This edition of the Rising Apple Season in Review will head to the hot corner with third baseman David Wright. Before the season, Wright signed a long-term extension to stay with the Mets, and was named Captain by manager Terry Collins. With his leadership and poise both on and off of the field, Wright most definitely deserved the honor of being named to the spot. Wright has not been with the Mets even 10 years yet, but he’s now the face of this franchise and arguably the greatest position player in Met history.
How He Handled the Bat
After a campaign in 2012 where he carried the entire lineup for the year, it was a tough act to follow for Virginia native. Although his 2012 was amazing, when he was healthy in 2013, he may have been even better. His performance in the World Baseball Classic was somewhat of a preview, as “Captain America” delivered in many clutch spots for Team USA.
In 430 at-bats this year for the Mets (112 games played), Wright compiled solid an impressive of line of .307/.390/.514. While playing in significantly fewer games because of a hamstring injury that cost him over a month of playing time,he was still able to drill 18 homers -only four fewer than 2012- and drove in 58 runs, a solid number considering the Mets’ offensive woes throughout the early months of the season. He also had 23 doubles and six triples this season, great numbers for not being able to play a full year.
He continued to smoke left-handed pitching again this season, and was one of the league leaders in batting average against them with a .336 mark.
He was able to keep his strikeouts down again, as he only fanned 79 times. In 2011, when he injured his lower back, Wright struck out 97 times in fewer at-bats. For a guy that’s in the middle of the order with power, Wright has done a great job in the last two seasons of bringing his strikeout numbers down.
When he got on base, Wright used his base running ability to swipe some bases, swiping 17 bases in 20 attempts. His ability to steal without the best speed was a great sign, and he picked the right spots to use it. It was very reminiscent of his 2007 campaign when he joined the “30-30 Club”.
Even though Wright played fewer than 120 games in 2013, his offensive production was extremely valuable to the Mets, as his WAR for the year is 5.9, good for eighth best in the National League. Despite the injury, Wright again displayed why he is the leader and catalyst of this team.
How He Handled the Glove
Wright plays on of the toughest positions in the game, and again handled it well. In the traditional stats, he only committed nine errors, leading to a .973 fielding percentage. With the SABR stats, Wright did fairly well too, posting a 3.7 UZR and a 5.0 in the defensive runs saved category.
Although defense is tough to judge sometimes with advanced metrics, Wright plays a great third base and always seems to come up big with a great defensive play. While Derek Jeter has the “patented jump” on throws from deep in the hole at short, Wright makes his signature coming in on the ball that is his softly on the grass and makes a strong barehanded throw to first. He makes the play time and time again, looking just as smooth each time. It’s why he is one of the finest defensive players at third in the game today.
Projected Role in 2014
His role won’t change much, as he will still most likely be the primary offensive threat and one the anchor of the left side of the defense. He’ll continue to be a team leader for the team as whole, especially as a lot of younger players are starting to work their way up from the Minor Leagues.
Contract Status and Trade Rumors
Wright is signed through the year 2020 and won’t be moving anywhere for the time being. Wright is just too important for this team and its fan base to move to another place. He has become what Derek Jeter has been for the Yankees, for the Mets. Wright is one of the few players on this team that has no chance of getting shipped.
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Topics: David Wright