Thursday, January 27, 2005

One True Thing

After the flurry of activity this winter, the Met starting lineup may finally be all set for the 2005 season. I’m not entirely convinced of this, but it is pretty safe to say that the infield is now set with the acquisition of Doug Mientkiewicz. The upside of signing the Mientkiewicz is the Gold Glove caliber defense that he brings to the right corner of the infield. The conventional wisdom is that this will have a steadying influence on the Mets' young infielders. The truth is that these players - Kaz Matsui, Jose Reyes, and David Wright – hold the key to the Mets’ fortunes in the upcoming season. Perhaps this is most true of Reyes, the dynamic but oft-injured shortstop who has teased Met fans with his raw athleticism. When Reyes first came up to the Mets in the summer of 2003 I felt much the same way as I did when I first saw Michael Vick playing football at Virginia Tech. It was amazing to me that an athlete playing at such a high level could be so obviously more gifted than his peers. All of us in Metropolitan Nation thanked the gods for our good fortune, while at the same time pleading with them to allow this one good thing to flourish and prosper in the barren wasteland that had become Shea Stadium. Of course, the gods are a cruel and arbitrary group. They smile on the unworthy in the Bronx, they bless the indifferent in Miami, they shed sunshine on the sun drenched in Arizona. We asked them, we implored them, for this one thing. Let this flash of brilliance, this sublime gift – let this one true thing be. Let him be our Jeter, our Pujols, our Vlad. And how have the gods answered us? With a resounding maybe, of course. Now, on the verge of what should be Reyes’ 3rd big league season, we still wait and wonder what will become of our fondest hope.

Well, I bring you good news of great joy. For unto us a child is born . . . Oh, my mistake, wrong story. But I do have good news anyway. Jose Reyes is tearing it up in the Dominican Winter League. Yea, yea, you knew that already. Big deal. Reyes is putting up big numbers against middle-aged factory workers and under-aged wannabes in the jungles of the Caribbean. Your reaction is understandable, if uninformed. You see, the Dominican League is a very good league filled with big time talent and major league players. And many of these big time talents and major league players are not performing nearly as well as Reyes is. In fact, none of them are. The Dominican League is currently finishing up its playoffs. Each playoff team has played 18 games. Below are the playoff averages for some of the recognizable talent in the league:

Tony Batista .190
Miguel Tejada .322
Charles Thomas .167
Julio Franco .293
Ron Belliard .214
Jose Guillen .267
D’Angelo Jimenez .250
Jose Offerman .288
Carlos Pena .045
Timo Perez .308

Jose Reyes .422

That’s right, .422. That’s 27 for 64. Throw in 9 stolen bases in 9 attempts. The next highest average on that list is Miguel Tejada, and I’ve heard he’s pretty good. He’s .100 points behind Jose. Actually another recognizable name has a playoff average even closer to Jose’s. Victor Diaz, .355.

To further validate the high quality of baseball in the Dominican League, let’s look at some regular season numbers for a group of major leaguers:

Tejada .250
Timo Perez .256
Eric Byrnes .273
Raul Mondesi .192 (I particularly like this one)
Willy Mo Pena .202
Angel Berroa .256
Pedro Feliz .227
Juan Uribe .227
Enrique Wilson .231

Jose Reyes .302

That .302 is based on a 38 for 126 regular season. This time throw in 11 bags in, you guessed it, 11 attempts. Let’s put it together now. Playoffs and regular season combined, Reyes is 65 for 190, a batting average of .342. In stolen bases he’s 20 for 20. Are you excited yet? I am. It seems that Jose Reyes, combining regular season and playoffs, has been the best player in a league with some pretty good players. And he’s been healthy. Now, one of two things is happening here. Either the gods are setting us up for the inevitable fall, or they have decided that we have suffered enough and are going to grant us this one true thing.


Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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November 2, 2005 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger jenny said...

great site .

November 21, 2005 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Iza Roberto said...

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August 27, 2007 at 8:05 AM  

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