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Bullish on David Wright

Posted By Howard Megdal On September 7, 2011 @ 2:11 pm In Today's Mets headlines | Comments Disabled

Everyone has hot streaks. For the past few weeks, Nick Evans has looked like the best first baseman in the National League. In 1957, Bob Hazle hit .403 [1] in 155 plate appearances.

So the fact that David Wright is at .313/.387/.515 since returning from the disabled list isn’t, by itself, a cause for celebration. After all, that is in 186 plate appearances, only a bit more than Hazle’s hot streak. And skeptics will point out that before he went on the DL, Wright his just .226/.337/.404 in 172 plate appearances.

Thing is, those came mostly with Wright dealing with a broken back. So unless you believe Wright is likely to have a broken back going forward, that’s not overly useful in projecting future performance.

But we don’t just have 2011 to go on with Wright. And it is noteworthy to me that his current .902 OPS since his return is right in line with his 2004-2010 performance of .305/.383/.516, good for an OPS of .899. And as I have pointed out before [2], that performance, through age 27, puts him in the company of the greatest to ever play his position- seventh all-time, and right around the OPS+ levels of George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Wade Boggs and Chipper Jones.

Simply put, there aren’t many better bets to be the best at their positions for the forseeable future. It is tempting, apparently, to try and blame Wright for the recent team failures. But he is, in fact, far more responsible for what success they’ve had.

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URLs in this post:

[1] Bob Hazle hit .403: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hazlebo01.shtml

[2] as I have pointed out before: http://nybaseballdigest.com/?p=24768

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