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Experts Pick Reyes!

 

One shortstop is the sure thing, the man with the resume, the rings and a probable pass to Cooperstown, even though his career is far from over. The other shortstop is a blue-and-orange blur, the Met of now and 10 years from now who very soon could be called baseball's best player.

 

As the Yankees and Mets prepare for a Subway Showdown this weekend at Shea, the Daily News shrank the focus of the teams' rivalry down to the two shortstops and their talents, Derek Jeter and his October pedigree vs. Jose Reyes and his glittering tools.

 

We asked 15 baseball brains - nine executives and six major-league scouts - the following question: If you wanted to win this year and had to pick either Jeter or Reyes as your shortstop, who would you take and why? It was phrased that way to try to keep age (both have birthdays in June - Reyes will be 24 and Jeter 33) and contracts (Reyes, at $2.5 million this season, is cheaper than Jeter, who's making about $20 million) out of consideration.

 

One scout's first reaction was a chuckle. "This," he said, "is something you could argue until you're blue in the face." White Sox general manager Kenny Williams called it "not a fair question. ... You're not going to lose either way."

 

But in a town where "best" is the only goal, which shortstop is No. 1? According to our admittedly unscientific poll, it's Reyes, but not by much. Reyes got eight votes; Jeter got five. Two other executives interviewed, including Williams, couldn't choose and most who were asked said they'd be happy to have either.

 

Those who chose Reyes were enamored of his speed, extra-base potential, arm and range. "I'm biased because I have a relationship, personally and professionally, with Jose," said Orioles vice president Jim Duquette, the former Mets GM. "But Reyes is a little bit better player at this point."

 

Those who picked Jeter talked about his clutch play and leadership. As a National League GM put it, "Derek Jeter wins Game 7 of the World Series better than anyone in baseball for 2007."

 

THE CASE FOR REYES

 

Reyes has led the NL in steals and triples the last two years and leads in those categories so far this season, along with hits. He is among the league leaders in average, on-base percentage and runs. Talent evaluators marvel at his range at short and his powerful arm.

 

"Defensively, he's got more range than Jeter," a scout said. "Jeter has lost range - he's doing the (Cal) Ripken thing now, cheating toward the middle a lot to try to get to balls to his left. Not that you wouldn't want Jeter, but I think Reyes is one of the top five players in the game right now."

 

Another scout who timed Jeter and Reyes going to first base had Jeter at 4.1 seconds; an average runner from the right side is timed at 4.3, the scout said. Reyes, a switch-hitter running from the left side, was clocked at 3.9 seconds; an average runner makes it from the left side in 4.2 seconds. "Reyes is faster, but Jeter can run," the scout said. "But Jeter can't steal with him."

 

"Reyes has super speed," added a third talent evaluator.

 

That's what causes some teams to concentrate on Reyes while preparing for the Mets. "His speed puts so much pressure on the defense," a National League GM said. "He's really the guy you need to get out more than anyone on that team because when he gets on base, he raises their level and he also creates tension for your pitcher. Obviously Jeter is a proven winner and a guy you'd love to have at the plate with the game on the line, but over the course of a season, where they are in their careers now, I think Reyes does more for you."

 

A fourth scout initially chose Jeter because of his experience, but the more he talked about Reyes, the more he wanted to change his vote, so he did. "There's so much to like about him, with his speed, his defense, his explosiveness," the scout said. "And what I love is that he's such a high-energy guy. I think there are days he can just pick up a team with his energy and his ability. I love the way the guy plays."

 

THE JETER METER

 

Two scouts who broke down both players' "tools" - fielding, arm strength, speed, hitting and hitting for power - said Reyes was better in each category. But both still chose Jeter.

 

"His tools are as good or a fraction underneath Reyes, but he has great leadership," one of the scouts said. "I'd want to follow Jeter into battle. Jeter has done it for a long time. He's led that team to championships, and Reyes might have a ways to go before he can do that. And if he does it, he'll have to do it for four or five years in a row.

