2007 Mets Report Cards: Shortstop, Third Base
Another day, another bunch of grades. Today we’re going to be grading the two Mets superstars: Jose Reyes and David Wright. I’m still going to grade them by position, even though Reyes and Wright spent 99% of the time at those position. Here we go!
Shortstop (Jose Reyes)
Ryan P. Well, from the beginning of the season to mid-August, Jose was lights out. He was batting around .300 with an OBP of .377. My rating for him then, was an A. However, once that calendar turned, boy, did he turn too. From September 1st to September 30th, Jose dropped his batting average from .296 to .280, he dropped his OBP from .370 to .354 and his SLUG% from .439 to .421. Yikes! That awful September earned a C- alone. He was unclutch, unprepared, and immature when September rolled in. Not good in my part.
Joe D. – The shine on Jose Reyes may have dulled some since July of 2007, but make no mistake his star is still burning bright. The threat he poses when he is on base can rattle a pitcher and change a game’s momentum at any given time. His on-base percentage may have slipped, but he is still young and improving. Defensively he continues to get better. His second half slide was just a blip on the radar.
Andrew V. Jose Reyes was the key to the Mets early season success. With his bat, his feet, and his glove. Late in the season, he fell apart at the plate and on the base path. As we all know too well, his hitting began a steep decline going into August. His glove work was as good as it ever was, keeping his errors down, and always making the key plays. The bat was his main concern, and obviously hurt the Mets more than anyone else’s slump. I could go on and on about what went wrong, and if it was Rickey’s fault or not…but I feel he is a young kid, who went into a slump, and didn’t know how to get out.
Shawn L. Great defense, and broke the Mets single season stolen base record. Had a HUGE problem with reading pitchers moves, and was picked off a lot this year. He also disappointed me at some points in the season with his "I don’t care attitude". Jose started out well and played great until the All-star break, but was non-existent from there on. Popping out was his biggest problem. We all were frustrated by his attempts to become a "Hanley Ramirez" type hitter which he absolutely is not right now. I’m not the biggest fan of Mike and the Mad Dog, but recently they confronted Omar Minaya with the rumor about Jose and Luis Castillo staying out late. My thought on this is, if it’s true why is this the first time we’re hearing about it? We heard about LoDuca’s appearance at a college party, why not this?
We definitely should not trade him for Johan Santana. When he plays well he carries a team, and there are not a lot of players out there who can do that. David Wright can lead a team, but Jose is the kind of leader who makes his team win games. His falloff, arguably, could be the reason why we missed the playoffs, but not only because of his poor play, but also for igniting the Marlins team on the last day of the season, and thats why he received such a low grade. Not only does he need to grow as a player, he also needs to become mature and grow as a person.
Brian M. – Jose Jose oh where’d you go Jose? Reyes started the year on an absolute tear and after the all-star break slowly declined until it got too deep into his mind to turn around. He finished 2007 with a .280 BA, .354 OBP, and a .421 SLG. All down from 2006 except for his OBP which was exactly the same. However, he had 78K’s and 77BB’s, both improved from 2006 and his 78SB’s was still outstanding. Top 5 in the NL in runs, singles, triples, and stolen bases. As a lead off hitter he did a great job, as a super-star league leader he fell back. His end of the year slump (batting .205 in September), when he was needed most, hurts his grade. Jose’s 17 errors were also one less than last year but his range and arm continued to be above average.
Jon C – The Jose we know and love didn’t show up in for most of August and September, but little blame falls on the shortstop. He’s young so I’ll chalk any wrongdoings to immaturity. For the entire season, however, Reyes led this team – being the only real sparkplug on a ho-hum team. I’m not going to point fingers at Jose for his decline – instead I’ll direct them at Henderson and Willie. Henderson wanted to teach Reyes to be more aggressive on the base paths. Thanks, but he was fine as he was. By teaching him to run more, he got thrown out more, and it led to a major blow to his confidence.
Similarly, Willie made an example of Jose for not hustling on one play. That changed Reyes as a player for the remainder of the season. It’s arguably the worst thing Willie’s done as a manager this season, and I’ve got a laundry list. Jose is Mr. Hustle. If he fails to run one play, take him aside, and tell him. Bottomline: You can’t blame a guy for breaking down playing every single game with his heart on his sleeve, and then getting reprimanded for the first time he gets lazy.
Third Base (David Wright)
Ryan P. – I couldn’t ask more from our third hitter. He had an MVP-caliber season, not to mention a 30-30 season too. No doubt was Wright the MVP for the Mets. His numbers are amazing. Wright finished the season on a 17-game hitting streak and finished the season with a .325 average. Wright he 30 homers, drove in 107 runs, scored 113, and stole 34 bases. Oh, he also had a .416 OBP along with a .546 slugging percentage. Simply Wrighteous.
Joe D. – Wright has become the face of the organization. Despite a slow start, he made some adjustments to his approach at the plate and when all was said and done, he delivered an MVP caliber season. He has power to all fields, but is clearly at his best when he is not pulling the ball. His deceptive speed and great instincts allowed him to go over the 30 steal mark and turn in a stellar 30-30 performance. He is still prone to making throwing errors, but should improve. It’s funny that his mentor Howard Johnson made those same types of errors early in his career, and that he was the last Met to homer 30 times while stealing 30 bases.
Andrew V. – David Wright…what a stud. The man can hit. His throwing skills may need a bit of work, and the double pump needs to stop…or at least get sped up…or something. Wright had an MVP caliber season at the plate, there is no doubt about that. Again, he is so young, he isn’t even near his prime, which makes me so giddy. With Wright and Reyes on the left side of our infield for years and years to come, I couldn’t be happier. Wright will keep up the hitting for years, and hopefully the defense will improve with time, and lots of hard work, which we know Wright loves to do.
Shawn L. – If the Mets had made the playoffs, you can bet your bare bottom’s that David Wright was the MVP. He was the only consistent Mets player from May on. He showed resiliency by bouncing back from a horrendous April. I know everyone is saying
"Well what about his defense?" I know…and thats what he didn’t get an A+. Met heads…I don’t know if you realize it, but David kept us in this race for the last two weeks. He was phenomenal, and showed what kind of player he is soon to become. He was also there facing the music (the press) after every disappointing loss. He showed what kind of leader he was…and he also showed that he should have a big ‘C’ on his jersey.
Jon C. – 2007 is the year David Wright grew up. While he didn’t show up in April, he hit a ton from there on out and took on the unofficial role of captain on a team whose players didn’t dare want the imaginary "C" on their chests. Wright almost willed the Mets to stay in first place, and while he came up short in September (he fields so well sometimes, but his arm scares the crap out of me - I mean can we get a seven foot first baseman next year?) – I can’t knock Wright. He the face of the franchise, and this year, he realized it takes more than just magazine cover shots and lucrative videogames to make it in this city. Bottomline: Wright is all right in my book. I expect him to have a career year in 2008. On another note, I miss Edgardo Alfonzo – totally unrelated but just need to get that off my chest.
..that’s it for today’s edition. We all though that Jose wasn’t the player he was last year. He just didn’t have the same confidence and spark as he did last year. He seemed very immature in some games, and he just tried to hit way too many home runs, not Reyes like.
David Wright, well, he was our MVP, no doubt. His season was so amazing, that it was the best all-around season in a long time. He hit for power, hit for clutch, hit for average, and ran his butt off. Pretty good for a guy who’s only 24 years old.
On Friday we’re gonna be doing Catcher & Left Field. So get ready Mets fans, we haven’t even started with grading yet!
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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