One thing the Mets have plenty of on this years squad is players who are itching to rebound from a 2009 season they all would like to forget.
Everyone in the starting rotation will all have something to prove including Johan Santana who had surgery to remove bone spurs, John Maine who battled shoulder problems, and Oliver Perez who is coming back from knee surgery.
Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are both hoping to put their injury woes behind them. And the there’s David Wright…
One look at Wright’s numbers from last year and his .307 batting average, .447 SLG and .390 OBP would indicate a solid season, but the dramatic decrease in homerun output had many alarmed including me.
Don’t fret Mets fans as our boy Wright is looking to come out of the gate with a bang in 2010. Kevin Kernan of the Daily News caught up with him and to say this is a new and improved David Wright, would be a huge understatement. Wright is ready to hack away this season.
Our third baseman was just as concerned about his power outage as we were. Some said it was psychological, others said it was his new home park, and many (including me) blamed the lack of protection in the lineup.
The good news is that the Mets solved the protection problem when they signed free agent slugger Jason Bay. However, Wright wasn’t taking any chances so he embarked on an off season diet and conditioning program that had everyone doing a double take when he arrived to camp.
The dude is ripped.. He is more defined and is packing some serious muscle as you can see from his bigger biceps and forearms and strong upper body.
Jeff Francoeur, was impressed with the transformation.
“David has really worked hard. He looks in great shape. I noticed that when he took his shirt off the other day he looked more cut, he looked leaner. I put David up there with the top 10 players in the game. A guy like that, if he’s challenged, you’ve got to believe that he is going to come back the next year and put a good year together.”
In addition to working out like a man possessed, Wright also changed the way he eats and is now sticking to healthier diet, that precludes eating at all hours of the day.
Just one look at him these days and you can see the sheer determination in the way he’s carrying himself and in his demeanor.
“There were too many stretches last year when I wasn’t consistent,” Wright said. “There was too much ebb and flow in my game.”
Francoeur, who I’ve been saying all along that he would have a huge impact in the clubhouse, advises Wright and tries to get him to relax, focus, have fun and take charge of this team.
“Whether he likes it or not, he’s at that age where he has to be a leader on this team,” Francouer said. You don’t want to make the game an obsession. I think you’ll see a different David this year.”
I expect a huge season from David Wright both in production as well as leadership.
Last year when asked about the Mets chances he sheepishly said that he don’t like to make predictions and would rather just play the game. This year he confidently asserted that the Mets were a championshhip caliber team and could go all the way. He did a complete 180…
They say that sometimes you have to hit your rock bottom before you realize that a change is neccesary. Maybe last year was his rock bottom.
I’m reminded of a song by Alice Cooper entitled “No More Mr. Nice Guy”. I believe this is the year that Wright makes the transformation from Mr. Nice Guy to Riddick.