Published on June 25th, 2013 | by Josh Chapdelaine0
David Wright and Beach Balls
David Wright has been quietly having another very good season with the New York Mets. The quiet nature of Wright’s season has to do with the Mets overall poor performance on the diamond this year, but it’s not that he has been bad. Oftentimes, it has taken contributions from one or both of David Wright and Daniel Murphy to muster a good offensive output for the Amazin’s. Over the last month, opposing pitchers may as well have been throwing beach balls to Captain America.
The discrepancy there is that the Mets have won their last two series (the first time since the first two series of the season), they’ve won six of the last nine games, and with all of that going on, Murphy has actually been in a pretty bad slump. In the month of June he has had an average of .195, and has been only getting on base one in every four plate-appearances. The one thing Murphy cranks out more than most players in the league, doubles, have also been hard to come by as he only has two in 20 games this month.
Now the recent success of the Mets is certainly due in no small part to the production of the franchise’s latest acquisition, Eric Young Jr. The new leadoff hitter is certainly riding a hot streak, and may finally be an answer for the Mets questions of who can take on that first spot in the lineup. While it is certainly a small sample size, in 24 plate appearances with the Mets, Young is sporting a line of .364/.417/.500. Even if that pace slows down, which it more than likely will, he is still a career .331 on-base-percentage guy. Over five years in the MLB he gets on base, on average, 33% of the time, and that’s exactly what you want in a leadoff guy.
Another player starting to come to fruition is Juan Lagares. In June he is batting .308 and slugging .442. Baseball-Reference.com is boasting him with a WAR of 1.0, which is an impressive contribution considering he was not on the opening day roster, and has been splitting time for most of the season since being called up.
However the biggest part of this resurgence, in my opinion, would be by Captain America himself, David Allen Wright. In the past 17 games (79 plate appearances), he is batting .405, getting on base at a .443 clip, and slugging an incredible .773. Over that span, he has eight doubles, five home runs, and one triple.
Wright reached the groove he was in for much of the first half of last year in 2012, where he becomes that elite hitter he has always been where getting him out is almost out of the question. Pitchers are almost more inclined to hope, not that they can get him out, but instead they are trying to make sure that when he inevitably hits the ball (which according to Ron Darling, “at this point it probably looks like a beach ball to him”), it will stay in the park.
Many teams are probably hoping that the Mets will just roll over and die as the season slowly approaches its halfway point. And I can’t entirely blame them. On paper, the Mets are 12 games under .500, and have no signs of making a post season run. But as someone who has been part of at least one team/league every year since I was five, I can tell you that sometimes the biggest motivator is hearing how other teams think of you.
I’m not trying to sell that the Mets are going all the way. I’m pretty sure most people thinking as such have yet to take their medication for the day. However I can tell you that I firmly believe that the Mets are not dead. Being lead by David Wright, and his all-star physical ability, and at times unrivaled competitive nature, this team’s future isn’t as dark as some newspapers may try to make you believe.
Photo Credit: Michael Baron