Describing Jose Reyes’ explosion of late as “not a hot streak; this is one of the brightest young talents in baseball becoming a superstar,” the New York Sun’s Andrew Marchman pays the Mets shortstop the ultimate compliment. If your name is Michael Kay.
The hitter we saw up until two weeks ago – a .250 hitter with solid line-drive power and excellent speed, taking a walk two or three times a week – was a very good one, and given that Reyes turned 23 a few weeks ago, his performance was the kind you could project toward a Hall of Fame career along the lines of Roberto Alomar Jr.’s.
What happened to turn Reyes into Alomar, rather than a player you could see developing into Alomar? He figured out how to hit a curveball, and the league hasn’t figured that out yet. When word gets around, he’ll come back to earth, but I expect his current numbers (.302 AVG/.361 OBA/..495 SLG) are a lot closer to what you can expect out of him going forward than the .246/.315/.407 line he was sporting before his hitting streak began. We’re not only seeing a quantum leap forward in his development, but a sustainable one.
This wasn’t inevitable, but now that it’s happened, Reyes’s prospects have become unbelievably bright. Before this season, Reyes had a better chance of turning into Garry Templeton than Alan Trammell; having demonstrated that he can play at this level, precisely the opposite is now true. It’s something like what happened to David Wright last year, when he went from a first-tier prospect to a player on a clear Hall of Fame career path. (That Wright has since improved is a subject for another day; what he’s doing this year may be even more unlikely than what Reyes is doing.) To put it another way, salary considerations aside, I not only wouldn’t trade Reyes for Derek Jeter straight-up, I would laugh at the idea. His numbers will go down, but Jose Reyes has arrived.
Besides a first inning walk to Carlos Beltran (subsequently caught leaning the wrong way) and a 2nd inning solo HR allowed to Carlos Delgado, Boston’s Jon Lester has looked awfully sharp against the Mets, as Boston leads 3-1 through 3 innings. Alay Soler, having already thrown 72 pitches, seems destined for an early shower. Or, a long night stinking up the dugout, depending on how much hot water is available in the visitors’ clubhouse at Fenway.
Philadelphia’s Brett Myers is going on extended Wife Beater Break. During Myers’ hiatus, he’s expected to be spending more time with his family…which should work out just fine just so long as A CERTAIN SOMEONE LEARNS WHEN TO SHUT THE HELL UP.
The Mets placed Jeff Keppinger on the Temporarily Inactive List last Friday. I’m not sure if that is better or worse than extended Wife Beater Break, but it doesn’t sound very promising.