Mets Want Reyes To Improve OBP Before New Deal

One of the key components of being a leadoff man is the ability to get on base, and people familiar with the Mets' thinking tell SI.com's Jon Heyman that the team wants Jose Reyes to improve his on-base percentage before they give him a multiyear deal (Twitter link). The 27-year-old posted a .321 OBP in 2010.

Reyes' OBP was an issue earlier in his career as well; he got on base just 30.3% of the time in his first three seasons, a span of 1,254 plate appearances. He responded by posting an OBP between .354 and .358 in the next three years before a hamstring injury shortened his 2009 campaign. Reyes' career OBP is .335, and for comparison's sake, leadoff hitters around the game got on base at a .329 clip in 2010.

Reyes will earn $11MM in 2011 after the Mets exercised the club option in his contract. He's scheduled to be a free agent after the season. Last month we heard that the team wants to see if Reyes can stay healthy this summer before offering him a new contract. That's fine with the switch-hitting shortstop; he recently said he prefers to wait until after the season to talk about a new deal anyway.


35 Responses to Mets Want Reyes To Improve OBP Before New Deal Leave a Reply

  1. erm016 4 years ago

    Maybe they should worry about their finances as well before offering him a new deal.

    • Infield Fly 4 years ago

      …Or conversely, maybe they should sell the team already to someone with vision, some sense…and finances that consist of actual money! (Hey, imaginary money ain’t what it used to be. Literally).

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        you really need to start a Sell to Mark Cuban campaign asap

        • Infield Fly 4 years ago

          Yeah, before the Wilpons raise the white flag then ruin the effect by selling to some other clueless bozo!

  2. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    He has been a decent contact hitter in the past. If he can just improve his eye, he’d be good. Good luck Jose, stay healthy!

  3. Brad426 4 years ago

    If on-base percentage is so important, then why don’t they put it up on the scoreboard?

    – J. Francoeur

  4. rockfordone 4 years ago

    He’s is gone – him, Ollie, Beltran, and Frankie – savings 60M – will sign no one

  5. Redbirds16 4 years ago

    If Pujols leaves, bring in Reyes, Berkman/Pena/Lee, and Bell/Papelbon for the same price!

    A slight exaggeration perhaps, but point made.

    • Ferrariman 4 years ago

      Bell and Papelbon would be a stupid addition. We have tons of RH relievers. So would Pena/Lee IMO. Better to roll with Craig than do that. Reyes, Buerhle, and extensions for current players would be the best way to go IMO.

      • mlbscout6 4 years ago

        I think he was just implying that the money going to Pujols could be use to sign a lot of quality players.

  6. KaiserSoze74 4 years ago

    I know if Reyes isn’t a Met in 2012, a lot of Mets fans will be upset.

    • Infield Fly 4 years ago

      Hell yes. I got my panic on the second I heard the talk about possibly not re-signing him!

  7. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    if he improves his OBP, he becomes a 5-6 win shortstop again and the mets will have to borrow from china to keep him in new york

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      i know right?

      They should ask him to lower his OBP for 2011, so they can sign him to a bargain deal.

      Then in 2012 ask him to increase his OBP

  8. MetsEventually 4 years ago

    This is obviously the work of Alderson, since Minaya had new clue what OBP is (Francouer,Barajas).

  9. if they are in the race it is probably be b.c of reyes and beltran, so they wont trade them, but if they are out of it they probably will be underperforming and won’t have much value, but reyes will be a type A so we can get a draft pick if he declines arb. But say they are out of it and Reyes is doing well and they decide to trade him, what could they get for him?

  10. FamiliaTerritory 4 years ago

    I am not worried about Jose’s OBP…it’s him drawing more walks that I’m more concerned about. I wish he would have a more Rickey Henderson-type patience at the dish. One year, he drew 77 walks and wound up stealing 78 bags. He’s capable of doing much better when it comes to walks/SBs. If he plays 150+ games this season & he’s able to draw more walks, his OBP will be in the .380-.400 range. Ultimately, he’s gonna stay put with the Mets after this season. You can take that to the bank.

    • calamityfrancis 4 years ago

      so you want him to be rickey henderson, the best leadoff hitter ever and arguably an all-time great.

      sounds easy enough.

      • FamiliaTerritory 4 years ago

        I don’t want him to be Rickey Henderson per say, but I want him to draw at least 80-100+ walks a year like Rickey used to in his day. That’s one of a few flaws I see in Reyes’s game. Henderson is an all-time great because he managed to draw TONS of walks, which led to stolen bases. You’re saying that Reyes playing like Rickey is impossible. Rickey used to work with Reyes years ago when he was a special instructor/1st base coach & had a huge effect on Reyes. Besides, Reyes in his career thus far has done something Rickey never did: Have a 200+ hit season under his belt. Reyes can maintain a high OBP if he plays all year healthy & if he plays smart. Take his 2008 season for example (when he was last healthy and played 150+ games).

