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Jose Reyes and Shawon Dunston

I've heard alot of noise made lately in the baseball community over Jose Reyes, and the fact that he is starting to resemble Shawon Dunston. What exactly does that mean? Well, here is what Bill James had to say in his Historical Abstract:

A player with some speed, some power, a decent batting average, and one of the best arms of his generation, but as bad a percentage player as has ever played the game. He was basically an eternal rookie, a player who continued until the end of his career to make rookie mistakes...(James has Dunston ranked as the 82 greatest shortstop of all-time.)

Bad percentage player is definitely what Jose Reyes is becoming. Here are Dunston's and Reyes career rate stats:

Dunston (1985-2002)
.269/.296.416, 203 BB in 6276 PA (0.032 BB/PA)

Reyes (2003-2005)
.305/.410, 20 BB in 642 PA (0.031 BB/PA)

Doesn't look pretty for Reyes so far; if you want to make it more depressing, 13 of those walks came in his first 292 PA in 2003; the other 7 have come in the other 350. Which would mean he is walking even less. His BB/PA over those other 350 PA is 0.02 (which figures to 3.24 walks for every 162 games incase your counting and vomiting at the same time).

Reyes career fielding Rate at shortstop is 101 (only 72 this year...thats 28 runs below average). Dunston's career rate was 98 at short (must've been all of those rookie mistakes).

Let's take a look at their career steal success rates so far, to see if there is some more bad percentages to be had:

Dunston: 212/294 (72% success)
Reyes: 38/44 (86% success)

Well atleast Reyes is doing something right...of course he is only on base 30% of the time, so it is not as helpful a skill as it may sound like. It is almost like having a pitcher who can hit be helpful, but only every 5 days. And he sucks at pitching (Wes Obermueller anyone? -4.5 VORP as a pitcher in 04', but +10.0 as a hitter. He contributed only 0.2 WARP as a hitter though, with a .244 EqA, so don't get too excited).

I am not sure if Mets fans are still expecting big things out of Jose Reyes, but they should probably stop hoping and start paying more attention to David Wright. I know Wright is a popular Met, but he's your young future, not Mr. Jose Dunston.

If you look at Reyes' most comparable players prior to 2005 on his PECOTA card, you get names like Ozzie Guillen, Cesar Izturis, Felipe Lopez, Luis Castillo, Steve Sax, and Robin Yount. Those trends are all going downward now though, as his 2004 season made him less and less like them. The only comparable player score going up is Dalton Jones 1965 score:

Dalton Jones 1965
.270/.325/.373, 28 BB in 400 PA (0.07 BB/PA)

That sadly, might be Reyes upside, except with Dunston's power.

Dalton Jones career (1964-1972)
.235/.295/.343, 191 BB in 2556 PA (0.075 BB/PA)

Dan Scotto, a Mets fan, hopefully is not getting too sad reading this. Reyes future, sadly, looks to be Shawon Dunston and Dalton Jones. Of course, if he can pick up Dalton Jones 0.075 BB/PA and Dunston's .416 SLG, you might be a little better off, but that is just a consolation prize for what you had dreamed up when he first came to the majors. What would Reyes look like with those walk rates? 12.15 BB/162 G. Better, but now only Hillenbrand-esque without the slugging. Overall, maybe it is time to see if someone else will take a chance on Reyes. You never know, Gary DiSarcina kept a job for awhile without walking or hitting.