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The Future of Jose Reyes

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The Future of Jose Reyes

I get email about Jose Reyes frequently, often from Mets fans, many of whom seem to be somewhat pessimistic about his development for some reason. In particular, stathead types seem concerned about his lack of plate discipline and his weak on-base percentage.

He currently has a career line of .277/.303/.395; obviously his OBP is a problem. He does have excellent speed and steals bases at a good clip. Although he knocked 24 doubles and 17 triples last year, his SLG has actually remained steady; his power hasn't improved on a per-at-bat basis.

Yet, he's only 22, his defense is solid, and he seems to have overcome the injury problems that hampered him early in his career. Intuitively, Reyes seems like a guy with major upside, possibly on the verge of a breakout. And a look at his comp list gives credence to this.

Comparable Players to Jose Reyes, Based on Sim Score, PECOTA, and general research

Jack Doyle (19th century shortstop who was very good)
Mark Koenig
Red Kress
Joe Cronin
Joe Tinker
Alfredo Griffin
Mike Caruso
Luis Aparicio
Cristian Guzman
Bert Campaneris

Three Hall of Famers on that list, plus several long-term regulars. The worst guy is Mike Caruso, who was already fading by the time he was Reyes' age. Cristian Guzman has been dreadful lately and seems to have peaked at age 23. Alfredo Griffin was Alfredo Griffin; flashy, erratic.

But at the upper end, the list does show what Reyes is capable of becoming, if he stays healthy and can improve his plate discipline even a tad. PECOTA points Reyes out as a breakout candidate for '06, and that makes sense to me.