More Durable: David Wright or Jose Reyes?

Remember when the Mets let Jose Reyes walk away for absolutely nothing, and inked David Wright to an historical contract extension?

At the time, the thinking was that Wright was more “the face of the Mets,” better fit the team’s offensive philosophy of homeruns and walks, and would prove to be more durable than Reyes over the long haul.

The first element is debatable; considering the team’s Flushing, Queens, location and associated extremely diverse local demographic, it could be argued that a Latino ballplayer would be as fitting a “face” as any. There’s no argument for the power/OBP — Wright wins that hands down. But what about durability?

For all the brouhaha regarding the supposed fragility of Reyes, guess who has played more ballgames over the past three seasons?

Give up? Here’s a surprising fact: the “oft-injured” Jose Reyes has played in 379 games from 2011-2013, while Wright has participated in 370. Reyes made 1721 plate appearances to Wright’s 1609 during that period, and scored 245 runs to Wright’s 214.

Guess who had more total bases in the past three years? Again, it’s Reyes, with 706 to Wright’s 673 — fairly significant considering Reyes played in only 9 more games. As expected, Wright beats Reyes in OBP and OPS, but not by much — .378 and .859 for Wright to Reyes’ .361 / .813. Reyes wins in batting average .306 to .292, as well as stolen bases (94 to 45), doubles (88 to 87), triples (28 to 9), and sacrifice flies (12 to 10); he also grounded into fewer double plays (21 to 31).

Granted, Wright obliterates Reyes in homeruns (53 to 28) and RBI (212 to 138), and also beats him in a number of advanced SABR metrics such as WAR. Additionally, Reyes has posted negative UZR fielding numbers, while Wright has been positive in two of the three years.

I’m not about to suggest that the Mets made a mistake in “choosing” Wright over Reyes for the long term — and there are still several years to judge the decision. But I find it interesting that recently, durability is not a significant difference between the two players.

Thoughts? Do you expect the durability trend to continue? Why or why not? Answer in the comments.

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13-14 Offseason

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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