New York Mets News

Good news for David Wright: Mets may bring in fences in right-center at Citi

By Danny Abriano
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The Mets are again considering bringing in the fences at Citi Field, but this time the focus is solely on right-center field. Said general manager Sandy Alderson:

"It’s something that we had talked about the possibility in the past and we continue to look at it. We brought the fences in a couple years ago. It’s not about tailoring the ballpark to a particular player or a particular composition of team, it’s about making Citi Field as fan-friendly and as exciting as we can make it."

According to Alderson, at the new (not yet disclosed) right-center field distance the club is discussing, Curtis Granderson would have seven additional home runs this season, bringing his total from 18 to 25.

Prior to the 2012 season, the Mets brought in the fences. Left field went from 371 feet to 358 feet, right-center from 415 feet to 390 feet, and right field from 378 feet to 375 feet.

For comparisons sake, right-center field at Shea Stadium was 371 feet.

Thoughts:

The Mets can say that making Citi Field more ‘fan friendly’ is the main reason why they may bring the fences in right-center in again, but their mind should be on David Wright, who has been negatively impacted by the deep gap in right-center.

Right-center has always been Wright’s power alley. While you can measure the drop in home runs he’s hit to the opposite field, you can’t adequately measure the change he’s made in his approach due to the fact that hitting a ball out to right-center in Citi Field is quite difficult for a right-handed hitter.

Let’s take a look at the numbers, courtesy of hittrackeronline:

In 2006, Wright hit nine opposite field home runs (six to right-center).

In 2007, Wright hit 13 opposite field home runs (10 to right-center).

In 2008, Wright hit eight opposite field home runs (six to right-center).

In 2009, the first year at Citi Field, Wright hit two opposite field home runs (both to right-center).

In 2010, Wright hit six opposite field home runs (two to right-center).

In 2011, Wright hit four opposite field home runs (all to right-center).

In 2012, Wright hit six opposite field home runs (all to right-center).

In 2013, Wright hit five opposite field home runs (all to right-center).

In 2014, Wright has not hit an opposite field home run.

So, in the six years Citi Field has been open, David Wright has hit 19 home runs to right-center field.

In the three previous years when Shea Stadium was still open, Wright hit 22 home runs to right-center field.

It’s fair to question whether some of Wright’s drop in power is due to age (though he is only 31).

However, it can also be argued that Wright’s drop to just two opposite field home runs in 2009 at age 26 (and his drop in power to right-center and the opposite field in general since then) has a lot to do with the switch to Citi Field – both in terms of balls that have died on the warning track and in terms of how Wright may have altered his approach due to the dimensions.

As is noted above, the right-center field gap at Shea Stadium was 371 feet.

Perhaps 371 is the number the Mets are considering for right-center at Citi Field. Perhaps they may only cut it 10 feet or so. Either way, it would be a positive turn of events for David Wright, whose power alley never should’ve been turned into a cavern in the first place.

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