But hey, that was a couple months ago, waaaaayyyy back in late April when the 27-year old’s average hit a season low .222. At times he looked more like David Spade in Benchwarmers then David Wright and he was striking out more than Glen Quagmire (giggidy). Metaphors aside, Wright was just not very good and Met fans were justifiably concerned.
Over the past few weeks, however, Wright has ‘wrighted’ the ship (I promised myself I would never fall into that trap but it truly is impossible to resist). What, or when, was the turning point? David went 0-4 in a 2-1 series opening loss to the Yankees on May 21st. His average dipped to .255 and the Mets had lost 9 of their last 12. Then, just as the Mets got going, so too did David Wright. Over the last 22 games he has gone 30-85 (.353), helping the team to a stunning .773 win % (17-5) along the way. Not surprisingly, Wright’s recent turnaround corresponds with the simple fact that he has stopped using a fishing net as a bat and is no longer striking out at a Mark Reynolds type pace. Even with DW giving up on trying to swing out of his shoes, his power numbers are yet to suffer.
April 5-May 21 (43 games)- 149 AB, .255 avg., AB/HR = 18.6, AB/K = 2.2
May 22 – June 16 (22 games)- 85 AB, .353 avg., AB/HR = 21.3, AB/K = 4.1
While we’re only half way through June, signs of the third-basemen having his best statistical month of the season are glaring. With 12 HR on the season he has surpassed his entire 2009 total (10) by 2. Wright seems to once again feel snug batting 3rd with Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan commonly occupying the bases in front of him while Ike Davis and Jason Bay offer protection behind.
For better or worse this all comes amidst the undeniable fact that Wright still hasn’t figured out his home field. Of his 12 HR’s only 2 have come at Citi Field, where he is also batting 11 points lower than on the road. This isn’t too surprising when you consider that, according to MLB park factors, only Oakland Coliseum ranks as a more difficult place to hit one out. Still, the splits just aren’t nearly as dramatic for the Met’s other players, who have seemingly ‘learned’, for lack of a better word, how to level the playing field when hitting at home. Rod Barajas (6 HR away, 5 at home), Ike Davis (4 HR away, 4 at home), Jeff Francoeur (4 HR away, 3 at home), Angel Pagan (2 HR away, 2 at home) and Jason Bay (1 HR away, 3 at home) have simply not fallen victim to the Citi Field power outage Wright has experienced. Interestingly, it also took Wright a bit of time to warm up to hitting home runs at Shea stadium, going from 1 HR/24 AB in 2005, to 1 HR/22 AB in '06, to 1 HR/17 AB in '07, and 1 HR/14 AB in '08.
As time progressed and perhaps as he became more comfortable with his confines, Wright began hitting for more power at home than he did on the road. While I can’t imagine such a trend coming to be at Citi Field, if the Met’s third basemen can just follow suit with the rest of the team and keep a relatively even split, his numbers will go from good to exceptional in a hurry. He already leads the NL in RBI’s with 52 and talk of his early season demise would surely be replaced with whispers of ‘MVP’. Maybe all Wright really needs is more ‘situational training’ (gotta get this video clip whenever possible), but whatever the case, it’s good to have David back on the Wright track.