To Reyes or not to Reyes

Jose Reyes is certainly not a top-five draft choice as he was in 2007.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - One of the most fascinating pre-draft stories in fantasy baseball for 2010 will be how owners evaluate New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.

Will he be the budding superstar of 2006 who hit .300 with 122 runs scored, 19 HRs, 81 RBIs and 64 stolen bases, or the injury-ridden disappointment of 2009 (147 at-bats, 18 runs, 2 HR, 11 SB batting .279)?

Last season was so bad for Reyes, the Mets and hitting in general at Citi Field, that most "experts" have downgraded anyone who has to play 81 home games in the spacious pitching-friendly ballpark. That includes star third baseman David Wright, newly-acquired home run hitter Jason Bay, center fielder Carlos Beltran and Reyes.

But Reyes, not being a power hitter, has the best chance of any of the four to use the huge outfield to his advantage. Assuming he is as fast as ever on the base path, he should be able to hit for a high average and lead the league in doubles, triples and runs scored.

Of course, before I'd spend a top draft pick on Reyes, I'd want to see him play a few spring training games. He had surgery in October to clean out scar tissue from the torn hamstring tendon and for me that requires some on-field performance before I can pull the trigger on his selection.

Even if you see that he is healthy, how do you decide where to choose him?

Certainly, he's not a top-five draft choice as he was in 2007, but how far will he drop? Hanley Ramirez was the No.1 shortstop in 2009 and the No.1 or No.2 overall pick (along with Albert Pujols) and that won't change this year, or likely anytime soon.

If you are looking for power from the shortstop position and aren't able to pick Ramirez, you still could have a solid choice in Troy Tulowitzki. On the other hand, "Tulo" has only stolen more than seven bases in a season one time - last year when he had 20.

Then there is Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins who gives you a combination of power and speed. He has averaged 21 HR and 38 SB over the past four season.

Reyes won't get you 20 HRs, more likely around 10 long balls, but should get you 65-75 steals.

That puts him No.4 on my shortstop list and he should have an ADP (Average Draft Position) of around 20. Assuming he is healthy heading into Opening Day, if you can get Reyes at the end of the second round or the beginning of the third round I think you will receive fair market value for the pick.

Jose Reyes Career Statistics

YearABRHHRRBISBAVGSLGOPS
20032744784432130.3070.4340.769
20042203356214190.2550.3730.644
200569699190458600.2730.3860.687
20066471221941981640.3000.4870.841
20076811191911257780.2800.4210.775
20086881132041668560.2970.4750.833
20091471841215110.2790.3950.750


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.