David Wright: Earning The Respect Of Everyone Who Gets to Know Him

Wendy AdairAnalyst IMarch 11, 2009

The Mets made a huge sacrifice in sending 16 players to the World Baseball Classic this year, but they have all served their countries well so far, even though Jose Reyes and Fernando Tatis are returning to camp after the Dominican Republic was eliminated last night.

David Wright was the first Met to accept an invitation to play for Team USA in the WBC after A-Rod decided to play for the Dominican Republic, but we all know what happened there, so no further discussion is needed.

Wright has won over his teammates on the USA team with his energy, dedication, and talent, including many people who have not spent a great deal of time with him. The most notable of these include Captain Derek Jeter, who is Wright's New York Yankee leadership counterpart, and coach Mike Schmidt, from the Philadelphia Phillies, arguably the best third baseman in the history of the major leagues.

The players on the team truly respect Wright's love for the game, as well as his talent, even though he did not do well the first game (0-for-4 with a strikeout and stranded runners). Nerves had to play a part and he did rebound the following game, going 3-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored. 

With the abdominal injury to Chipper Jones, making him questionable at best, Wright will have sole possession of third base duties for the remainder of the Classic.  He is a slugger who will strike out quite often (about 110 times per season), but he does have more than adequate power, good speed on the bases, and a good eye, strong hands and patience at the plate so he does draw many walks and will both score and drive in a substantial amount of runs (on average about 100 runs scored and 120 rbi's).

Even Jimmy Rollins, the outspoken Philadelphia Phillies shortstop, has declared a truce with Wright for the duration of the classic. They are enjoying being teammates with enormous respect for one another, but both will go back to their teams and be rivals once the regular season starts and they are not playing for their country, they will be playing for their team's NL dominance.

Everyone respects David Wright for his work ethic, on the field talent, incredible durability, and dirty uniform grit, but mainly he is respected for the way he handles himself with the fans and media, neither of which is very kind in New York, when you are struggling in any sense of the word.  His vocal leadership skills in the clubhouse are continuing to grow and so will his ability in the field, as his defense is actually the weakest part of his game, even though he does have 2 Gold Glove awards.  He makes incredible diving and leaping plays, but his throwing accuracy does need improvement, but this can be fixed with proper guidance and practice.

He is 26 years old and has accomplished more in his first 4 full years of Major League service than most players achieve in their first 10 years.  He is only the 2nd major leaguer in history to drive in 100 + runs and hit 40 + doubles in each of his first four seasons, and he had the highest batting average, close to .320 of any Mets player in history at Shea Stadium, which is a record that will not be broken.