While David Wright is easily one of the best Mets in franchise history, injuries have severely diminished his level of play over the last few seasons. While his throwing and home run power are the most obvious areas to take hits, he is still David Wright and still capable of producing offensively. Of course, that all depends on his health. As he is suffering from spinal stenosis, there are more question marks surrounding him than most other players in the Bigs.
Sandy Alderson has said this offseason that he would like Wright to play in four out of every five games, which would tally up to around 130 for the season. While at first that sounds like a lofty goal, that number most likely includes pinch hitting appearances and is not just games started.
Despite what Sandy has said, many would prefer to see Jose Reyes starting the bulk of the games at third base in 2017. After coming back last year playing a good third base, he showed that he can still provide the all-important spark at the top of the order.
Wright, 34, has demolished lefties in his career (.337 average) which leads one to say that a straight platoon between the two would be a good idea. Reyes starts against righties, which would happen on most days, and Wright starts against the relatively rare lefty starter. However, there is a hitch in that theory.
Reyes, 33, is a career .292/.353/.432 hitter against lefties and a .292/.339/.435 hitter against righties. He is not better against one or the other; in fact he is good against both. Right now, he is also a better defender than Wright who has had throwing issues due to his back.
David Wright will start if healthy. The Mets are paying him too much for him to ride the bench even though Reyes is, at least on paper, the smarter option. There will be times, though, that both Reyes and Wright will be in the lineup. Reyes could spell Asdrubal Cabrera at short or Neil Walker at second, or even someone in the outfield as he will be trying that out in spring training.
There is one thing that David Wright provides that the Mets need badly. He is clutch. The Mets batted only .225 with runners in scoring position in 2016. Conversely, Wright has hit .293 with RISP in his career, driving in at least 100 runs five times. Obviously we can not expect 100 RBIs from him in 2017, but we can expect him to continue to be clutch.
Third base will provide one of two things on any given day in 2017. It will either provide a bona fide leadoff hitter, or a clutch bat to drive in much needed runs. Which of those the Mets get will depend almost entirely on Wright’s health on any given day, but either way, I will not be worrying about getting production from the hot corner in 2017.