Jose Reyes: Underrated or Overrated among Elite Shortstops?

Nick CasoAnalyst IMay 27, 2008

The answer: Overrated.

None of the numbers I will use are from this season...

Most people would agree that the top five shortstops in the league are Jimmy Rollins, Hanley Ramirez, Derek Jeter, Miguel Tejada and Jose Reyes.  Of the five of them, Jose Reyes is the worst.  Many people would say that Reyes is the best of the group, but he is with out a doubt, the most overrated.  Here is why.

First we will look at the basics fantasy stats: Average, Home Runs, RBI, runs, and stolen bases. Jose Reyes hit .280 last year, by far the lowest of the five.  Reyes hit 12 home runs last year, tied for last of the five with Jeter.  Reyes had 57 RBI last year, again, by far the lowest of the group. Reyes scored 119 runs last year, which placed him third, above Jeter and Tejada. However, Tejada missed 29 games with a broken wrist. Finally we come to a category that Reyes can top, stolen bases. Reyes stole 78 bases last year, 27 more than Ramirez, who came in second.

Next we will look at the next group of numbers: OBP, slugging, OPS, walks, strikeouts, and games played.  Reyes was fourth among the group in OBP with a .354, finishing only above Rollins who finished only 10 points behind.  Jose Reyes finished last in Slugging with .421, 21 points behind Tejada for fourth.  Reyes finished dead last in OPS with .775, 24 points behind Tejada. 

Jose Reyes finished first among the group in walks, but again finished second to last in OBP, so he does swing a lot, which brings me to my next point.  Reyes finished with the second fewest strikeouts, but what does all this tell you? He makes contact but does not get as many hits as the others; he finished second to last in hits with 191, finishing only above Tejada, who again, missed substanial time.

Finally, we come to games played.  Since the beginning of the 2003 season, Reyes' rookie year, he has missed 212 games, 145 more games than Jeter, who is second with 67 games missed.

Finally, we will look at the numbers in the field. Reyes had the fourth-lowest range factor, finishing only above Jeter, but only by .05.  However, Jeter does have three Gold Gloves to his credit. Since 2003, Reyes has made 62 errors, placing third among these five. But again, Reyes only played in a combined 122 games in his first two seasons, so the number would be much higher.

After looking at all these numbers, anyone can see that Reyes is given a little more credit than he deserves. If we all remember, he crumbled in September when the Mets had their historic collapse. This again shows that unlike Jeter, Reyes does not welcome the pressure. Jeter has always welcomed the pressure while Reyes has cracked under it.

In my opinion the order in which these shortstops go is Ramirez, Rollins, Jeter, Tejada and finally Reyes.