David Wright is really good at baseball. If you’re reading this, you probably knew this already. For whatever reason, I feel like this fact gets lost in the shuffle from time to time. “Getting lost in the shuffle” is pretty much what playing third base is all about, but it is important to take a moment or two and recognize that, yes, David Wright is really good.
Being a third baseman is a tough racket. Is it a defensive position? An offensive position? It helps if you can do both, of course, but the defensive requirements tend to drag down the offensive quality of players at the hot corner, which results in fewer 3B in the Hall of Fame than other positions.
David Wright is good at playing third base. He’s really good at the plate, too. Despite being at worst the second best player on some very good Mets teams at a young age, Wright has “toiled” in “relative obscurity” over the last few seasons as the Mets get their financial house in order and rebuild their organization top to bottom.
Whenever they finish, the Mets have one of the best players in franchise history to lead them. One of the best third basemen in the game today and, perhaps, one of the better third basemen of all time?
Still just 30 years old, Wright’s name pops up on all manner of career third base leaderboards. Most Wins Above Replacement through age 25 by a 3B since World War II? There’s David Wright, alone in third.
How about most rWAR by at the hot corner through age 30, all time? Look, it’s David Wright again!
|10||Home Run Baker||45.6||999||4242||22-30||1200||217||90||58||302||262||187||.316||.372||.467||.838|
Wins Above Replacement give you the willies? Don’t worry, Wright still ranks ninth all-time by OPS+ as well. Home runs? Ranks 12th all-time through age 30. This is all a long way of saying David Wright’s career is on a historic path.
Which should not undersell his present, as he is a MVP candidate again this season for the also-ran Mets. A .308/.391/.506 line with 15 home runs and 17 stolen bases is good for a 153 wRC+ in 2013, the highest of his career. That wRC+ is second in the NL, behind just Joey Votto.
To his eternal credit, David Wright made significant adjustments to his game a few years ago. His strikeout rate sort of exploded for a few years before Wright started making more contact again. A return to his 2006-2008 levels of production was the result.
Strikeout rate goes up, weighted-on base goes down. Strikeout rate goes back down, production goes way up, too! All the while playing the role of captain and playing every day for poor/reloading squads. And playing for his country at the World Baseball Classic. And serving as host at the most recent All Star game at Citi Field.
The New York Mets signed Wright to a lucrative contract extension this past winter, ensuring he gets to chill with Mr. Met through the 2020 season. As far as franchise cornerstones, you could do a lot worse. In fact, you would be hard pressed to do much better. David Wright, very good.