Mets’ Reyes about to swipe another Stolen Base record
Jose Reyes improved his stolen base total every season since reaching the major leagues in 2003 and, on August 22, his second and third steals of the game tied and broke the New York Mets single season franchise record.
Reyes tied another club mark by stealing at least one base in six consecutive games, a record he’ll attempt to extend tonight in Philadelphia where the NL East-leading Mets open a series against the second place Phillies. The next base Reyes swipes will be his 72nd, tying the single season high for Dominican players, set by Phillies second baseman Juan Samuel in 1984, a year in which Samuel finished second to the Mets Dwight Gooden in Rookie-of-the-Year voting.
A half-dozen men from the Dominican Republic have stolen at least 60 bases during a major league season, but only Reyes and his recently acquired double play partner, Luis Castillo, have done so in the last two decades. Here are the ten best seasons for stolen bases by Dominican players.
- 72 – Juan Samuel (1984 Phillies)
- 71 – Jose Reyes (2007 Mets)
- 70 – Frank Taveras (1977 Pirates)
- 64 – Jose Reyes (2006 Mets)
- 62 – Luis Castillo (2000 Marlins)
- 61 – Cesar Cedeno (1977 Astros)
- 61 – Miguel Dilone (1980 Indians)
- 60 – Jose Reyes (2005 Mets)
- 58 – Cesar Cedeno (1976 Astros)
- 58 – Frank Taveras (1976 Pirates)
Reyes has a good chance to move into the all-time Dominican top ten before the 2007 season is complete, racing past three active players in the process. His success rate to date trails only Stan Javier on his country’s list of leaders, but Javier stole more than 25 in a season only once. Career leaders from the D.R. with stolen base percentage are as follows (Active players in CAPS):
- 550 – Cesar Cedeno (75%)
- 396 – Juan Samuel (73%)
- 321 – Luis Polonia (69%)
- 320 – LUIS CASTILLO (71%)
- 300 – Frank Taveras (74%)
- 281 – JULIO FRANCO (72%)
- 267 – Miguel Dilone (77%)
- 246 – Stan Javier (83%)
- 246 – Tony Fernandez (64%)
- 239 – RAFAEL FURCAL (77%)
- 234 – SAMMY SOSA (69%)
- 229 – Raul Mondesi (71%)
- 228 – ALFONSO SORIANO (78%)
- 227 – JOSE REYES (81%)
With a strong finish and a similar 2008 performance, Reyes should join his teammate Castillo in the all-time Dominican top five by the end of next year. Perhaps Reyes will run down Cedeno for the top spot in a few years. After all, the Mets shortstop won’t even turn 25 until next June!
Well, it wouldn’t be right to leave you without mentioning some of the worst Dominican base stealers of all-time. Winston Llenas holds the record for non-pitchers -appearing in 300 major league games without successfully stealing a single base. Amado Samuel had the most tries without a success (four). Jesus Alou holds the career record for futility (at least 50 attempts) with just a 40% stolen bae percentage.
Another former Met, Jose Vizcaino, was gunned down on eleven of twelve attempts in 1994, while Alfredo Griffin deserves an award all to himself. Griffin had the worst season of all for a guy that wouldn’t stop trying in 1980, stealing 18 bases while getting caught 23 times. In fact, Griffin attempted 98 steals from 1980-83, making good on just 44 of them, for a 45% “success” rate.
By MALCOLM ALLEN