Given all the turmoil surrounding the New York Mets coming into 2011, not many expected anything from the team, during 2011. Coming into the season, speculation arose; perhaps 2011 would be a wash year for the Mets and phase-1 of a long rebuilding process.
But, here we stand June 13, and the New York Mets are flirting with the .500 mark and are very much alive in both the National League Wild Card race and the National League East race.
When both, Ike Davis and David Wright went down in mid-May with injuries and were placed on the DL the talk of a fire-sale began to heat up.
The team was destined for a tailspin right? This was a team that started the season 5-13 with everyone, outside of Jason Bay healthy. Now with two of their top sluggers out, how would the Mets field a competitive team, let alone win and continue to remain in the race?
The answer, shortstop Jose Reyes.
Since Reyes’ option for 2011 was picked up, it’s been adversity after adversity that has faced the soon to be 2011 All-Star.
It began in Spring Training with the media starting rumors of when the 28-year-old two time All-Star, would be traded given the Mets financial struggles, it was stirred when owner Fred Wilpon came out and said the dynamic shortstop was not getting Carl Crawford money from the Mets, but through it all Reyes has somehow managed to keep it on the back-burner and is putting together the best season of his career.
With no clear-cut legitimate MVP candidate sticking out in the National League is it to early to make the case for Jose Reyes?
If it is too early to start talking possible MVP candidates, then when does that time come? With the MLB season approaching the halfway mark I think now is when you get a good idea of who the front-runners are.
Where would the Mets even be without the offensive production and stellar defensive play of Jose Reyes? Certainly not in a position to challenge for a division title, or wild card berth.
Coming into tonight’s play against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Reyes posts a stellar .346 batting average, tops in the NL while he also leads the Majors in triples with an impressive-11.
Reyes trails just teammate Carlos Beltran in the league lead for doubles (Beltran, 20, Reyes 19).
His twenty stolen bases trails only the Houston Astros speedy center fielder Michael Bourn’s twenty-five.
The speed demon, is tied for fifth in the league with forty-seven runs scored.
Maybe, more impressive than any one of these stats in Reyes impressive multi-hit games, where the Mets shortstop has recorded a multi-hit game thirty-two times, while playing in just sixty-three games.
At the pace the young electrifying shortstop is going, Reyes would finish with a league best 230-hits, which would shatter his previous best of 204 during the 2008 season, where Reyes finished 24th in the MVP voting.
The one thing that may hold Reyes back in the discussion is the lack of home runs. With just three, he may not be the sexy pick, but the numbers Reyes has put up in every other aspect of the game cannot be overlooked.
Despite just three home runs Reyes’ OPS is still a mind-bottling .921, a number most power hitters struggle to reach and maintain throughout the course of a 162-game season.
Now whether Reyes wins the MVP or not, will be contingent in all likelihood on where the Mets finish in the standings.
If the Mets continue to win, and somehow sneak their way into the postseason, one would figure it would be due to Reyes continuing to excel and carrying the Mets to a place they haven’t been since 2006.
With no one separating themselves from the pack to this point, and with many in the NL clustered together in the standings, Jose Reyes stands as good as shot as anyone to take home NL MVP honors.