35-Year-Old Third Baseman – New York Mets
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
It's been a tough few years for the veteran third baseman. Wright was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2015, and since then, he's appeared in just 75 games and had multiple surgeries to address issue...
David Wright Contract Information:
In November 2012, Wright signed a seven-year extension with the Mets worth approximately $122 million. He will make $8 million in 2013 and $11 million in 2013, but he'll defer $3 million without interest. Wright will make $20 million per season from 2014-2018, $15 million in 2019 and $12 million in 2020.
Wright (shoulder) wants to keep trying to play, but he's not confident about his chances, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports.
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David Wright: MLB Games Played By Position
David Wright Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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David Wright Defensive Stats
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New York Mets Roster
MajorsBlevins, Jerry (P)
AAACarlyle, Buddy (P)
AAAlonso, Peter (1B)
A+Bautista, Gerson (P)
ACarpio, Luis (2B)
RookieBrodey, Quinn (OF)
David Wright: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After playing just 38 games in 2015 due to spinal stenosis, Wright played one fewer last season due to cervical discectomy and fusion surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. Before having his season prematurely truncated, Wright smacked seven homers with three surprising steals, though a 60 percent contact rate was a big drag on his average. Putting aside the health concerns, the pre-surgery production is encouraging since a great deal of his strikeout woes can be attributed to timing after missing most the previous season. Durability is obviously a huge concern, on the heels of two major, career-threatening procedures. If he proves capable, Wright will open the 2017 season manning third base for the Mets. Drafting Wright makes sense only if you have a built-in exit strategy such as ticketing him for corner or utility duty with a quality replacement at the ready. Or better yet, let him be someone else's wishful thinking.
Mets fans and fantasy owners alike flooded Google to look up spinal stenosis after the veteran third baseman was diagnosed with the condition in late May. Despite the serious nature of the issue -- it's a narrowing of the spaces in the spine that can be career-threatening in some cases -- the Mets were adamant that it was not something that would keep him out long-term, though they did not offer up a timetable for Wright's return to action. He would not make it back until late August, and while he turned in decent production from there on out, it was still too little, too late. It was nice to see Wright's walk rate return to over 12 percent, but his contact rate slipped to below 80 percent, and his .145 ISO was almost 50 points below his career mark. Further, regular rest days are probably necessary to keep him on the field, and at 33, it's possible the skills will start to noticeably slip.
There are disappointing seasons, and then there are the stinkbombs that Wright had in 2014. He was a top-25 player on draft day and finished the season with a .269/.324/.374 line and failed to reach double digits in home runs and steals for the first time since the 2004 season. He tried to play through a shoulder problem that lingered all season. The issue is related to a ligament in his non-throwing shoulder, but as of press date, Wright and the Mets were still pursuing a non-surgical method of improving the shoulder. The left shoulder is crucial for right-handed batters as it allows them to get full extension on their swings, so any weakness in it will hurt their power (see B.J. Upton 2008-2009). If he is healthy, he will rebound, but thatís a huge if. We are not out of the woods yet with Wright in terms of surgery and if he were to need it sometime in the next few months, his 2015 line will resemble the one Alex Rodriguez put up in 2014.
Wright, for the second time in three years, had an injury wreak havoc with his season. This time, it was a strained right hamstring that sidelined him from the beginning of August for seven weeks. Wright had a big first half, starting the All-Star Game at Citi Field, and looked to be on pace for another 20-plus HR, 90-plus RBI and possible 30-steal campaign before the injury. He only saw a handful of games when returned, so his overall numbers are skewed by the fact that he only played in 112 contests. Wright's walk, strikeout and contact rates along with his BABIP were pretty close to his 2012 campaign, while his ISO power spiked for the second straight season. He should once again be one of the top third basemen off the board in fantasy drafts.
Wright rebounded from an injury-plagued 2011 campaign to hit .306/.391/.492 and last season and solidify his place among the league's elite third basemen. The Mets ended speculation of a possible trade by inking him to a seven-year, $122 million contract extension in November, which could keep him in New York through 2020. If Wright sustains the improvement in his contact rate (83 percent), he should be able to keep his average near the .300 range going forward. Perhaps the only concern in the short term is that he struggled on the basepaths, going 15-for-25 when given the green light, likely eliminating the hope of a rebound back toward the 20-plus steals marks we saw from him earlier in his career.
The Face of the Mets first hurt his back diving to tag Carlos Lee on April 19. After playing nearly a month with the injury, Wright finally was diagnosed with a stress fracture that kept him out for two months. Upon returning, Wright went on a tear, batting .455 in 10 July games, but crashed back to earth, going just 46-for-199 with only six home runs during the last two months of the season. Wright, who had just five of his 14 home runs at home and has struggled since the Mets have moved to Citi Field, could be the primary beneficiary of the team's decision to move in the fences in right-center, his power zone. In addition, that change may help his psyche and reduce his free-swinging ways, as his strikeout rate has spiked since 2008. With the Mets' financial woes, expect the trade rumors for Wright to swirl approaching the July 31 trade deadline.
