Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hole-y Baseball Bats Batman!

Is there a hole in David Wright's swing, or has he felt to much pressure to generate the teams offense all on his own? Whatever the reason, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that David Wright has developed a habit of swinging and missing. This has led to lower walks and extended streaks of bad hitting. This in turn leads people to question whether David is the super-star the Mets need or if they should look to trade him for young talent and start over.

Look at the progression:

2006: .311 / 26 HR / 116 RBI / 66 BBs / 113 Ks
2007: .325 / 30 HR / 107 RBI / 94 BBs / 115 Ks
2008: .302 / 33 HR / 124 RBI / 94 BBs / 118 Ks
2009: .307 / 10 HR / 72 RBI / 74 BBs / 140 Ks
2010: .283 / 29 HR / 103 RBI / 69 BBs / 161 Ks

So what happened to Wright after his most powerful season? The short answer is: Citi Field. David Wright struggled to figure out the new stadium and began to "Press" on the road. Regardless of how true that is, I think that there are a number of other elements that contributed to the struggles.

I'm All Alone: Beltran caught the injury bug in 2009 and carried right through into 2010 with limited at-bats. It would appear that David Wright is not a one-man band and needs some support around him. Thar means that a healthy Beltran, resurgent Bay and a developing Davis should all contribute to Wright having an up year.

Catch The Streak: Back in 2007, David Wright had 1 month where he hit less than .290, in 2008 he slumped from May to June but not terribly, in 2009 he hit an absurdly bad .223 for a month and in 2010 he suffered 3 months where he hit below .260. He simply cannot get that lost for THAT long. I think that Jerry Manuel and Willie Randolf did not do enough to get David turned around quicker during his slumps.

Play The Count: David Wright is GREAT at hitting when a pitcher is behind. The same is not true when a pitcher gets ahead. The difference is... David used to excel at hitting when the tides were even. He hit only .177 when the count was 2-2 but if he could draw that full count his average would sky-rocket to .300+. In the past 3 years that has not been true. David needs to re-establish his comfort level at full count and use that comfort to bring his OPS back into the Super-Star echelon we expect from him.

In short, does David have a hole in his swing? Yes. Can this be fixed? God I hope so.

This is Phlavio Phega and, if it relates to the Mets, I have an opinion.

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