Rich Sparago, Staff Writer
Jose Reyes is the Met most likely to surprise in 2017. Reyes returned to the Mets mid-way through the 2016 season, after struggling in Colorado where he was traded during the 2015 season. Reyes was released by the Rockies after serving a suspension for domestic violence, which cost him the first half of the 2016 season.
There was some question as to what Reyes may have had left in his tank when he rejoined the Mets’ organization in June of last year.
After a very brief minor league stint, Reyes made his debut in early July, and went on to post a slash line of .267/.326/.443. Reyes slugged eight home runs and stole nine bases in 60 games played. He also brought his customary enthusiasm, and by all accounts was a very positive veteran presence in the clubhouse (especially with Yoenis Cespedes).
Reyes also gave the Mets an answer in the leadoff spot, which enabled the rest of the position players to settle into consistent places in the order.
In 2017, Reyes will have the benefit of a full spring training (with the WBC sprinkled in). He is in the last year of his contract, so he’ll have that incentive as well.
But above all else, Reyes is a motivated player. He loves being a Met, and wants badly to bring the team back to the postseason (and a deep run at that). He’ll be batting at the front of a lineup of quality hitters, which can only help him.
Reyes will see a lot of playing time this year with the ongoing health issues facing David Wright. I would not be surprised to see Reyes slash something like .285/.345/.480 with 20 stolen bases at the top of the order.