        May: .383
        June: .364
        July: .403
        August: .363

        He was lackluster in April & September OBP wise (.307 & .314, respectively). All he has to do is be patient.

        • I am Urban Legend 4 years ago

          problem with ur theory is that reyes gets a ton of hits from hitting balls OUTSIDE the strike zone.

          it would be nice if there was a stat showing how many time he placed the bat on the ball…and how often it resulted in him standing on 2B/3B due to double/triple or error.
          also how often did it bring in a run due to a sac fly…a ground ball out-RBI….
          reyes’s approach is more due to him being rushed to the MLB at age 19, having poor hitting instruction until Rick Down/Rickey Henderson…

  11. ACra 4 years ago

    He drew less walks than Francoeur in the second half last season. If he can improve his walk totals the OBP should get back to the .350 range.

    • I am Urban Legend 4 years ago

      if he can improve his walk rate, AND continue to get basehits at the same rate he was at before…he would have the highest OBP of any leadoff hitter in MLB.

      he doesnt need that to command a multi-year contract…

      its like saying David Wright should hit 50 HR a year if he wants a multi-year deal…

      If Reyes can just play like he did in 06-08…he gets 15-20 mil a year for 5 years…

      • ACra 4 years ago

        Sure, but I don’t know how you can say the walk totals aren’t a problem from last year.

        2005 – .273/.300/.386/.687 – 27 BB

        2006 – .300/.354/.487/.841 – 53 BB

        2007 – .280/.354/.421 /.775 – 77 BB

        2008 – .297/.358/.475/.833 – 66 BB

        2010 – .282/.321/.428/.749 – 31 BB

        I agree that he needs to get back to playing to 06-08 numbers, but part of that is taking more walks. In each of those years he collected 190+ hits and at least 50 BB. Prior to 2006 he was having similar problems, not taking enough BB and his OBP suffered. Jose is always going to hit for average; its the walks that kill his OBP.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          YEAR – P/PA – O-Sw% – BB% – OBP

          2005 – 3.62 – 23.2% – 3.7% – .300

          2006 – 3.61 – 28.1% – 7.5 % – .354

          2007 – 3.67 – 25.9 % – 10.1 % – .354

          2008 – 3.68 – 24.7 % – 8.7 % – .358

          2010 – 3.69 – 32.1 % – 7.3 % – .339

          there’s some encouraging things here. the year over year change is pretty minimal, but the trend in pitches per plate appearances is what you’d like to see. were it not for some uncharacteristic hacking at pitches out of the zone (a 7-8% jump is pretty huge), his OBP may well have been solid again last year

          barring a concerted effort to exercise a lot more discipline at the plate, i don’t see reyes suddenly becoming an on-base machine. but really he doesn’t need to do much beyond not-chasing the ball to return to his prior form. and his prior form is is a perennial 5.5+ win guy

          • ACra 4 years ago

            Thanks for posting the O-Swing percentages. I was just making some coffee and thinking to myself, “I wonder if he swung at an unusual number of pitches outside the zone last year.” Perhaps he was trying to do too much with the way things were going for the team offensively last year.

  12. guydavis 4 years ago

    Why are we taking stock in what Heyman is tweeting? Alderson said there will be no hard and fast rule for whether they sign Reyes, this tweet has no grounding in reality.

    • I don’t think he’s saying it’s a ‘rule.’ But I think for a guy like Reyes, OBP is the most important part of his offensive game. So naturally the Mets don’t want to resign a guy who’s not only a health risk, but is also getting on base barely above the league average for his position. If Reyes keeps getting injured and posts a similar OBP to last year, he’ll probably walk. Makes perfect sense to monitor those two things in a contract year…..

      Then again Crawford, who’s older than Reyes, just got a ton of money to play LF and to be a leadoff hitter with a career OBP of .337, .002 points higher than Reyes’s mark. But Crawford also hits for a higher average and has proven to be more durable thus far. If Reyes can get back to his 2006-2008 self, he could match Crawfords deal and maybe surpass it with LA, NYY, Boston, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Anaheim possibly interested.

      • ugen64 4 years ago

        crawford’s career numbers are a bit misleading because he came up so early (for a bad team too). actually, it’s the same with Reyes – both of them started their ML careers at the age of 20. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they struggled getting on base for the first few years, before becoming above average in that category (both of them have maintained a >.340 OBP for 4 of the last 5 years).

        that doesn’t contradict the article though – while Reyes’s low OBP last year was kind of a fluke based on his previous four years, it is obviously a concern if he has another bad year.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        using crawford’s career OBP is like using cliff lee’s career ERA. why would you do that

        crawford’s OBP since the end of 2008 is ~.360 and is wOBA is above .370. he hit free agency on the best two+ year upwswing of his career. reyes is currently coming off a down year – though because he’s a shortstop a strong season this year will make people forget very quickly. unless he does have another down year this year, i don’t see reyes staying in new york

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