During the 2008 season Jose Reyes became the Mets’ all-time leader in stolen bases. Rickey Henderson’s career stolen base record is too far off to be concerned with so what should Jose’s next stolen base goal be? What is a good milestone for stolen bases?

If you’ve visited the website before you may notice a section labeled “AC.”  Many of the contributors on this blog met as Content Producers on a website called Associated Content.  One article that I wrote on Associated Content was an article about creating a Stolen Base milestone.

Hitters have career milestones that signify their greatness like 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.  Pitchers have milestones to reach like 300 wins.  But as far as I know there is no milestone for base runners.  I decided I would make up my own milestone.

When deciding on a big stolen base milestone I considered two things.  1)  It needed to be a nice round number.   2) It needed to be a number high enough that it only includes a small amount of people.  It came down to choosing between 500 or 600.  I eventually chose 600 simply because it included less people.  Just 17 base stealers have gotten more than 600 stolen bases compared to 36 players over 500.    That makes the 600 stolen base club more exclusive than 500 home runs or 300 wins, but there are less base stealers in the league so I think it is fitting.

So in my book the new stolen base milestone that signifies one of the all-time great base stealers is 600.  If you’d like you can choose to make that your milestone for stolen bases too.

Of course everybody knows that the Mets number one base stealer is Jose Reyes.  Last season Reyes became the New York Mets all-time leader in stolen bases.  The next thing for him to do is to reach the newly established 600 steals milestone.

At the end of the 2008 season Jose Reyes had 290 stolen bases.  After four full seasons (and parts of two others) Jose Reyes is a little under halfway to the 600 steals milestone.  To get a yearly average we’ll only take his four full seasons into consideration.  

In his four full seasons Jose Reyes has 258 steals, or 64.5 steals per season.  If Jose Reyes continues on that pace then it will take just 4.8 seasons to reach the 600 steals milestone.  That means Jose Reyes would break the milestone towards the end of the 2013 season.  At that point in time Jose Reyes would only be 30 years old, so I think it’s safe to assume he can continue on that pace.  He shouldn’t slow down before 30 years old as long as he doesn’t get injured.

Where does this rank Jose Reyes as far as the all-time great base stealers?  Joe Morgan, Willie Wilson, Tom Brown, Bert Campeneris, Kenny Lofton, Otis Nixon and George Davis all finished with six hundred and something stolen bases so obviously they passed 600 later in their careers than Reyes.  That leaves just the top 10 base stealers of all-time.  How old were they when they reached the 600 stolen base milestone.

Base Stealer – Age They Reached 600 Steals
Rickey Henderson – 27
Lou Brock – 33
Billy Hamilton – 28
Ty Cobb – 29
Tim Raines – 30
Vince Coleman – 30
Eddie Collins – 29
Artie Latham – 33
Max Carey – 34
Honus Wagner – 37

At the pace Jose Reyes is on he’ll get to 600 steals earlier in life than Honus Wagner, Max Carey, Artie Latham and Lou Brock and about the same time as Vince Coleman and Tim Raines.  Jose Reyes number of steals did come down this season though.  If he goes back to what he did the three previous years than maybe Reyes can improve his average steals per season enough to possibly get to 600 as early as Eddie Collins and Ty Cobb.  Billy Hamilton and Rickey Henderson are probably out of reach but I could settle for passing Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner.  Any time you do something better than members of the first Hall of Fame class you’re doing something right