When the Mets drafted David Wright in the supplemental round of the 2001 amateur draft (amazingly, AFTER drafting Aaron Heilman in the first round), they hoped they were investing in a future MVP. And since coming up to the big leagues in the summer of 2004, Wright has been steady, and in fact has been progressing forward just a bit each season. As far as voting for the NL MVP Award, Wright has finished 19th, 9th, 4th and 7th in his first four full seasons as the Mets’ starting third baseman, with a career batting average of .309 and per-season average of 30 home runs and 113 runs batted in. To win the MVP, he needs to raise his game a few notches, but I think he’s almost there.
Consider this. In 2008, Albert Pujols won the MVP by hitting .357 with 37 homers, 44 doubles, 116 RBI and a .653 slugging percentage. By comparison, Wright hit just .302 but hit 33 home runs and 42 doubles, while driving in 124 runs, with a slugging clip of .534. The bottom line is that David Wright is not far off from having MVP-type numbers. His 15 stolen bases in 2008 were less than half of his total of his career high 34 set in 2007, but Wright also won Gold Gloves in both 2007 and 2008. He already ranks fifth in Mets’ history with 130 home runs.
Okay, I’m tired of spewing numbers. Let’s consider this, and that is that David Wright is a hard-working ballplayer, the kind of guy who sets the tone for his team and sets an example for those around him. He’s the unofficial leader of a contending National League team in the nation’s biggest media market, and he’s only 26 years old. When I saw Wright hit that run-scoring single a few nights ago in the WBC, I just had, and have, this feeling that he’s finally going to have that magical year we’ve all been waiting for. Maybe not his best season ever, but his best yet, and he’s going to finish in the top 3 of the MVP voting, and maybe even take that sucker home.
But here’s the best part about Wright–regardless of whether he wins the MVP or not, we all know he’s not as concerned with personal achievement. He wants the ring, and so do we as Mets fans.