May 30, 2007

Ramirez Or Reyes?

Matt Baker at The Sun Sentinel, writes about Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez and asks us to choose one:

"I think they probably are the top two shortstops in the league," Marlins outfielder Jason Wood said.Reyes was the National League's starting shortstop on last year's All-Star team. He led the majors with 17 triples and 64 stolen bases and was in the top 10 in runs, hits, at-bats and multi-hit games.

Mets third-base coach Sandy Alomar Sr., who has been in pro baseball for 47 years, said Reyes will be remembered as "the best ever to play the game."

Ramirez was last year's NL Rookie of the Year. He joined Houston star Craig Biggio and Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Lou Brock as the only players to have more than 45 doubles and 50 stolen bases in a season. His 17 home runs last year were the most for an NL rookie shortstop since Cubs legend Ernie Banks hit 19 in 1954.

Reyes concedes that Ramirez has the better bat: Reyes is batting .311 (31st in the league) with two home runs, while Ramirez's seven home runs are fifth most among shortstops, and his .337 average is 10th best in the majors.

They both rank among the game's best base runners. Ramirez is tied for the league lead with 43 runs scored and is seventh with 15 stolen bases. Reyes is fifth with 39 runs but leads the league with 26 steals.

"When he gets on, you know he's looking to run ... and we know the other team knows that," said Mets second baseman Damion Easley. "He's a distraction to them, which causes us to get better pitches to hit."

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