Key Stats: Jose Reyes posted career highs in AVG, OBP and SLG last season. He notched a career best strikeout percentage (7.0%). Reyes returned to what he did best, which is put the ball in play, keep it out of the air, do damage with his speed. It was his contract year and it rewarded him handsomely. In the years he has had full seasons (at least 150 games) he has hit 17, 17, 12 and 19 triples. 2011 also saw him post career marks in contact rate, first pitch strike and swinging strike rates.
Skeptics Say: There is a saying never pay for a career year, and last year for Jose certainly qualifies. He batted .337 but had never batted higher than .297 in a full season prior. He is a huge risk for injury. Since 2009 he has played in 36 games, 133 games and 126 games. When he is on, he’s on, but more often than not he’s out of games on the DL. Since he has a history of hammy injuries the minute something tweaks ever so slightly in his legs, he is pulled from the game and then sitting out 2 to 3 more. He doesn’t play through injuries and in head to head leagues guys that miss time without being on the DL are a death trap to productivity.
Peer Comparison: In years prior, the obvious peer was Hanley Ramierez, but even then, they were separate players, HanRam being superior usually with a better average, more power, RBI’s and lost some on steals and runs, but he isn’t a SS anymore. Tulo is in the same boat. Going after Reyes we have Starlin Castro and Elvis Andrus. Despite the big age gap, they are closer matches. However I think Andrus is “Reyes-Lite” Elvis finished the year with 2 less steals, 2 less HR’s, and 5 less Runs. He had 16 more RBI (AL vs. NL lineup). While neither player has a walk rate to write home about, Andrus’ was higher. Those gaps could be bigger had Reyes played in a full slate of games, but he didn’t and we can’t count on him to do so. In roto leagues I would say it’s worth it to wait and draft Andrus, but in H2H, Reyes will definitely give you more bang for your buck, provided he is actually playing.
Lineup Outlook: Reyes figures to be the spark plug he was for the Mets in Miami where he will be leading off for an offense that has punch and speed.
Projection: Is Reyes going to stay healthy? I don’t know. I think we’ll see the following per 300 AB’s.
.295 AVG, 4 HR, 48 Runs, 17 RBI, 24 steals, .350 OBP and a .790 OPS