Mets' Jose Reyes Cleared to Play: Analyzing the Fantasy Fallout

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Mets' Jose Reyes Cleared to Play: Analyzing the Fantasy Fallout
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Good news for those who always find themselves unlucky enough to miss out on elite shortstops in their fantasy baseball drafts. New York’s Jose Reyes, a perennial threat for 50+ steals when healthy, has been officially cleared to resume full workouts with the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Jose Reyes has delivered beyond-elite run scoring production the past few years at shortstop. Yet his 2009 hamstring injury makes him a huge potential steal in 2010.

Earlier this month the star shortstop was diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid, but after a change in diet, doctors said today that Reyes’ thyroid levels have returned to normal.

Year 2005 2006 2007 2008
Batting Avg. .273 .300 .280 .297
Runs 99 122 119 113
Home Runs 7 19 12 16
RBI 58 81 57 61
Steals 60 64 78 56

Reyes established himself as an elite fantasy shortstop in 2005 and in 2006 he began an impressive three-year run which brought him to be a lock to be selected by the beginning of the third round of fantasy drafts.

With concerns surrounding his health this spring, however, Reyes currently sits at No. 81 on ESPN’s Top 300 for Mixed Leagues, with a mixed-dollar value of $14.

For a healthy Reyes, who is almost certain to hit in the high .200’s, score over 100 runs, provide middle-teens home run power, drive in a decent amount of runs, and perch himself near the very top of the league leaders in stolen bases, that constitutes as a steal.

Considering the other elite shortstops, like Hanley Ramirez (No. 2 overall, $33), Troy Tulowitzki (No. 20, $24), and Derek Jeter (No. 25, $23) come at a much steeper cost, Reyes can likely be had as a middle-rounds bargain for those of you who have yet to draft for 2010.

Still, it’s uncertain whether or not the speedy Reyes will be ready to go for the Mets’ April 5th regular season opener, but keep your eye out for him in your draft, or if any owners in your league are actually trying to sell low on him right now.

If you do end up with Reyes at short, it would be a wise idea to have a very competent backup more so than it is usually because of the uncertainty surrounding his ETA to the Majors.

Still, the upside seems too great for this Fantasy Knucklehead to pass up on.

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