New York Mets News

New York Mets: Reminiscing about Jose Reyes’ career and legacy

By Chris Rocco
NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets looks on against the San Diego Padres on April 13, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced Shea Stadium as the Mets home field. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets looks on against the San Diego Padres on April 13, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced Shea Stadium as the Mets home field. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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After an amazing New York Mets career, Jose Reyes’ poor play and ineptitude have led to a rather poor ending.

JOSE… JOSE JOSE JOSE… JOSE… JOSE! Oh, those were the days. Since 2003, Jose Reyes has been a staple on the New York Mets. With the exception of a few years between 1999 and now, Reyes has been with this club through the ups and downs and truly brought a whole different dynamic to the team.

It all started when a team scout spotted 16-year old Reyes at a tryout camp in Santiago, Dominican Republic in the summer of 1999.  Despite concerns about his small frame, the Mets offered him a contract and he signed with the club on August 16, 1999. After four years in the minor leagues, Reyes made his much-anticipated major league debut on June 10, 2003.

In Reyes’ first at-bat as a Met, he hit a single and it was an appropriate omen of what was to come in his career. Five days later, Reyes hit his first home run as a Met: a grand slam.

Reyes’ time in the major leagues was only supposed to last around two weeks, as he was called up due to an injury to Rey Sanchez. He made it last a whole lot longer!

Reyes’ first season in the MLB was cut short due to a sprained ankle, but still, put up excellent numbers. In 69 games, he batted .307 with 32 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. He finished 8th in voting for the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year.

In 2004, Reyes struggled a bit in his sophomore season in the MLB. He batted just .255 with just 14 RBIs in 53 games. Following the 2004 season, people began to wonder if his rookie season was just a mirage.

In the following season, Reyes proved his critics wrong. He settled into the leadoff spot in the lineup and batted over .270, with 46 extra base hits, 58 RBI, and 60 stolen bases. He led the National League in stolen bases and the entire MLB in triples.

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Then, in 2006, Reyes brought his game to a whole different level. After the Mets brought in former player Ricky Henderson as a specialist instructor, Reyes thrived. He won the Silver Slugger award, was elected into his first ever All-Star game and finished 7th in MVP voting. He finished 2006 with a .300 batting average, 19 home runs, 81 RBIs, 122 runs scored, and 64 stolen bases. What a year for Jose!

To reward Reyes for his incredible 2006 season, the Mets locked him up for four years in a $23.25 million deal. In 2007, Reyes continued his excellent play but had a terrible last month of the season, and was a key component to the historic 2007 late-season collapse. He had a whopping 78 stolen bases during the 2007 season.

From 2008-2011, Reyes maintained his excellent play. He brought an important dynamic to the Mets – speed, base stealing, and the ability to manufacture runs. With the exception of 2009, when Reyes only played in 36 games due to a calf tear, Reyes brought consistency and energy to the Mets in dire times.

When his four-year deal expired, Reyes bolted for Miami in their first year as the Miami Marlins. He was signed to a 6 year/$106 million deal. He hit .287, drove in 57 runs, and had 39 stolen bases. After a year in Miami, Reyes was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, where he called home for three seasons. During the 2015 season, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies where he played for 47 games.

Since 2016, Reyes has been back where he belongs. Although he hasn’t played the way we expected him to, we must respect his legacy and career with the New York Mets.

Next: Mets are better off trading Jacob deGrom in an offseason than regular season

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A sincere thank you to Professor Reyes for the good times and excellent Spanish lessons!

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