Jose Reyes’ 408 stolen bases with the Mets (or his single-season stolen base record of 78 in 2007)
Though his first Mets tenure ended unceremoniously after he took himself out of the lineup in 2011 to preserve his batting title, and his second Mets stint ended unceremoniously after he batted .189 over 110 games in 2018, Reyes is by far the most prolific base stealer in Mets history on several levels. He holds the all-time franchise record with 408 swiped bags, which far exceeds the 281 that Mookie Wilson stole as a Met. For any future Mets player to exceed this mark, they would have to average stealing over 40 bases per season for 10 straight seasons with the Amazins. It’s not statistically impossible, but it does seem very unlikely to be broken.
The Mets, collectively, have not been very active on the basepaths since Reyes retired. Outfielder Starling Marte, who they acquired after the 2021 season, led the Majors in ‘21 with 47 stolen bases. By contrast, the Mets as a team stole 54 bases in 2021, which ranked 13th out of 15 National League teams and tied for 24th out of the 30 MLB teams. If you go back through the Mets’ last few full seasons (the pandemic-shortened 2020 excluded), they stole 56 bases in 2019, 71 in 2018, 58 in 2017, 42 in 2016, and 51 in 2015. In four of Reyes’ Mets seasons (2005-08), he stole 50-plus bases by himself.
Now, I’m not saying that base stealing as a whole is being erased from the game. Other teams frequently steal many more bases than the Mets -- the Kansas City Royals led the Majors in 2021 with 124 stolen bases, over twice the amount that the Mets mustered. The top individual base stealer for the Mets in 2021 was Jonathan Villar, who stole 14 bases (but was caught seven times). With larger bases reportedly coming to the Majors in 2023, base stealing will likely be up all over the league in the near future, which hopefully will work in the Mets’ favor.
Still, given that no Mets player came close to Reyes’ career or single-season stolen base records before he came along, and no one has approached them since he retired, I feel confident saying that they will stand for a very long time.