Sorry for cramming all the latest on Jose Reyes in one post, but I think it makes it easier to sort through and debate. Here are some interesting items of note.
The Hudgens Effect
On Mets.com, Anthony DiComo credits Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens with some of Reyes’ success this season.
Shortly after arriving in Port St. Lucie, Fla., for Spring Training in February, Jose Reyes met with new hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who quite plainly informed Reyes that he was going to improve his on-base percentage. And so the lessons began. Hudgens implored Reyes to lay off high heaters and two-strike breaking balls in the dirt. Hudgens taught Reyes to punch outside pitches to the opposite field.
Over the next seven months under Hudgens’ tutelage, Reyes completed a remarkable transformation from an above-average hitter with explosive baserunning abilities to an elite pure hitter and five-tool player. Once considered arguably the game’s most exciting man, Reyes has since evolved into one of the planet’s best hitters.
I don’t know how great a role Hudgens played on Reyes, but his on-base skills were never better as was the entire team which was ranked #2 in On-Base Percentage in the National League.
Reyes Nominated For Hank Aaron Award
Congratulations to Jose Reyes for his nomination for Major League Baseball’s Hank Aaron Award, presented annually to the top hitter in each league. No Met has ever won the award.
Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Joey Votto of the Cinncinnatti Reds won in 2010.
Don’t Judge Reyes Too Harshly
WFAN’s Rich Couthino makes an impassioned plea for not judging Jose Reyes too harshly for pulling himself out of one meaningless game to help himself secure a batting title.
I have sat and listened to the so-called experts pontificate about the merits of Jose Reyes and whether the Mets could or should sign him. All I keep hearing is about the last game of the season and how Jose Reyes should have done this or done that. The bottom line is he led the league in both batting and triples and those facts are undeniable. In a season in which many injured Mets took many weeks to return to the lineup (some took all season) Reyes pushed his body to return and played 100% every waking moment. I’d venture to guess if the Braves or Red Sox had him, we would not be talking about their collapses and Terry Francona would still be wearing a Bosox hat. That is how valuable I think Jose is to a team.
Nice job, Rich.
The King Of Swing
Finally, I leave you with this wonderful art from the always amazing Joe Petruccio, who does an incredible job of chronicling the Mets season game by game through his innovative art. Follow Joe on his site My Mets Journal.