After missing a total of 69 games in his first season as a member of a revamped Toronto Blue Jays ball club, Jose Reyes entered this MLB offseason with the motivation to turn heads in 2014. Nobody loves playing the game of baseball more than Reyes and this became evident the very second after he injured his left ankle when sliding into second base feet first against the Kansas City Royals back on April 12, 2013.
At that very moment, whether you were a fan of the Blue Jays or not, the tears running down a heartbroken Reyes’ face was more than enough to realize that baseball is regarded as way more than just a game by the All-Star shortstop. It’s a way of life. That very injury, coupled with an overall disappointing season for the Jays is why Reyes is poised to have a career year North of the border.
During the offseason, Reyes has been training very hard back in his native country of Dominican Republic as well as in New York City. His work ethic has undeniably rubbed off on the rest of his teammates as the likes of Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera have also taken part in intense training regiments this offseason in hopes of bringing the hype back to Toronto. If Reyes’ offseason workout intensity transitions itself to his everyday play in Toronto, the sky is the limit in regards to what he can do for his ball club on an everyday basis.
When it comes down to Reyes’ skill set, he has it all. He excels in many facets of the game and will look to bring his well-rounded style of play back to fruition when he takes the field in 2014. If he is able to regain his speed and ability to steal bases, the Blue Jays will have an enormous boost in their already high-powered offense. The 11-season veteran has a career batting average of 0.292, good enough for him to crack the 40+ stolen base mark if he is able to stay healthy. Not to mention the fact that he will provide those that are batting behind him with the chance to knock in an RBI at any given moment. Both Cabrera and Bautista, along with Edwin Encarnacion will have the pleasure of following Reyes in the lineup and watch him have free reign on the base paths throughout the season.
There’s no doubt that Reyes is still at the top of his game when he is healthy. Although he missed over a quarter of last season’s games for the Blue Jays, he is still one of MLB’s most dynamic players and perhaps the best shortstop in the game today. Reyes has the desire and the motivation to be the best and wants to play for the best as well. Everyone in baseball should expect a career year out of the player that loves baseball more than anything else this world has to offer. The Blue Jays will go as far as Reyes can take them, and if it’s up to him, he’d like to go all the way into October.