David Wright’s Opposite Field Power

An article by posted on September 22, 2010

The three-run homer that Elmer Dessens gave up tonight in the eighth inning to Gaby Sanchez that wound up costing the Mets a loss didn’t really bother me tonight.

The team is out of contention, and at this point, all I want to see is some solid, fundamental baseball as well as some clutch hitting in order to play the role of spoiler.

Plus Dessens doesn’t exactly factor into the Mets long-term plans.

What I did enjoy seeing tonight was David Wright’s opposite field game-tying home run in the eighth inning to get his buddy Big Pelf off the hook for a loss. Pelfrey only gave up two runs in seven innings, though one of those runs was unearned due to a throwing error by Wright.

Nonetheless, let’s look back at Wright’s homer. On a 1-0 pitch with two outs, Wright absolutely laced a 95 mph fastball deep over the right center field wall. It’s 385 ft to the power alleys at Pro Player/Dolphin Stadium (Landshark? Who cares, it won’t even be around in a few years).

Wright’s ball cleared the fence by at least 20-30 feet. Certainly a monstrous shot.

To me, David Wright has always been a gap-to-gap hitter who has the ability to hit some bombs from time to time. When he first came up, he reminded me of Scott Rolen.

Rolen once said that he did not consider himself a power hitter despite his solid power numbers. He claimed that he was a doubles hitter and that some of his doubles happened to clear the wall.

That is what I saw from Wright early in his career. He put up seasons of 27, 26, 30, and 33 home runs in a row. But he also recorded four straight seasons of over 40 doubles.

Many of his home runs were to right center field. David used to destroy that power alley at Shea Stadium (about 396 ft) which made him a great overall hitter.

Upon the move to Citi Field and its 415 ft power alley, I believe David became pull-happy. He realized that he did not possess the strength to drive a ball that far consistently and began trying to pull everything.

He continued his poor habits on the road which eventually led to him hitting only 10 home runs on the season.

Seeing David’s home run tonight reminded me of the great power numbers he put up at Big Shea. He needs to trust the Scott Rolen philosophy of hitting, and his home runs will come. I would rather see him hit 15-20 home runs but with 40-50 doubles and 100-120 RBI. He had accomplished all these accolades at some point in his career so there’s no reason why he can’t pull it altogether. His average would significantly improve as well if he focused on doubles.

We’ve all begun to hear that Wright maybe traded this offseason. In my opinion, that would be a travesty to the Mets organization and their fanbase. Unlike some of the other players, Wright consistently gives 110% on and off the field.

The problem is not Wright; it’s his supporting cast.

About the Author ()

Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He earned a Master's degree in journalism from Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Be sure to visit http://www.jimmancari.com/

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