Our All-Star third baseman, David Wright, is in the middle of the weirdest offensive year of his life. I think it’s actually cause for worry. David Wright is batting .351 and he’s leading the NL in batting, and I won’t dispute that he’s been on base more than he ever has. However, I became very curious after I noticed that David’s stolen bases had been way higher than normal and that he seemed to be hitting way more singles than he ever has. He seemed more like a lead-off hitter at the plate than a middle of the order presence. Statistically, this is true.
Wright has 94 hits up to this point on the year. 22 Doubles, 3 Triples, and 4 Home Runs. That adds up to 29 XBH. So 30% of his hits are XBH. That’s not too bad for a .350 hitter, but that basically means that 70% of his hits are singles, which seem to have translated into him having more chances to steal bases. (Notably, he’s already been caught 8 times, which is a career high.)
Now if 70% sounds alarming to anyone, I don’t blame you. I know it’s early in the year to judge, and I also know that he lacks other big bats in the lineup, but comparing Wright’s numbers to his other years, it seems that if he doesn’t turn on the power soon, he may not be in for a Wright-esque year at all.
Wright is projected for his highest batting average by about 30 points, but he’s also projected for near 50 more Ks than he normally falls victim to. He’s projected for about 45 Stolen bases, 50 doubles, a grand total of 9 HRs and 213 Hits overall. So Wright’s final line will look something like this. (Projected for about 600 ABs.)
.350 AVG, 9 HRs, 89 RBIs, 45 SB, 160 K’s, 50 2B, 5 3B, 149 singles.
Is this the David Wright we need? I know alot of people are fine with this, because it’s still a pretty good offensive season, and the RBIs should go up with the return of Reyes/Delgado/Beltran (If either return to play significant time.). But the 30% XBH rate somehow worries me. In comparison, these are his rates from the past four years. Is the drop off enough to worry about?
2005: 40% (27 HRs, 42 2B, 1 3B, 176 Hits)
2006: 39% (26 HRs, 40 2B, 5 3B, 181 Hits)
2007: 37% (30 HRs, 42 2B, 1 3B, 196 Hits)
2008: 41% (33 HRs, 42 2B, 2 3B, 189 Hits)