Ever since the 2006 season, the magic that seemed to surround New York has disembodied itself from its host, the Mets. Fans were put through excruciating visuals of Luis Castillo dropped pop-ups and agonizing facial expressions that always came in a package deal with a Jason Bay strikeout. Times are changing in the Big Apple, though.
There’s been an awakening. Ever since Wilmer Flores showed the world that there is crying in baseball, people started to take notice that a certain aura surrounds the New York Mets once again.
Not only are fans noticing, but players are choosing to play for the Mets over perennial contenders. Obviously, Yoenis Cespedes is the finest example. After proving his worth through a monstrous 2016 campaign, Ces agreed to return to the concrete jungle, for the second time, on the heels of a 4-year, $110 million contract. Neil Walker accepted his qualifying offer of $17.2 million to return as well, betting on both his health and this team.
There seems to be a major “band of brothers” feel within the Mets’ clubhouse. It’s the very reason Sandy Alderson is hesitant to part ways with natural leader Curtis Granderson. It’s the reason why guys like Rene Rivera are walking up to the plate flaunting a parakeet-neon sleeve. It’s the reason why Jerry Blevins can run out from the bullpen, proud of his bleach blonde hair.
While there’s an overwhelming sense of family, one man seems to love New York an unprecedented amount. The man who started his career, and may very well end it as a Met: José Reyes.
If you’re a fan being beaten down by shoveling driveways and defrosting windshields, just give José’s Instagram page (lamelaza_7) a follow. Here, you will see Reyes bombard your timeline with videos of him working out, pictures from past seasons, and general Mets appreciation. An absolute blast of a follow and remarkable way to get jazzed up about the 2017 season.
There seems to be a common slogan, if you will, pertaining to almost all of José’s posts. After almost every caption, he adds ‘#UnfinishedBusiness’, referring to the fact that anything less than a World Series ring is a disappointment. The questions is, how much of a factor will José Reyes be for the Mets in 2017?
Let’s take a look at the numbers from last season. In 60 games (255 at bats) with the Mets, he hit .267 with 8 home runs, 9 steals, 45 runs, and 24 RBIs. Now, traditionally, one could stretch these numbers across 600 at-bats to get a general idea of how a player would produce over an entire season. That doesn’t seem exactly appropriate here, though, as Reyes probably won’t be seeing that many plate appearance due to the current roster construction. But, if we expand these numbers over 450 at bats, a more realistic target, they figure to be: .267 BA, 14 home runs, 16 steals, 79 runs, and 42 RBIs.
Extremely productive numbers for someone who may not be playing every day. Is he going to be the MVP? No. But, pair a player like Reyes with another super-utility guy like Wilmer Flores, and the Mets could very well receive production comparable to a guy like Ben Zobrist of the Cubs.
Every championship team has high-caliber players. It’s the things that go unnoticed that win rings. It’s the players that get thrown away and end up outperforming their expected production that become the true difference makers.
José Reyes very well could be the Marlins-and-Blue Jays-and-Rockies trash, that the Mets turn into their treasure.