Tag: hanley ramirez

2010 Analysis: Jose Reyes

On paper, Reyes was not even the third-best shortstop in the NL East going into 2010. Hanley Ramirez, Jimmy Rollins, and Yunel Escobar all had excellent seasons in 2009 while Jose spent most of the year on the DL. However, by the time 2010 ended, Jose had found his way back toward the top – though it was more due to drop-offs by the others than a great performance by Reyes.

Ramirez remained on his own planet, but Rollins was dogged by a nagging leg injury and Escobar shat the bed before ultimately being permanently sent to Siberia Toronto. Meanwhile, Jose Reyes came back from a thyroid issue to play in 133 games, hitting .282 with 11 HR, 54 RBI, 30 SB, and 83 R. Two negative numbers jumped out, however: a .321 OBP and 10 times caught stealing. Looking at the final stat line, these numbers are disappointing and concerning, but one must consider the fact that Reyes was definitely, positively, not ready for MLB action when he returned to the lineup on April 5th.

For those who forgot, Reyes’ thyroid problem forced him to sit his butt on the couch for about a month. If you have never participated in athletics, please take my word for it: an athlete – no matter what level, no matter what age, no matter what shape – cannot be a couch potato for almost a month and then jump right back into world-class competition. It takes anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to get into good shape (for any sport), but it only takes 2-3 weeks to fall out of shape. That’s not my opinion – it’s biological fact. Now, consider that in addition to needing to whip himself back into shape – i.e., to increase his lung capacity or “wind” – Reyes also had to get “back into the swing of things” (pardon the pun) in regard to throwing, hitting, and fielding.

But, Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel were both making decisions based on their job security back in April, so once Reyes showed he could stay on the field for 9 straight innings, he was back in the lineup. All things considered, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when Reyes faltered mightily until June; he was, after all, experiencing “spring training” during the first two months of the season in MLB games, rather than on a sunny field in Port St. Lucie.

So we should look at those final stats with a grain of salt. Further, we should look at his .314 AVG in June, .310 in July, and .302 in August. He once again slowed down in September with a .269 AVG, but he did have an .808 OPS that final month.

I have to admit, though, I’m a little concerned about that low OBP and the meager 31 walks he drew. Getting caught stealing could have been a combination of bad timing and not being in great running shape, but there is no excuse for the low walk total – plate discipline is something that can be an issue at first, but it should have improved over time. The only explanation I can hope for is a mental one; perhaps Reyes felt he had to be more than he could be, considering the team’s struggles, and in turn expanded his strike zone. We saw Reyes show good strike-zone judgment while Willie Randolph was his manager (and Rick Down his hitting coach), so we know he is capable of being a disciplined hitter. Whether we’ll see him return to that efficiency remains to be seen.

2011 Projection

Guess what, folks – Jose Reyes ain’t young anymore. He is 27 years old now and will be 28 next June – the age when most players enter their prime years. After 130+ healthy games and the thyroid issue seemingly behind him, Reyes is primed for the best season of his career. The question is, will there be a strong influence on the bench reminding him to be patient and disciplined – the way he was under Randolph and Down? If so, Reyes could return to being one of the top 3 players in fantasy baseball, and one of the most dynamic offensive forces in “real” baseball (the game they play on grass and dirt, for team wins and losses). Without that discipline, Reyes may or may not be the second or third-best shortstop in the NL East (look out – Ian Desmond or Danny Espinosa could be gaining on him).

READ MORE +

Mets Game 77: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 7 Mets 6

Ugh … as in, “Ugh-la”.

Dan Uggla bounced a grounder through the middle of the artificial infield to bring home Jorge Cantu from second base to give the Fish a 7-6 victory in the bottom of the ninth in San Juan.

I guess you call that a “walkoff single”? Hmm … the ring of it is underwhelming, but the result is the same.

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi was pitching a perfect game until opposing pitcher Nate Robertson dribbled a grounder through the infield in the bottom of the third. Then, it was like a dam broke, as seven consecutive Marlins reached base in the inning. One of them reached home on one swing — Hanley Ramirez, who blasted a no-doubter grand slam to apply the damage of the inning.

By the time Takahashi left the game, he had hurled 5 2/3 innings, and allowed 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks.

The bullpen more or less held the fort until Feliciano gave up a double to Jorge Cantu and then the fateful single by Ugh-la.

Jerry Manuel made the mysterious move of bringing in Francisco Rodriguez in the 8th inning, down two runs, to face the bottom of the Marlins lineup. I can understand wanting to get K-Rod into the game to get work. But why not wait until the 9th?

