The Mets Top 5 leadoff hitters of all time # 1: Jose Reyes
Whenever Mets fans talk about the best leadoff hitter in the history of the team, the answer is usually Jose Reyes. Reyes led off a total of 1,041 games for the Mets, nearly 350 more than the second place Mookie Wilson, and produced several of the best seasons by any leadoff hitter in club history. The switch-hitter only drew as many as 50 walks in three seasons, but his ability to hit for a high batting average and steal bases offset a lack of patience at the plate.
Jose Reyes was a four time All-Star, a four time league leader in triples, and a three time leader in stolen bases. He led the league in hits, won a Silver Slugger Award, and was the 2011 National League batting champion. He was also a League leader in several other categories, such as plate appearances, at-bats, caught stealing, and more. Reyes is the Mets all time leader in triples with 113, stolen bases with 517,
Jose Reyes was born on June 11, 1983, in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Reyes was spotted by a Mets scout at a tryout camp there in 1999. Although he was young and slightly built, he was signed to a contract and sent to the Kingsport Mets of the Rookie level Appalachian League. He moved steadily through the team’s minor leagues and made his Mets debut on June 10, 2003. After the team’s misguided attempt to move him to second base in an effort to make room at shortstop for Japanese star Kaz Matsui, Reyes would go on to establish himself as one of the premier leadoff hitters in the National League during his time in New York.
Reyes reached free agency in 2011 and signed a lucrative contract with the Marlins. He was traded to the Blue Jays where he would finish his contract, but his numbers began to slip. Attaining free agency again in 2016, Reyes returned to the Mets in a part time role. He officially retired from MLB at the end of the 2018 season.