posted a .216/.267/.322 line in his final 404 PA (.589 OPS) with the team.
You’ve got to admire consistency like that, even if the only thing consistent is lousy hitting.