 

"Jeter's done it for years, and for me, it's that longevity. After Reyes does it for awhile, maybe I'd take him."

 

"When you factor in his savvy and big-game experience, there's no one on a par with Jeter," the other scout said. "You can't quantify that part of him."

 

Jeter has won four World Series, made seven All-Star teams and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting six times, including second last season. He's been the World Series MVP, the All-Star Game MVP and the Rookie of the Year. He is currently second in the AL in hitting, which is where he finished last year.

 

But it is moments such as Game 3 of the 2001 division series against Oakland that really make an impression on baseball people, when Jeter made his famous "flip" play at home plate to help save the Yanks from elimination. "That makes you say, 'Wow,'" the first scout said.

 

"Jeter has always been at the heart of things. Reyes has to prove he can do that, but he's already proven he can play."

 

The Voting

 

For Reyes: 8. Four executives, four scouts.

 

For Jeter: 5. Three executives, two scouts.

 

On the fence: Two executives, one who said, "To me, this question has to be contextual. It would depend on the surrounding players. If it was a team with a lot of leadership, I would choose Reyes, because he can impact the game more than Jeter. But if it were a question of who you want to lead you into the playoffs, then I'd pick Jeter.

 

"Reyes has the potential to impact the game in so many ways - getting on base with his speed. His range defensively is great. But if there's a ball hit right to the shortstop in any postseason game, I'd want it hit to Jeter. But if it's a ball you have to go get, I'd want Reyes to go get it."

 

Mark Feinsand and John Harper contributed to this story

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Yankee fan: "Jeter is better because he has 4 rings!!!"

 

So does Tino Martinez.. How many does Mattingly have?

 

And to say he was the leader on those teams is dumb,

when you have guys like Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neill, Scott Brocious,

and others, your not the number 1 guy.

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And to say he was the leader on those teams is dumb,

when you have guys like Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neill, Scott Brocious,

and others, your not the number 1 guy.

 

Jeter was a big part of those teams. I just don't buy the argument that because a guy has won championships, he's a better individual player than a guy who hasn't, just for that reason alone.

 

I like Jeter, and always have, but talent wise, Reyes is by far better than he is.

 

Someone wrote in to the Daily News last Sunday about this, saying Jeter was clearly better, citing his edge in 3 offensive categories (batting average, RBI, and total hits) last year.

 

He conveniently left out HRs, triples, steals, runs, strikeouts...

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Jeter was a big part of those teams. I just don't buy the argument that because a guy has won championships, he's a better individual player than a guy who hasn't, just for that reason alone.

 

I like Jeter, and always have, but talent wise, Reyes is by far better than he is.

 

Someone wrote in to the Daily News last Sunday about this, saying Jeter was clearly better, citing his edge in 3 offensive categories (batting average, RBI, and total hits) last year.

 

He conveniently left out HRs, triples, steals, runs, strikeouts...

 

 

Ahem, check my blog, I wrote about it.

It's in my signature

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Now that my finals are now done, I was reading the NY Daily News' Sunday paper. In it, the question was "Who is the better shortstop in New York?"

 

As I was reading this only one person from the 4 boroughs, I refuse to call Staten Island a borough, it's just a floating garbage dump as far as I am concerned. Said that Derek Jeter was a better short stop than Jose Reyes. The rest of these so called "fans" were from New Joisey. In the end, no one really gives a shit about Jersey anyway. And I put the word "fans" in quotations for a reason, most of these Jersey meatheads didn't become Yankees fans until 1998.

 

One man from Bogota, NJ wrote: "Batting average (Jeter .343, Reyes .300) Hits (Jeter 214, Reyes 194) RBI (Jeter 97, Reyes 81) Reyes had a excellent year, but Jeter's was slightly better."

