MY FAVORITE METS PLAYERS - # 5 - David Wright, by Tom Brennan
Hard to believe that I could not get to David Wright in my list of FAVORITE METS PLAYERS until # 5, which coincidentally is Captain America's uniform number. I feel guilty.
But I always have had a bias towards the new thing, young players in their ascendancy, hence my choices of Thor, Cespedes (well, not so young, but still in his ascendancy), Harvey and deGrom as my top 4 favorites.
David Wright has been the Mets' gold standard during his 12 seasons with the Mets, their greatest all-time offensive player. He's had 2 significant hiccups after 2008.
In his first 5 seasons, truly Hall of Fame caliber: iron man, averaging 42 doubles, 30 homers, 110 RBIs, and an 80% success rate in steals, plus 2 Gold Gloves. A wonderful all-American guy, what team wouldn't want a David Wright?
Fast forward to the Wilpons' new playground to replace Shea Stadium in 2009, the Grand Canyon a/k/a Citifield, with its horrible dimensions for a power hitter like David Wright.
I for one have failed against Citifield dimensions, and the fences were pulled in twice, but not before Wright lost dozens of homers and doubles since Citifield opened in 2009. In my opinion, jeopardizing what should have been a sure-fire Hall of Fame career, which would be the first such for a home-grown offensive player.
He may still make the Hall, but the atrocious fences really hurt (ten homers in 618 plate appearances in 2009 being the exclamation point of the foolishness of such hitter-unfriendly dimension when a player like David Wright is your marquee guy).
Due primarily to the inhospitable Citi-dimensions, and his recent stenosis issues, Wright's seven seasons from 2009-15 have resulted in a big dip in power numbers and batting average (e.g., just 105 homers in 3657 plate appearances during that time period).
David had everyone including me concerned that his career might be over after the stenosis diagnosis in 2015, but when he finally returned and got 38 regular season games in, results were surprisingly good (regular season .289/.379/.434). Hey, and he played well in the playoffs, to boot. I'm hoping he will startle all of us and give us .300/.400/.500 over 130 starts this year. I'd love to see David in the Hall of Fame, so hopefully there is plenty of that kind of good baseball left in him.
He may be my #5 favorite this year, but he will always be # 1 in many Mets' fan's hearts. Deservedly so, and mine included....just not in 2016.
Man...that is one Hall of Fame induction I'd love to attend.