Skip to main content

Fantasy Outlook: David Wright

Fantasy Outlook: David Wright
David Wright

How much more can be expected from David Wright?

David Wright has experienced what I would venture to call a tale of two careers. There was the David Wright who averaged about 25 home runs in his first six full seasons, one in which he placed fourth in league MVP voting. Then there is the aging 33-year-old who has failed to hit over 25 home runs since 2010. Some like to point to the construction of Citi Field in 2009 for Wright’s precipitous power demise. While his inaugural year in it’s unwelcoming confines produced a measly 10 long balls, he rebounded the following year with a solid 29 homers. Plus, the Mets have moved the fences in since then, and it’s paying dividends as they are currently leading the National League in home runs.

Get free start/sit and waiver wire advice for your fantasy team partner-arrow

Whatever the case was, Wright is in his 13th season and is now dealing with a condition known as spinal stenosis, the same condition that cut Yankee great Don Mattingly’s storied career short. The ailment requires many tedious hours of stretching and treatment prior to games merely to be in shape to play that same night. Yet if there’s anyone in the league who can deal with such a burdensome condition head-on, it’s the reputable Wright. The 13-year veteran even admitted that prior to Game 3 against the Royals in last season’s Fall Classic, he arrived at the ballpark at 11:45 a.m. for an 8 p.m. start. That is dedication on behalf of Wright but alarming for the Mets’ organization as the seven-time All-Star finds himself right smack in the middle of a long-term deal that stretches through into the year 2020. Manager Terry Collins has been judiciously utilizing him for roughly three games at a time followed by an expected day off. Look for the Mets to grant Wright every opportunity to remain in the two hole going forward as the perpetually loyal Collins this past week still referred to him as “my superstar.” He has been the face of the organization for almost a decade and, amidst his struggles in the NLCS last season, even offered to sit out Game 2 of the for the betterment of the team. While he doesn’t match up on a numbers basis, he has come to positively resemble the role Derek Jeter played for the other team in New York.

Unfortunately, Wright has struck out a whopping 44 times in just 109 at-bats on the year entering Sunday. His saving grace has been his .358  on-base percentage, second on the squad. While his back has seemingly hindered his throwing motion at times at the hot corner, he is living up to his career billing as always putting forth a quality, professional at-bat and making the opposing pitcher work. Ironically, he has hit over 47% of his balls hard this year which is by far a career best, albeit in a small sample size. The drawback is that this could indicate his swing is as long as ever. The former Gold Glove winner has always possessed an uppercut hack, but as Mets’ broadcaster and former World Series Champion Keith Hernandez recently alluded to, Wright simply needs to start cutting down on his swing. Perhaps he is feeling immense pressure to hit home runs due to his significant contract. It is clear his long route to the ball has led to his struggles with two strikes. Wright has struck out in about two-thirds of his at-bats that have involved two strikes this year and is hitting .215 in his career with two strikes against him (according to baseball-reference). While the numbers indicate that he has seen more pitches than ever this year, he is still missing more pitches than he has in his career.

A major reason for his significant dip in production has been the change is his batting stance “post-stenosis.” His stance is visibly more hunched and unnatural looking as his condition seems to be impeding his flexibility and fluidity at the plate. Perhaps his rigidity has led to an even greater vulnerability to low and outside curve balls as his overall balance at the plate has sharply diminished. Wright used to have exemplary balance at the plate, appearing as if he was comfortably sitting back in a chair in the batters box ala Carlos Beltran or Josh Hamilton. As a result, prior to his thrilling (and much needed) walk-off single against the Brewers on Saturday, Wright had endured a challenging 3-for-28 stretch with no homers and no RBI in his previous eight games. Exacerbating the problem was his 15 strikeouts in that span. Furthermore, Wright is having difficulties creating power behind his throws from third as his already side-arm-esque tosses have seen their release points lowered even more due to the spinal stenosis.

Looking ahead, the veteran  faces Clayton Kershaw and Mat Latos in the next 10 days and is 2-for-17 and 3-for-17 against them, respectively, in his career. One should be cognizant of the fact the long-time Met seems to always heat up come June (.325 career average) and the warm weather can be particularly welcoming to his aching back. In other words, if there’s any time for Wright to get hot and pick up the pace before the pressure really starts to mount, it is in the coming weeks, just maybe not this week. Don’t count him out.

Anthony Castellano is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Anthony, check out his archive and follow him @AcasNY23.

More Articles

6 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups & Deep League Sleepers (Week 4)

6 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups & Deep League Sleepers (Week 4)

fp-headshot by Jorge Martin | 2 min read
Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers: Tight Ends With Top-5 Potential (2024)

Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers: Tight Ends With Top-5 Potential (2024)

fp-headshot by Josh Shepardson | 1 min read
Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings: Week 4 (2024)

Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings: Week 4 (2024)

fp-headshot by Ryan Pasti | 2 min read
6 Fantasy Baseball Players Trending Up & Down (Week 3)

6 Fantasy Baseball Players Trending Up & Down (Week 3)

fp-headshot by Hunter Langille | 3 min read

About Author

Hide

Current Article

3 min read

6 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups & Deep League Sleepers (Week 4)

Next Up - 6 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups & Deep League Sleepers (Week 4)

Next Article