In recent fantasy baseball seasons, the shortstop position has been plagued by injuries. It seems that every season Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki and Los Angeles Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez hit the DL for an extended period of time and it has frustrated fantasy owners for sometime.
Probably the most injury prone stopgap in fantasy, though, has been Jose Reyes of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Reyes finds a way to get hurt every single season. He missed 126 games in 2009, 29 games in 2010, 36 games in 2011, and 69 games last season after injuring his ankle. This many setbacks is simply too much to ignore on draft day and it speaks volumes to the durability of the former All-Star.
Even worse, the shortstop will turn 31 this June. Most speedsters take a serious step back after the big 30 and the fact that Reyes only stole 15 bases in 93 games last year may foreshadow the end of his elite steal numbers. He obviously isn’t as fast as the 2007 version that stole 78 bases for the New York Mets and it will be interesting to see how the team uses the aging star moving forward.
Despite all the negatives, Reyes still finished with an impressive .296 batting average and .353 On Base Percentage last year. There is no question that Reyes is one of the most electric players in fantasy when healthy. He can hit, bunt, steal bases, extend double into triples, and hit the occasional home run. Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time until the Dominican ends up back on the DL and this looming threat of injury will certainly impact his value on draft day.
Reyes is still a top-five fantasy shortstop and will always play 110% when he is on the field, but the constant threat of injury will keep him out of the conversation for the top spot in the league. So if you draft Reyes in the early rounds this spring, make sure to have a backup plan.