David Wright has been the subject of trade rumors since last season. Over the past few years we keep hearing how he is not the same player he used to be. When you really sit down and look at it, is he really that far off from what he was a couple of seasons ago?
If you really look at his career, yes he has taken a downturn over the past few seasons, but not as much as you might think.
Looking at his numbers you can obviously see that some numbers have changed. We all know about the strikeouts, but if you take that away his overall numbers are not that far off from what they were a few seasons ago. His On-Base Percentage has dipped over the past two seasons, but that is a direct result of his batting average being lower, which aside from last season is has been in line with his career numbers. Last year was an injury riddled season for Wright and he never really got on track.
His 2010 season, aside from the strikeouts he was mostly in line with his career numbers. His average dipped to .283 which is still respectable, his power numbers and production were right up with what we thought he would do after his back to back 30 home runs seasons.
Regardless of what David says, he was affected by the dimensions of Citi Field. It got into his head and the 415 mark in right center took away one of the things he did best, driving the ball the other way.
A couple weeks ago he was a guest on WFAN and Mike Francesa said “If I were you I would have been angry that they changed the dimensions the way they did”. David of course side stepped the question, and gave the politically correct answer, but the point was made. The Mets organization made a bone headed move with the dimensions when they created the new park. They have attempted to fix it now as they will have a much more fair ballpark this season.
The new dimensions will be much closer to the ones in Shea Stadium where David thrived and had his best seasons as a pro.
He is one year older and has gone through some adversity with the injuries, trade talks and departures to key veteran players. All of which will help him grow into the leader the Mets had hoped he would be. He is last man standing and there is nobody else to look to as a leader on this club.
When he was on with Francesa he referenced to being the teams longest tenured player on the roster. He said that he can’t believe it has been 9 years already and he is last one standing from the group of Reyes, Delgado and Beltran.
Wright says that he plans to take a more active approach in his leadership role this season. He said he wants to be to the young players on the roster now, what guys like Paul Lo Duca, Cliff Floyd and Al Leiter were to him when he first came up.
Wright is maturing as a player and as a person. Some of his flaws may be here to stay, but he is still young and is more than capable of returning to David Wright we all remember and thought he would be.