THE ANSWER IS EASY: IT'S JOSE REYESBy Adam Rubin
Archive What? I thought I was going up against Fred Wilpon in this debate. Of course Jose Reyes is the best player in New York. It's not even debatable at the moment. The dynamic Reyes has 97 hits in his first 64 games of the season. That's on pace to break the franchise record for fastest to 100 hits, currently held by Lance Johnson. Johnson needed 72 games in 1996 to reach that plateau. Reyes is second in the majors in batting average at .346, and he leads the majors with 34 multihit games and 11 triples. He is on pace to have multihit games in more than half of his games played, which would be the first time a player has done it since Joe Medwick with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937 (minimum 100 games). In Reyes' career, the primary obstacle has been his health -- whether it was leg injuries early on, or the thyroid issue and oblique strain that tormented him a season ago. When healthy, Reyes affects the game like no other New York baseball player. Just look at Tuesday's series opener at Turner Field. The Mets believe the Braves purposely oversaturated the infield to try to slow down Reyes. Yes, Reyes stumbled -- three times. But he was not slowed. Reyes had three hits, scored twice, swiped two bases and drove in a run. Wilpon looks like he will be the one who's incorrect. Reyes should get Carl Crawford money.
BUT GRANDERSON HAVING BETTER OVERALL SEASONBy Andrew Marchand
Archive Curtis Granderson is just as much an MVP in the AL as Jose Reyes is in the NL. True, the way Reyes is playing in his contract year, it is hard to have a better season thus far. Except, well, Granderson is having a better season. Let me ask you this: Entering Wednesday night, who had a better OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage)? Who had more home runs? Who had more RBIs? Who had scored more runs? Granderson. Granderson. Granderson. Granderson. Reyes has been great and he has Granderson on average, on-base, hits, triples and stolen bases. But this question is not: Who is more exciting? It is: Who is better? On offense, Granderson produces more runs. How else do you define value when your team is at the plate? Granderson entered Tuesday tied for the major league lead in home runs with 21. Reyes had three. If the question was "Who in New York would you rather pay to watch right now?" then Reyes probably wins that one. Granderson is not as exciting on or off the field. He is just as steady as they come these days. Defensively, he has been outstanding and very well could win a Gold Glove. Reyes is tremendous. But Granderson is the choice here because he produces more runs and, at a premium position, like Reyes, he plays top-notch defense.