Wright's 2010 season was a mixed bag. After plummeting to 10 HR and 72 RBI in 2009, he rebounded to post 29 HR and 103 RBI, the fifth time in the last six seasons he had 25-plus HR and 100-plus RBI. However, that power resurgence came at a cost to his BA and OBP, as Wright became even more of a swing-and-miss player, striking out a career-high 161 times - his third straight season where his strikeouts have increased. Part of the reason for the increase might have been the decrepit lineup around him, as Jason Bay struggled, then was injured, and Carlos Beltran was a shell of himself after returning in July. Wright still is the face of the franchise and should be good for another 25-plus HR, 100-plus RBI season, the question is will it once again come at the cost of his BA and OBP?
Two of the good parts of Wright's 2009 campaign were his .390 OBA and .307 BA, but even his average was artificially inflated by a .400 BABIP. Wright struggled from the start, racking up strikeouts at an alarming rate and finished with a career-worst 140 K's. After being woeful with RISP in 2008, Wright hit .309 in those situations in 2009. But Wright was unable to drive the ball, neither at home nor on the road, finishing with just 10 home runs and an 87-point drop in slugging percentage. Whether he was frustrated by the vast confines of Citi Field, pressing to do too much because of all the Mets injuries or just having an off year, Wright will have a lot to prove in 2010. After returning Sept. 1 from his concussion due to a 93-mph Matt Cain fastball off his helmet, Wright admitted to flinching on high-and-tight pitches, something he will also need to correct this season. Wright has the track history that signals 2009 was an aberration, but the multiple areas he needs to correct may result in a drop in his draft position.
While Wright's overall numbers were nice, he hit just .243 with RISP and .235 with the bases loaded. Plenty of Mets fans will completely overlook the fact that he hit .340/.416/.577 with six homers and 21 RBI in September, instead nitpicking about his shortcomings in particular at-bats during the team's collapse in the final weeks. Scapegoat or not, Wright is an elite option at third base, which is a little bit thinner heading into 2009 with Ryan Braun and Miguel Cabrera losing their eligibility there. The 20-point drop in average and OBP was largely attributed to the decline in his BABIP, which likely will move back to his norm this season. Wright's overall production and potential for more power as he approaches his peak at age 26 make him a likely first-round pick again this season.
Wright improved his overall numbers for the third straight year in 2007. What makes his season even more remarkable was that he started extremely slowly, hitting just .244 with no home runs and eight RBI in April as questions about his swing still being impacted from the 2006 Home Run Derby surfaced. Wright turned it on in May and remained hot the rest of the season, posting at least 20 RBI while batting higher than .300 in four out of the five remaining months while carrying the Mets after the All-Star break with an 1.061 OPS, 14 HR and 56 RBI. He finished fourth in the MVP voting and won the Gold Glove, and given his age and ability to make adjustments, Wright probably hasn't yet reached his ceiling as a player.
Wright continued his standing as one of the best third baseman in baseball by posting similar stats in 2006 as he did in his breakthrough 2005 campaign. For Wright, it was a Tale of Two Halves; before the All-Star break, he was tearing up pitching to the tune of a .316-20-74-11 line, while after the break, he had just a .305-6-42-9 line and saw his OPS drop by more than 100 points. Some of the reasons given for Wright's slump range from changing his swing for the Home Run Derby, making too many off-the-field appearances, the big contract he signed in early-August and not having Cliff Floyd hitting behind him, which reduced the number of good pitches he saw in an at-bat. Wright's slump continued into the playoffs but he rebounded to have a solid MLB All-Star Tour of Japan. Given his age and the adjustments he makes on the fly, look for him to remain one of the best third basemen in baseball.
Wright took the next step in 2005, becoming a leader on the Mets infield and one of the best third basemen in either league. In his first full season in the majors, his splits were all above-average and his numbers - save for home runs - were in the top 25 of every offensive category. It's scary to think that Wright could get better, but given his age and the adjustments he makes on the fly, that's certainly likely. He's one of the best options in yearly and keeper leagues.
"The Franchise" seems to be the best nickname to give Wright, who quickly adjusted to the major leagues and became the Mets' most feared hitter following his call-up from Triple-A on July 20. His ability to make adjustments on the fly, both in the field and at the plate, is why many feel he will be one of the top-tier third basemen within the next year or two. If you can't get Scott Rolen or Eric Chavez, target Wright and you won't be disappointed.
Wright lead the high Single-A Florida State League with 56 extra-base hits in 2003, ranking third in slugging percentage and fourth in on-base percentage. He has the potential to be a perennial .300 hitter with 20-25 home runs a season, and has a tremendous eye at the plate. Defensively, Wright has soft hands, a strong and accurate arm, and is one of the best at charging bunts and choppers at third base. The one negative about Wright is his streakiness, and resulting pressure he puts on himself. He'll begin 2004 in Double-A Binghamton.
Wright drove in 93 runs last year at Single-A Capital City. He struck out 114 times in 496 at bats, but also walked 76 times. Wright is a complete player with no glaring weaknesses - if he locks into a true power swing in the near term, watch out. He's moving closer to the untouchable category, along with shortstop Jose Reyes and catcher Justin Huber.