 

Okay Mr. Man from Bogota it seems you left out these stats: Reyes 17 triples, Jeter 3. Jeter has 9 more doubles than Reyes and that is because Reyes runs like the wind, he doesn't stop at 2nd base. (39 doubles to 30) Stolen Bases: 64 for Reyes and 34 for Jeter. Man Reyes sure does slap Jeter in the face with those stats. Hell, Reyes had 81 RBIs as a leadoff hitter along with 19 homeruns. A stat that Reyes also beat Jeter in (19 to 14).

 

Another guy from New Jersey said "Are you serious? The flip, the dive, four rings'. 'Nuff said"

 

Okay Jersey Meathead, on the flip the other Giambi was safe, the dive he unnecessarily dove into the stands for no reason, Hell David Wright's plays from 2005 (the bare handed catch against the Padres and the catch HE WAS FORCED to go into the stands in Seattle) trounce Jeter's. The only part this man said is that Jeter has 4 rings, something I cannot dispute because it's 100 percent true. Jeter has 4 rings, Reyes has none, but I'd be willing to give up my 1st born that Reyes will have 3 after it's all said and done.

 

Yeah, Jose Reyes is better than Derek Jeter and it really isn't even close. And all the true Yankees fans know Reyes is leaps and bounds better than Jeter and most of those fans reside in New York City.

 

 

A quote that I read from a group I joined on facebook:

 

Jersey Girls aren't trash, trash gets picked up

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this isnt a fair comparison...Jeter is 9 years older than Reyes. I love Reyes, I think he's a stud but comparing Jeter and Reyes is just ridiculous. Theyre 2 different types of players that happen to play the same position in the same city. I couldnt say who is better...but I will say this...The article says that Jose Reyes will be the best player in baseball soon...Derek Jeter has been the best player in baseball in 2 season......1999, 2006. Again, its still not fair to compare them and I refuse to even get into an arguement over it becauase its a moronic debate...lets just say theyre both super stars that any team would love to have over their current player at their posistion.

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Are all Mets fans this bitter? It's kind of like the younger brother trying to come out of the older brother's shadow, "Look at me, I'm here too."

its a senseless debate...but I know what you mean; 99% of the time its Mets fans that bring it up...thats the way it seems to me anyway

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Are all Mets fans this bitter? It's kind of like the younger brother trying to come out of the older brother's shadow, "Look at me, I'm here too."

 

 

Bitter about what?

 

It's a debate that is played out almost every year in the local newspapers, TV sports shows etc., and you'd think with the number of Yankee and Met fans here it would be a good topic of discussion.

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yes, some more than others

 

I think Met fans should be happy that we finally have players that are thought so highly of. I mean, they are comparing Reyes to the Prince of NY.

 

Makes me feel good about the future.

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I think Met fans should be happy that we finally have players that are thought so highly of. I mean, they are comparing Reyes to the Prince of NY.

 

Makes me feel good about the future.

like I said, he's a phenomenal talent. youd have to be an complete jackass to think Jeter was going to be a young player forever and that nobody else would ever be a great shortstop to play in NY. Its just a matter of opinion, theres no wrong or right answer....Yankees fans will say Jeter, Mets fan will say Reyes...this horse has been beaten to death, beaten after its beean dead, then shot, stabbed, burned, sodomized, decapitated, electrocuted...you see whre Im going.......... bottom line theyre top players at their positions and any other team would love to have either one of them.

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like I said, he's a phenomenal talent. youd have to be an complete jackass to think Jeter was going to be a young player forever and that nobody else would ever be a great shortstop to play in NY. Its just a matter of opinion, theres no wrong or right answer....Yankees fans will say Jeter, Mets fan will say Reyes...this horse has been beaten to death, beaten after its beean dead, then shot, stabbed, burned, sodomized, decapitated, electrocuted...you see whre Im going.......... bottom line theyre top players at their positions and any other team would love to have either one of them.

 

my thing is, why would you use batting statistics to prove who is the better "shortstop"

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