Coming into the 2011 season,there was the perception that Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was injury prone, but if you look at his career stats, he has played in 153 or more games in 4 of the last 6 years and played in 133 games last season. His injury history held back some fantasy owners on draft day, and now Reyes is rewarding those owners who overlooked his injury risk, as he is having an MVP season in 2011.
In 2010, Reyes played 133 games, but still got over 550 at bats, and hit .282-.321-.428 with 11 HRs, 54 RBIs, 83 runs and 30 stolen bases. I was hesitant to think that Reyes would be capable of stealing more than 40 bases in 2011, but he appeared to be healthy enough until a few days ago.
Late last night, it was reported by ESPN's Adam Rubin that the Mets would place their All Star shortstop on the 15 day DL. Prior to injuring his hamstring, Reyes was leading the majors in hitting, hitting .354-.398-.529 with 3 HRs, 32 RBIs, 65 runs and 30 SBs this season.
Reyes is leading the majors in BA and runs scored and is second in SBs thus far in 2011, and is on pace for a huge contract in the offseason, as he is in his walk year. He has reduced his strikeout rate from 11.2% to 7.4%, and has increased his walk rate from 5.1% to 7.1% this season. He has benefitted from a very high BABIP of .375 vs a career BABIP of .314, so his BA may come down at some point.
Reyes was selected as the starting shortstop for the NL in next week's All Star game, but may have to sit out should he be placed on the DL today. I think this is a smart move by the Mets to not push him to come back even though they are starting to play better of late. Prior to this injury, one can argue he is having one of the top 3-4 seasons amongst all hitters in baseball, and is a solid candidate for NL MVP.
Honorable Mention: Troy Tulowitzki, COL, and Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE