The title could really be "Leadoff Man is Really Important", but since Reyes has hit leadoff in virtually every game the Mets have played this season I am going to focus on him for a minute.
This blog (as well as many others) has long espoused the importance of getting on base, whether it be via a base hit, walk, or HBP. Many have also recognized that in order for Reyes to make the most of his immense talent he needs to make as few outs as possible. I'm sure a lot of you have noticed that during the Mets' recent losing streak -- much of which came in the four-game debacle in Philadelphia -- Reyes contributed very little to the offense.
So how important has Reyes been to the Mets' success this year? Using Baseball-Reference.com's glorious Play Index tool I was able to very quickly determine how the Mets fared when Reyes was at his best.
In the 120 games that were completed within nine innings (i.e. non-extra inning games), the Mets were remarkably successful when Reyes was as well. Reyes has reached base safely at least twice in a game 71 times this year. In those games the Mets have gone 47-24, a .662 winning percentage. In the 49 games in which Reyes has reach base fewer than two times the Mets are 19-30, a .388 winning percentage. The difference is dramatic to say the least.
Here are how the Mets' principal offensive players have done:
W+ = Team wins when player reaches base two or more times
L+ = Team losses when player reaches base two or more times
WL+% = Team winning percentage when player reaches base two or more times
W- = Team wins when player reaches base fewer than two times
L- = Team losses when player reaches base fewer than two times
WL-% = Team winning percentage when player reaches base fewer than two times
%Diff = Difference between WL+% and WL-%
Obviously, intuition tells us that the more times any player reaches base the greater the likelihood that his team will score runs and ultimately win the ballgame. It's interesting to see the relative impact that Reyes, Wright, Delgado and Beltran reaching base numerous times in a game has on the result of said game.
I would expect Reyes's contributions to correlate with team victories slightly more often than those of other players because he does come to the plate slightly more often than the rest of these guys, but the influence of his success on that of the team relative to his teammates is pretty staggering. I haven't done enough research to know if this is unusual for a leadoff hitter or even for Reyes himself, but it is instructive at some level and corroborates what we thought we already knew: As Reyes goes, so go the Mets.