Well, you couldn’t ask for a better compliment — the man who may end up being one of the best baseball players of all time calls you the “greatest player.”
In the hours before the Yankees and Mets renew their Subway Series at Citi Field, Alex Rodriguez was talking to reporters about Jose Reyes. “They have the world’s greatest player playing shortstop over there, and the most exciting. I turn on the TV every time I get a chance to watch him.”
Not bad, considering the same thing was said about A-Rod (above, with Reyes as teammates on the Dominican squad during the World Baseball Cup in 2009) during his prime. He just couldn’t stop gushing, adding, “I’m a huge baseball fan and anytime you see a kid like Reyes, he’s very exciting. If I wasn’t playing third base, I’d definitely buy a ticket and try to come all weekend, because you have great players all over the field, and right now, there’s not a player out there that’s playing at a higher level than Jose Reyes.”
Rodriguez speaks the truth. Reyes lead the National League in batting at .352, hits with 121, runs with 65, doubles with 22 (tied with three others) and triples with a stunning 15. He’s second in stolen bases with 30.
Let’s put some of those numbers in perspective. With the season exactly half over, Reyes is on pace for 30 triples. The all-time single season record is 36. Only three players have ever reached at least 30, the latest being in 1912.
He is also on pace for 242 hits. That would tie him for tenth all-time. The only player to get at least that many hits since 1930 is Ichiro Suzuki, who is first (262) and tenth on the list.
So yeah, A-Rod is right calling Reyes the “world’s greatest player.”