In his last 22 games, Jose Reyes is hitting .342 with 10 extra base hits, including four home runs, 14 RBI, 13 runs scored and a 1.023 OPS.
"I am going up there looking for my pitch," Reyes said after Sunday's win against the Braves. "The good thing is that I have been taking walks to help me see the ball really good."
His RBI triple in the first inning Sunday moved Reyes past Darryl Strawberry into second place on the franchise's all-time extra-base-hit list with 470.
"It feels good, but I've got one job to do here and it's to continue to play baseball and continue to put this team in a position to win every night," Reyes said. "It is always good when you break a record, especially one of Darryl Strawberry's, as he is a legend with this ball club."
|Extra Base Hits|
In 137 plate appearances when leading off an inning, Reyes is batting just .207 with a .299 OBP. He's hitting .259 with a .330 OBP and 42 RBI in 213 opportunities with a runner on base.
"Having a guy like that, with 14 years of Major League experience, is huge," Brandon Nimmo recently said, according to MLB.com. "To have a guy in front of you that lets you see some pitches, and to get into the rhythm of the game is great. He is really an asset to have hitting in front of you."
"He is an exceptional player and his foot speed helps," manager Terry Collins added. "He has had a great career here and I am extremely happy that he is back on the club. He brings energy and competitiveness that you need every day."
Reyes, 34, will become a free agent at the end of this season, though he recently told the NY Post's Mike Puma that he wants to finish his big league career playing with the Mets.
"I just want to be here because it's home for me and this is where I feel comfortable playing, but I don't have that in my hands," he added, according to Puma. "I know that I started the season horrible, but after a little while I feel I have been playing pretty good baseball. I wish that I could come back next year for this team."
Reyes is seeing the ball really, really well right now. The ball must look like a melon because he's walking at twice the rate he had been during the previous month of at-bats. At the same time, he's crushing mistake pitches and finally finding grass, not gloves. He had a .204 batting average on balls in play from mid-July to mid-August. In the 22 games since, his BABIP is .365.
So, what does this mean for next season? I think that largely depends on how much Reyes is asking for on his next deal and how Sandy Alderson intends to upgrade the team's offense...
For instance, if the Mets can get a true hitter at either third base or in the corner outfield, I would be open to discussing Reyes be the team's everyday second baseman and spot-guy for third next season.
In other words, if the Mets can get 10-12 WAR from their outfield next season (or two outfield spots and third base), they would be more than fine if getting only 1-2 WAR from Reyes at second base -- especially given he can also play shortstop and third, he loves the Mets, loves New York, has been a mentor to Amed Rosario, and he can handle the media and pressure of the city (even if in a pennant race). This also assumes he's willing to a take a short-term deal, because I assume that is how he will be valued by Alderson.
However, if the Mets crap out on upgrading other positions, Reyes (and his age and unpredictability) should not be an option for any starting slot on the roster.