Manuel also chose to pitch to Dan Uggla in the 9th with first base open. I understood the decision — the idea was that Pedro Feliciano would nibble outside the strike zone in the hopes that Uggla would chase something and either strike out or not get good wood on the ball — and if he didn’t take the bait, the worst that would happen would be a free pass. However, Feliciano got too much plate, Uggla had choked up on the bat looking to poke something through the infield, and the rest was history. Some may criticize Manuel for pitching to Uggla, but I don’t know that it was such a bad idea. However, the K-Rod decision was a bit puzzling.

David Wright hit 3 unproductive singles and was thrown out stealing in the first frame. The only other Met with more than one hit was Ruben Tejada, who stroked two singles, drove in a run, and scored one.

Chris Carter hit a key pinch-hit double to set up Josh Thole’s pinch-hit RBI single in the top of the ninth. Maybe one or both of them should’ve been in the game from the get-go … but, there was a lefty starter on the mound, and we all know that lefthanded hitters can’t hit lefthanded pitchers.

Next Mets Game

The Mets will try to salvage at least one game in San Juan on Wednesday night at 7:10 PM. Ace starter Mike Pelfrey takes the mound against Chris Volstad.

READ MORE +

2009 Fantasy Projections: Shortstop

“Shortstop” is the name of a greasy spoon diner right under the last stop of 1/9 train in Riverdale – whatever you order, keep it greasy and order seconds. Cheese fries are highly recommended, if I remember correctly.

“Shortstop” is also where the NL East is dominating the positional rankings in fantasy baseball:

Shortstop Rankings – National League

  1. Hanley Ramirez (.300-30-110) – Ramirez moves down to the third spot in the lineup this year, so expect more RBIs and a small drop in his SB – I’m thinking he steals 20-25. There’s a reason he is rated #1 by most fantasy baseball magazines and websites.
  2. Jose Reyes (.300-18-70) – Reyes will put up his usual numbers – Solid average, power and RBI numbers for a guy that will steal a ton of bases. And I do expect him to steal a TON of bases when the Mets start to hit a rough patch early in the season. Forget what you’ve heard about Jerry Manuel’s “jazz beat” – Reyes will run until his legs fall off this season or the Mets will fall apart. Thank God he isn’t batting third…
  3. Jimmy Rollins (.280-15-65) – Rollins is an excellent barometer with which to gauge the collective temperment of your draft/auction. He puts up power numbers comparable to Reyes and he should steal about 15 more bases than Ramirez, yet he isn’t quite up to their overall levels of production… If you are in an auction league, you may get him for less than $35 if Reyes/Ramirez are still on the table. But watch out, once the big guys are gone, the price for Rollins could skyrocket close to $40. Don’t overpay, but get him closer to $30 if you can.
  4. JJ Hardy (.275-20-85) – I’m starting to think people overvalue Hardy because they are lumping him in with Ryan Braun and Corey Hart – how many people at your draft have actually seen a Brewers game? Could they tell the difference between Hart, Hardy and Braun? Hardy will post decent numbers, but he isn’t a top tier talent at SS and he is wildly streaky. Get him cheap if you can, but don’t bid on him if he approaches $20. There are plenty of solid AL shortstops that come cheaper and there are better values in the NL.
  5. Stephen Drew (.208-18-65) – Get him if he’s cheap, avoid him if he’s too expensive. Rinse. Repeat.

Sleeper – Rafael Furcal (.280-10-50) – If Furcal plays a full season and he is completely healthy, he is almost as productive as Jose Reyes. Don’t expect him to be healthy all season, but watch him post .300-15-65 with 50 SB and 110 runs scored if he is.

Shortstop Rankings – NL East

  1. Hanley Ramirez (see above)
  2. Jose Reyes (see above)
  3. Jimmy Rollins (see above)
  4. Yunel Escobar (.290-12-65) – You can’t build a fantasy team around Escobar, but you can definitely get him at a fair price and spend your money (or your higher draft picks) on top talent at other positions. If you’re lucky, he may swipe 10 bases.
  5. Cristian Guzman (.285-8-50) – Proceed with caution. This guy is on the Nationals for a reason – he’s just not that productive. Don’t expect him to post another .300-season and don’t expect many SB. He’ll bug the hell out of you with a two-out bloop single late in a tie game against the Mets, but being a gadfly doesn’t translate to fantasy value. Spend no more than $3 on him in an auction and don’t bother with him in shallow mixed leagues.

Sleeper – No one. If Ramirez, Reyes or Rollins get injured, their replacements won’t make a noticeable impact unless they are acquired by via trade.

READ MORE +