By Rico Brogna
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Hey ya’ll, sorry that it has been such an incredibly long time since I have written a blog for I have been crazy busy with football coaching at Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield, CT that it really hasn’t allowed for much “me” time. But I am back again, baby, and can’t wait to get some baseball thoughts down to share with you.

Jose Reyes, I believe, was a 19-year-old making his debut season at the Double-A level in the Eastern League (Binghamton, NY). I was coaching for the Reading Phillies, only a year removed from playing my last season as a major league baseball player. My baseball instincts and my baseball eye was still fresh and as I watched this young, highly touted Mets prospect play that summer.

I knew I was watching a unique and special talent. There was little doubt about Reyes and his athleticism, body control, burst, quickness and raw natural strength. Jose possessed a lot of unique natural skills dissimilar to many of the Eastern League pro’s who were pretty solid baseball players, but most of which would never see a big league clubhouse. When you watch and evaluate the “players” compared to the other players, it is quite evident who will become the athletes that will someday take center stage.

Yes, there is a wide gap.

Reyes was on his way for sure, and most of us who saw the infielder during those developing years thought that it would take a while for him to mature both his physical and mental game. Jose, like many talented young prospects, had obvious energy and ability on the field.

What was also evident was that this young rising star needed to learn more about “how” to play the game. Again, this is very common, and is especially common for a young talented player that is being pushed through the minor leagues because of what we baseball people call “up-side.”

Maybe “rushed” is the wrong word. To be fair, his talent made him a fast-riser through his minor league development years. Sadly enough, far too many highly projected, highly rated players are pushed and rushed through the minor leagues.

This is especially true when there is quite a large sum of money tagged to the player from say, the amateur draft-signing bonus. Money paid out to bonus babies rule the day. Owners push front office execs to see the players and the team that they paid for … there’s more pressure today than ever before because of this factor.

Jose is a free agent and the Mets are wrapped in closed-door meetings discussing the value of players on their roster, players not on their roster and the young up-and-comer’s from their own development system. How much value does Reyes bring to the Mets is a key and critical questions they will have to answer before making Jose an offer to stay, both in years and in dollars. “Value” is something that each teams has criteria for and the Mets will be putting a final “value” grade on Reyes in the next couple of days if they haven’t done so already.

Personally, after scouting Reyes and the Mets for many recent years, I would let Jose go and let him hit the market. I have my own personal criteria and value chart that I have put together through the years (mainly shaped from teams that I gave worked with and learned from) and in this particular player’s case, the value is not a fit for me.

Too many inconsistencies and unpredictability with this player to sign long term — and probably have to sign for big bucks to go along with multiple years.

I have seen this young talent rise through the minor leagues, scouted him in his rookie and sophomore seasons in New York, and now have finally seen his development take him into his veteran years (free agent years) as a major league baseball player. My opinion and belief as a scout and front office executive (baseball ops) guy is to say “thank you” to Jose, but we are moving in the proverbial different direction.

Wish him the best, and start growing your roster with other players … and yes, I would trade David Wright as well (for pitching, pitching, and more pitching!).

Agree? Disagree? Let Rico know in the comments below…

Comments (20)
  1. Avi says:

    Rico, you gave absoluley zero reasons for your opinion which is fine because they aren’t any real good reasons. Jose Reyes is a home-grown player who has the shown the ability to play great baseball in the New York market, is coming into his prime, has played for less money than he could have gotten elsewhere, etc. So the Mets haven’t won without him, say goodbye and go in a different proverbial direction. That direction would be right to last place. Who are you going to replace him with. I am sick and tired of signing these high-priced free agent players from other teams who underperform. Keep the guys who have been doing it for you. Reyes is enough of a draw to bring enough revenues to justify his salary. Same goes for David Wright. Build a team around them along with Santana and Davis. The only thing the Mets proved this year was that they have a bunch of lower-paid gutsy guys, a la Murphy, Tejada, Turner, Duda and Gee. Keep your nucleus intact and build it up with guys like this and you will give the Phillies a run for their money.

  2. chewing says:

    As Mets Take Final Game Of Season From Reds 3-0: Reyes Bunts His Way To Mets First Batting Title! (77-85)

  3. OskMet says:

    Rico _ you are no better of a writer and scout than you were a ballplayer. Your blog offers no reasons for your opinions, other than that they are YOUR opinions. I was hoping to hear some real insight from someone who claimed to have credentials to speak as an insider. But your piece was no more insightful than any other clueless blogger out there _ and worthy of even less attention, since you supposedly. As was often the case during your Met career, sir, you had potential, but failed to deliver the goods.

  4. advance2go says:

    The Mets should fire their medical staff. I think that’s the key. Too many injuries too often.

  5. Arizona D'Backs says:

    It all makes sense now…This blog post explains why you are a high school football coach and no longer a scout…I guess its for reasons like this blog post not good…lol…You did the D’Backs a favor by quitting days after you accepted the job

    Rico what kind of players would you recommend the ones whom abuse steroids like yourself???

    Yours Truly,
    Arizona D’Backs(playoff bound)

  6. Mel B says:

    I’m a Met fan (+25 years) and I’m ok with letting him go if it makes us better? To metion nothing other than you don’t like the WAY he plays the game -says that you want a team of zombies to play like you and the others you admire.

    Its about winning and the future, the kids today are different like we were to the folks raised in the 50’s – 60’s.

