David Wright, the phenom third baseman
of the New York Mets, is the real deal folks. The latest in an endless revolving door of players the Mets have tried at the hot corner, David Wright
is finally going to end New York’s quest for an everyday third baseman for the foreseeable future. On a team that has been stockpiled over the past two winters with stars, David Wright is going to be the brightest of them all, on baseball’s biggest stage.
David Wright is different from most of the Mets recent “can’t miss” prospects in one important way. He hasn’t missed. He made his Major League Baseball debut on July 21st, 2004, with the headlines of the New York Post trumpeting “The Great Wright Hope”. He was only 21 at the time, but David Wright proved worthy of the hype, a rare thing amongst Mets’ minor leaguers of this era. He hit .293 in 263 at bats with 14 home runs and 40 RBI. He was good enough that the Mets sent their previous third baseman, Ty Wigginton, to the Pirates in the deal that brought pitcher Kris Benson to the Mets. They basically told Wright that third base was his and eliminated the pressure of worrying about sticking in the majors.
David Wright was such a hot commodity in the Mets’ farm system coming up that when New York was asking Seattle about the possibility of talking to their then manager Lou Piniella about taking over the reins in New York, Seattle said sure. Just as long as when Piniella goes to the Big Apple you give us David Wright in return! Fortunately for the Mets, they hired Art Howe instead, keeping David Wright. The two long years of not contending under Howe can now be eased by the thought that his managerial stint was a trade-off for keeping New York’s best player a Met.
David Wright, who was born in Virginia in 1982, is a six-foot tall right handed batter and thrower. He weighs two hundred pounds, and although he made 11 errors in his first half season of 2004 and 24 last year down at third, he is going to become an excellent fielder. He is used to playing shortstop; he will get better with experience. When he came up in 2004, with all of the expectations of Mets fans a potential crippling burden, he did not flinch. He had a break-out game against the Brewers in August when he poled a 450 foot home run and knocked in six. As 2005 began, David Wright was being looked at to be a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. That is a lot for a kid, but Wright has been up to the challenge.
His 2005 season was very, very good. 42 doubles, 27 homers, 102 RBI in 160 games. David Wright hit .306, and established himself as an up and coming star. His ridiculous bare handed catch of a pop fly as he fell forward like a football wide receiver made all the highlight reels, but David Wright is more than a one play wonder. His 2006 start could not be going any better. He is hitting over .400 after ten games, leading the Mets to an 8-2 record, just the fast break that this team needs. Wright has struck out only once in 35 at bats and leads the Mets with 13 RBI; to show you what a good situational hitter he is, he already has three sacrifice flies.
There is no ceiling on how good David Wright can be. He has already been embraced by the New York fans and media, with some talk show callers phoning in and comparing him to the crosstown Yankees’ Derek Jeter. That’s a little too much at this point in his career, but the comparison may be able to be made when all is said and done, as David Wright will be a fixture in New York baseball for years to come.