Rickey Henderson spent his first of ten days in Mets camp yesterday, and the prevailing hope is that he can impart some of his base-stealing and walk-drawing wisdom upon some of the younger Mets, specifically Jose Reyes. I'm a big, big fan of Rickey the player, and how can you not be? The archetypal leadoff hitter, Rickey boasted a combination of on-base ability and base-stealing prowess that any manager would kill to have at the top of his order. He's the all-time leader in stolen bases and runs scored and is second all-time in walks (Bonds). He has a career .401 OBP, and hit a ridiculous .315/.423/.466 with the Mets in 1999 at age 40.
Henderson drew 115 walks for every 162 games he played; Jose Reyes has drawn 26 in the same span. If Reyes could improve his plate discipline to the point at which he is drawing half as many walks as Rickey he would likely be an elite player in this league. Whether anything Rickey says this spring rubs off on Reyes, I applaud the Mets for having the foresight to bring a guy like Rickey into camp to work with the youngsters. Smart move, I tip my cap.
- Reyes off and running (Journal News)
- Rickey will show Jose way (Daily News)
- Rickey Henderson shows up and steals the show (New York Times)
- When Rickey talks, players listen (MLB.com)