    Does letting him go make the Met’s better? NOPE!

  7. michael says:

    Great job by Brogna i agree 100% let Reyes walk and trade Wright. Its to bad toi many Met fans don’t understand where your comeing from. If the Mets keep Reyes in a few years these same Met fans will wish they had not between injuries and his attitude let him go

  8. Lou says:

    I agree with one comment you made. I would trade David Wright!!! I’m tired of his strikeouts. He not only injured himself this year, but more importanly, he injured Ike Davis!!!
    I would trade Wright, sign Reyes and prince Fielder and trade Ike Davis. I like Ike, but Prince Fielder in a monster!!! Tejada looked good this year and should continue to improve and grow. Hopefully with the fences possibly being moved in, Bay can refind his strake and have a good first half and someone might be desperate enough to take him at the trading deadline!!!
    As much as I like Ike Davis, he should bring some real good value back.

  9. Richie says:

    Which American should we speak ?…Apache ? Mohawk ? Iroquou ?….Here’s a clue for you…..English……England…Get it moron ?

  10. Paul says:

    I would enjoy reading a baseball blog by an ordinary guy who played 8 years in the majors and understood the game from an insider’s, non-superstar perspective, but your Reyes story gives me your opinion and nothing else. I read it waiting to hear WHY you think the Mets should pass. Surely a guy who’s been in major league clubhouses sees and knows something that us fans don’t. Sorry Rico, keep working on the skills but right now you’re major league baseball, minor league writer.

  11. Mike M says:

    I honestly have a soft spot in my heart for guys like Wright and Reyes, these are our homegrown guys who are or were supposed to lead us to the promised land. I would hate to see either of them leave but I have a sneaking suspicion Reyes is gone, the Mets will not offer him the most money unless all of the other clubs agree that the injury risk is too great. That being said, while I understand Rico’s point of view, what do the Mets have in the near future to replace that side of the infield? I know Ruben Tejada is a nice player and may get better with time but he cannot fill Jose’s shoes. The Mets currently have no one that will be half as good as Wright at third right now and unless you bring back a top of the line ace in return for him you are getting cheated. Much of this will fall on Alderson however, if he loses Reyes the draft picks they recieve will go a long way to filling out a team that lacks depth, but at what cost and how long do we as fans wait for the next cycle of homegrown stars that will lead us back to the playoffs? Stay tuned…this offseason may be the Mets most interesting yet.

  12. Salón Benito says:

    Clovis Clodoveo. Bueno el beisbol de Grandes Ligas, es un negocio.
    Ha llegado el tiempo del jugador Jose Reyes, ser un agente libre. Su
    costo salarial en estgos momentos son muy elevados para un equipo
    con problemas de nomina. Por cierto que, hay varfios equipos en mejores
    posiciones economicas, que estaran gustoso en firmar como agente libre,
    al jugador Jose Reyes, campeon de bateo liga nacional 2011.

    1. Chris Mora says:

      this is america pal…speak english

      1. Bill Olivieri says:

        Chris, although you are right that this forum is in English, you and many others think that America is the USA (United States of America). Learn some geography and you will know that America goes from “Tierra del fuego” in the south to the stretch of Bering in Alaska. Just because you are the richest country on this continent (and there is only one here not 3 as they teach in USA schools), you may think you own the name, which happens to be a Spanish word AMERICA. And to be more shameful, just look at your last name and you are criticizing the guy trying to make a point… At least he can read in two languages.

        1. Hans says:

          Wir sind alle von andere Laender. Aber es ist bloede, dass wir nicht alle dier selbe Sprache spechen. Koennen Sie mich verstehen? Nein? Deutsche leute wohnen in Amerika auch. Und warun sollen wir Englisch sprechen? Ha, Chris Mora hat recht!

  13. JP says:

    few teams, if any are going to be willing to part with pitching!

    1. Diego says:

      This is really a poor editorial. What is the Criteria? Surely Jose Reyes has been injury prone but he’s shown the ability to spark the Mets offensive in every single game he’s in. How many players can you count on to do that in all of the majors? And now he’s won the Batting Championship.

      And If anything the Mets owe Reyes big time for the commitment he’s shown for the team when he signed the first time for less money than what Wright received which was ludicrous at the time and retrospectively. Get real Brogna and give us an argument.

  14. andy says:

    first commenter is 100% right, this is just an opinion not backed up by any real solid points/data/criteria etc. it’s rico’s right to have this opinion, but i’d love to have seen more rationale for such a minority and contrarian point of view.

    the reality is that the Mets are in a massive catch 22 here. if they resign reyes and he gets hurt (again) the fans will blast them for committing so much to an injury plagued player – if they DON’T re-sign him, they run a major risk of seeing many many MANY empty seats next year, and hearing from fans blast them for not signing the NL batting champ in the prime of his career.

    they will sign him, they have no choice.

  15. McQueen says:

    This article is pretty poor. First of all, what are your criteria? Second, what IS his value? You can’t tell me he isn’t good at any price at all.

  16. neil pank says:

    Rico, I really kind of agree with you, but to say that to other Met fans means facing a firing squad. I’ve also watched Jose since his minor league years and although a special ballplayer, he shows some major inconsistancies. He is injury prone and his mental mistakes are abhorrent. Lets put Tejada at SS and find out if he is an everyday player. He looked real good this season….Maybe, Just maybe he will be another Jose, except for the negatives.

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