Trade Me Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes was drafted as a three category juggernaut in a prime position. Owners expected him to be near the top of the league in steals, average, and runs as he will hit atop a lineup that was expected to be very formidable. Things have not quite gone as planned, despite having an extremely healthy first half.

Reyes has not played more than 133 games since 2008, so his 80 games played through the midway point of the season is certainly a positive. Despite playing in all but one game, Reyes is on pace to score the lowest amount of runs in any full season — currently on pace for 81.

Along with his struggles with scoring runs, which can be contributed to team wide lineup underperformance as well, Reyes also has the lowest batting average than he has ever had in a season with more than 50 games. While he is still stealing bases at a high rate and would tie last year’s total if this season were extrapolated to 162 games, he has really been a one category guy this year and one of his teammates who has played just 39 games is still ahead of him in that one category — Emilio Bonifacio has 20 steals in 170 PA.

With all of this said, I am very bullish on Reyes and am targeting him in almost every league. Most owners won’t be sour on Reyes, but they likely won’t value him as highly as they did out of the draft. It should be possible to acquire Reyes at somewhat of a discount, and owners could be willing to part with him due to his injury history.

One quality that I have loved about his game this year is his walk-to-strikeout rate, which at 1.09 is the highest of his career. Not only has that ratio increased, but his walk rate has received a nice bump as well to 10.1% from last year’s 7.3%. The average won’t match his season end .337, but as his average rises — .290 BABIP compared to .312 career and has been over .300 every year since 2006 — I expect him to have more opportunities to steal bases and subsequently score runs.

The injury risk is always there, but Reyes looks like a quality buy-low candidate. He should score runs at a higher rate and hit for a higher batting average over the course of the next few months, and I suspect that he steals bases with more regularity if he manages to stay healthy for the remainder of the season. I will gladly take Reyes off your hands if you are beginning to think the speedster is on the decline.

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Ben Duronio writes for Capitol Avenue Club, FanGraphs, and does the Sports Illustrated Power Rankings. Follow Ben on twitter @Ben_Duronio.

10 Responses to “Trade Me Jose Reyes”

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  1. Norris Division says:

    Nabbed him and Aceves for Billy Butler and Dan Haren. Even if Aceves loses his job, I couldn’t get Haren off my team quick enough. Double win!

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  2. Kyle H says:

    I hope you are right! Need him to pick it up to win my ottoneu league.

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  3. Adam says:

    These “trade me” articles should just be titled “I’m a slave to preseason rankings.” Reyes preseason was grossly overrated from a draft perspective. He misses a month every year with a hammy and even though he’s made it through the first half he’s just as much of a risk for that now as he was before the year. He just isn’t the base stealer he used to be and if he’s not hitting for a huge average like last year he’s little more than a middle infield SAGNOF.

    Top 3 most overrated players in fantasy.

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    • Delwyn Young says:

      Compared to the other players in his position, he’s been a fantasy monster for almost a decade. Since 2005 (his first full season) through last year, he’s stolen 338 bases, almost 100 more than the next best guy (Rollins). He’s scored 655 runs, 3rd behind Jeter and Rollins in significantly less playing time. .293/.345/.445 over that span. The guy is a stud. So he doesn’t hit as many HR as Tulow or J-Roll, but his speed, runs scored and slash lines more than make up for that.

      Yes, injury risk. Yes, only gives you super star numbers in 3 categories. Nobody called him overrated when he hit double digit home runs (as many as 19 in 2006) four of his eight full years. Seriously? How can he be a top 3 most overrated player. Who are the other two? Come on Adam, call a spade a spade. If you take Reyes you know what kind of team you need to build around him.

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    • CptSpandex says:

      He isn’t hitting for average or stealing bases like last year. I guess that’s why he’s a great buy low trade target.

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    • Adam says:

      Why in the world are you citing stats from 2005? Cool, he had monster seasons SEVEN YEARS AGO. Look at his last few seasons, he’s not the same player anymore. He has a dl stint a year, and he steals 40 instead of 80. That’s a big difference and its why he is way more name than substance. He has value sure but he was drafted as a top 20 overall player and still is valued that way in many circles. He’s a top 50 player, not an elite guy.

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    • Rummy says:

      Hey look, he’s hitting .284 now.

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  4. Paul says:

    I like these atricles but I would like to see something along the lines of who we could give up to get these players. Im new to fantasy and am never sure what to offer.

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  5. Chris says:

    BJ Upton belongs on that perennially overrated list.

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  6. Garrett says:

    The knock on Reyes is his annual month-long trip to the DL. I get that. However, when he is in the lineup, he produces better than any other SS. Take Reyes’ numbers for a season (assuming he misses 30 games) and add the numbers of the backup SS you pick up when Reyes goes down and you have the best SS numbers out there.

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