How Hot is Jose Reyes?

As mentioned in the last game recap, Jose Reyes is on a tear. Over the last 10 games, he’s hitting .465 with 13 runs scored, four doubles, four triples and six RBI. He also has a 10-game hitting streak and has scored at least one run in nine straight. He’s not hot, he’s scorching. Which begs the question: if Jose is hot now, then how do you term his first 47 games of the year, when he was hitting “only” .314 with a .821 OPS?

This is a serious question. Think about it: we might’ve thought Reyes got off to a “hot” start early on. But actually, he may have simply been “warming up”. And in fact, we might not even be seeing Reyes at his best yet — because we haven’t seen many balls fly over the fence. We know that Reyes has homerun power, because we’ve seen him hit as many as 19 dingers in a season — as a mere 23-year-old in 2006. Very generally speaking, batters develop an ability to hit more homeruns as they get older, stronger, and more experienced. Jose has hit only one homer this season, and his history suggests that he’ll hit many more than that in the next 100 or so games.

Of course, part of the reason he’s not hitting the ball over the fence is because he’s hitting it TO the fence — resulting in triples and doubles. Part of that is a function of spacious Citi Field, but the Mets also play half their games away from Flushing, so some of these high line drives are bound to reach the seats eventually.

Personally, I’m not so sure this is a “hot streak” in the same way it is for many other players (i.e., “mere mortals”). Generally, you see a player “unconscious” when he’s on a hot streak; meaning, he’s in a zone and doing things without thinking — and you can kind of tell from his body language that he’s supremely, and unusually, more confident, focused, and relaxed than he usually is. In Reyes’ case, I don’t see anything unusual about his body language — he looks like the same guy I have seen (when healthy) since 2005.

Let’s consider something else: Reyes is hitting the way he is while David Wright and Ike Davis are on the DL and Jason Bay is irrelevant. In other words, he doesn’t have much protection in the lineup, and this certainly isn’t a case of him being in the lucky situation of pitchers needing to pitch to him. He’s more or less doing this all on his own.

Food for thought.

The sad thing about all this is that despite Reyes’ hot streak, the Mets are still a .500 team. So if you believe in the theory that “as Jose goes, so go the Mets”, then it’s scary to think where the Mets would be if not for Jose.

What do you think? Is Jose Reyes as good as he ever will be right now? Could he still be “warming up”? Will he eventually prove be even better? Did I just jinx him into an 0-for-45 streak?

Let me know in the comments.

Opinion and Analysis

About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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