David Wright has begun the 2012 season on an absolute tear, first in the NL batting average, second in OBP behind Corey Hart, and three walks to zero strikeouts in nine at-bats. To boot, he has also already hit his first home run, and it was not aided by the fences being brought in. While it is still early in the season, looking for a comparative season in which David has started on a run like this it brings us to his best overall career year – in 2008.
2008 saw David begin the year in his first three games hitting .462 with one home run, six RBI, two walks and a strikeout, which amounted to a .533 OBP. David would only hit three more home runs in the month of April, and bat .281 but would drive in 23 runs and walk 23 times to 16 strikeouts. While some of these numbers from the jump aren’t eye-catching, the fact that it was Wright’s second worst BA month would show that it wasn’t even the best he had in store. Wright held his consistency for the majority of the year, putting up consistent power numbers, but tapered off on his plate discipline towards the end of the year while increasing his BA.
So why mention 2008?
If David Wright could put up a season remotely close to his 2008 season in almost every category, he would come close to either tying or breaking every single career high he has ever put up in a single season. Most importantly, it would return him to a more patient hitter who drives in runs (he had 124 RBI in 2008) and scored runs (115 in 2008). While his steal numbers would take a dip, David has a whole different variety of hitters in front of/behind him.
2012 David takes his spot as the #3 hitter, with a patient lefty (Daniel Murphy)who can actually hit in the #2 spot, as opposed to 2008 David Wright who had Luis Castillo, in a bad year at that setting the table. David had Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, who were both great hitters so that does affect him. However, where as Beltran was the better overall hitter, Ike Davis has prodigious power and slower footspeed. Slow hitter + guy on base = hit and run, chances for stolen bases. Once Lucas Duda moves into the five hole, he will take away the black hole that has become Jason Bay.
If David could even put up a line in the neighborhood of .290, with 100 runs, 25 home runs, 100 RBI, 15 steals and maybe 90 walks to 120 strikeouts, he would be on par with what has been regarded as the prime of his career. The quality of the hitters directly around him are crucial, but if the early season is any sign, David Wright may be getting a call about a contract extension sooner than later.