Relax, everyone. The fact of the matter is that Jose hits just as well in any position in the batting order, and where he bats is going to be irrelevant.
Jose's career numbers while leading off innings as compared to any other time:
- As first batter of the game, he has hit 300/335/439 for his career with 774 OPS
- As first batter of any particular inning, he has hit 293/334/436 for a 770 OPS
- In his career overall, he has hit 284/335/429 for an OPS of 764
He just stinks right now. This season he's hitting 221/275/298 overall but only 205/292/205 leading off any particular inning. He hit only 091/091/091 leading off the game this year.
Generally speaking, Reyes is a great player. In fact, he's about as close to a clutch hitter as we have - something I noticed years ago before I took the moniker of "Jose Reyes, RBI Machine" on the old metsgeek.com. Reyes has been incredibly clutch. For his career he has hit 286/363/462 with runners in scoring position for an 824 OPS, 16% above his career average. With two outs and RISP, those numbers shoot up to 270/375/493! That's an OPS of 868.
Moving him around isn't gonna change anything. He doesn't have his rhythm back and he's pressing. He'd do the same thing as a leadoff man. I might even prefer him as a leadoff man. These numbers are just to demonstrate how silly the debate has been. Jose would make a fine #3 hitter in this lineup if he was right... the key is to now have him fixed.