Jose Reyes’ hit streak by the numbersBy
The Marlins short but sweet 3-game winning streak came to an end Thursday, falling to the Mets 6-1. Also coming to a halt was Jose Reyes’ 26-game hit streak, after going 0-4 against the knuckleballing R.A. Dickey. Although he couldn’t pass the team’s all-time record of 35 straight games with a hit, set by Luis Castillo in 2002, it was still an impressive run by the shortstop–who did manage to tie Emiliano Bonifacio’s 26-game mark for second longest in Marlins history.
The streak began almost a month ago to date, on July 13 against the Nationals. Reyes went 1-4 facing Jordan Zimmermann, with his lone hit as a single to left field. At the time, he was hitting only .264/.336/.378. Not awful, yet clearly below standard for Reyes, who was coming off his spectacular 6.2 fWAR season in 2011.
Time AVG OBP SLG
Pre-streak .264 .336 .378
Streak .365 .405 .625
2012 Totals .285 .349 .432
Career .291 .342 .440
As shown by the above table, Reyes was well below his career marks in all three categories pre-streak, with his power especially absent. The last time he posted a Slugging so low was eight years ago in 2004, when he finished the season with a .373 line. In addition, Reyes’ batting average was well below his career norm, although that can partly be explained by an uncharacteristically low Babip (.284).
Thankfully, Reyes was able to pick it up during his streak, and more than make up for his slow start to the season. Not only was he getting a hit every night, he was crushing the ball. He recorded 9 multiple hit games, and even a couple three hit performances.
His past month has answered questions about his missing power as well, which no longer seems to be a concern (.625 SLG). Per TexasLeaguers, here are his spray charts for pre-July 13 and since.
Early in the season, as shown above, a majority of Reyes’ hits fell in the shallow outfield, with a few clusters of hits down the sideline. Largely missing are balls driven in the deep gaps or out of the park, with the only exception being a handful of balls near the 370′ mark in right field.
Although many of his hits have still been in short center and right, Reyes has pulled quite a few more balls for power. The outlier to the top right of the chart was this home run I believe, and it was absolutely destroyed. He’s also been able to cut down on his groundouts, with significantly fewer balls to the left side of the infield. Certainly, Reyes has benefitted from some friendly bounces on balls in the infield–I count 10 hits–but almost every hitting streak is at least partly due to good luck.
Since July 13 he’s provided 15 extra base hits, 5 of which as home runs. In almost three times as many plate appearances, Reyes hit only 27 XBH before his streak, and only 3 by way of home run. Similarly, his ISO from his hit streak on (.250) is more than double before (.114).
As Micheal Jong pointed out, his recent stretch of play has put his 2012 totals right in line with his career average, which is something all Marlins fans should be excited to hear. After all that has been said about his slow start, it appears Jose Reyes is “back” to his usual self, and to the player the Marlins expected him to be.
Data from Baseball-Reference, TexasLeaguers, and Fangraphs