Jose Reyes Free Agency: 10 Ballparks That Best Fit the Speedster's Game
With Jose Reyes about to become a free agent, it has been said that he is likely to sign with a winning team that pays him good money. However, there is also a good chance that Reyes would like to sign with a team whose home ballpark matches well with the type of hitter he is.
Being that Reyes is a speedster and is more of a doubles and triples type of hitter than a pure slugger, bigger ballparks would be a better fit for him. Reyes has already played at Citi Field since it opened in 2009, but this does not mean that it's the only ballpark that would be suited for him.
Here are 10 MLB ballparks that would be best suited for Jose Reyes.
1. Citi Field
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Citi Field has been the home ballpark for the New York Mets and Jose Reyes since 2009. It is certainly a ballpark that has been designed for a hitter like Reyes.
Citi Field is known for its big outfield gaps, the high fence in left field and the unique "Mo Zone" area in right field. It is definitely designed for a doubles and triples hitter, compared to a pure slugger.
Reyes batted .348 at Citi Field in 2011. He had 13 doubles and 12 triples there too. He consistently used the gaps to get triples and set the table for the Mets' run producers.
It's unknown if Reyes will come back to the Mets in 2012, but it's quite clear that Citi Field has definitely benefited Reyes and his game.
2. AT&T Park
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For months, the San Francisco Giants have been one of the favorites to land Jose Reyes in the offseason. It would make a lot of sense for the Giants to sign Reyes because he is a great leadoff hitter and his game would translate well for AT&T Park.
Like Citi Field, AT&T Park is well known for its spacious gaps and Reyes could definitely continue to accumulate a lot of triples each season if he plays his home games there. The Giants at the moment are a much better and well-rounded team than the Mets. Reyes' skills could definitely lead to more wins for the Giants in 2012.
3. Comerica Park
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The Detroit Tigers are another team that has a very good shot at landing Jose Reyes in the offseason. It is well known for being a big ballpark, especially with the fences as far as they are. With other superstars such as Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander already in the fold, Reyes could make the Tigers even better.
With run producers like Cabrera, Delmon Young, Victor Martinez and Alex Avila already in their lineup, the Tigers offense could become that much better with the addition of Reyes as the new leadoff hitter. Austin Jackson could slide into the No. 2 slot, which would make the offense look really deep. Reyes could continue to get a lot of triples, especially off the big gap in right-center field.
4. Fenway Park
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In each of the past few offseasons, the Red Sox have always been active in the free-agent market. As a result, there is no reason why the Red Sox won't consider going after Jose Reyes.
Fenway Park is a unique stadium that would benefit Reyes in different ways. Being that Reyes is a switch-hitter, the huge gap in right-center field could benefit him a lot as a left-handed batter, while the "Green Monster" in left field could also benefit Reyes as a right-handed hitter.
Ideally, Fenway Park would be the best ballpark to suit Reyes' skills, but the Red Sox already have a good team in place—if they happen to sign Reyes, he will take advantage of the Fenway Park dimensions and help lead the team to more wins.
5. Angel Stadium of Anaheim
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The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is yet another team that could be a big-time player in the Jose Reyes offseason sweepstakes. They are going through a general-manager transition, but they are likely to at least offer Reyes a long-term contract.
Angel Stadium in Anaheim is a more balanced stadium overall, but it's big enough that Reyes could still accumulate a good number of triples. Plus, he would have some good hitters behind him that would be certainly capable of driving him in consistently.
All in all, Angel Stadium of Anaheim is not the most ideal ballpark for someone like Jose Reyes, but Reyes should be able to work well with this stadium regardless.
6. Miller Park
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The Milwaukee Brewers could go after Jose Reyes in the offseason as well, especially if they aren't able to re-sign Prince Fielder. Reyes would instantly make their top of the lineup much better and he could definitely use his speed to get many triples at Miller Park.
Miller Park is a big ballpark, but straightaway for the most part. Reyes would then be able to use that and get on base a lot so that the big hitters like Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks could drive him in.
The Brewers are not the favorite to land Reyes and Miller Park is a good ballpark for him, but not the best one out there. Nonetheless, if the Brewers do sign Reyes, it will be a signing that they definitely will not regret.
7. Chase Field
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The Arizona Diamondbacks shocked everyone in 2011 by winning the NL West and they look like they will be one of the league's better teams for years to come. If they were to sign someone like Jose Reyes, their lineup would look even better than it already does.
However, Reyes playing for the Diamondbacks is not likely to happen. Stephen Drew should be healthy by spring training and the Diamondbacks most likely do not have the payroll flexibility to pursue someone like Reyes in the offseason. Nonetheless, Chase Field would be a great ballpark for Reyes to play in, particularly with the big gap it has in right-center field.
8. Nationals Park
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Another big ballpark in the National League that comes to mind is Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals.
The ballpark is not the most traditionally-shaped ballpark in baseball. There is a deep gap in both center field and right-center field. This could benefit a player like Jose Reyes. However, it would still not be the most ideal stadium for Reyes to play in.
Furthermore, the Nationals are not a favorite to land Reyes due to potential payroll limitations and the presence of Ian Desmond at shortstop. Nonetheless, Reyes would probably fit well with the Nationals and Nationals Park, but still not as well as other teams and their stadiums.
9. Petco Park
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Petco Park is another National League ballpark that is known for being a big baseball stadium. It has big gaps and would be a great fit for Jose Reyes or any other doubles or triples hitter with speed.
However, the Padres are not a big market team and are very unlikely to pursue Reyes in the offseason. With this being said, Petco Park will not become Reyes' new "home" stadium, even though it would work well with the kind of player he is.
10. Safeco Field
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Last but not least, Safeco Field is a big ballpark and is home to the Seattle Mariners. It has deep gaps in the outfield and would be an ideal stadium for someone like Jose Reyes to play in.
However, like the Padres, the Mariners are a small market team that is very unlikely to even attempt to give Reyes a large contract this offseason. Furthermore, the Mariners already have a legitimate shortstop in Brendan Ryan, so the Mariners are sufficient at shortstop as is.