Adjusting to New Home: Can David Wright Repeat 30/30 Season at Citi Field?

Wendy AdairAnalyst IApril 6, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 04:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets runs off the field against the Boston Red Sox on April 4, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Red Sox defeated the Mets 9-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

David Wright is a proven slugger and also a proven base stealing threat, as evidenced by his 30/30 season in 2007.   In 2008, Wright had career high numbers in HR's (34) and RBI's (124). 

He does not have the typical slugger appearance, but make no mistake, this kid can hit the ball as far as anyone in the majors.

David Wright took the world by storm in 2006 during the All Star Game Home Run Derby at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where not even his own brothers were convinced that he would hit more than five HR's during the contest. He finished in a close second to Ryan Howard with 23 home runs, which was extremely impressive, even to the harshest critic.

Home run numbers are not expected to be high at Citifield, at least until hitters make the adjustments to compensate for the new dimensions and wall height.   The Mets discovered last weekend against Boston that the best bet is to aim for the gaps to make the most of the Citi Field layout.

The Mets have not given Wright the running green light as much as in the past because of his increased value to this team, as well as because of his several leg and foot maladies.  These have not been major problems, as he did play 160 games, but they were nagging enough to take away from his aggressiveness on the bases dropping his stolen base count under 20.

Wright is very capable of repeating a 30/30 season, but the changes in Citi Field may prove to be detrimental to the HR aspect of his game.  This may actually be a good thing and force him not to try to hit every pitch out of the ballpark, and instead hit the ball into the gaps for doubles, triples, and even inside the park home runs.

Although he is very proficient at hitting the ball the other way, at Shea Stadium mostly, he got anxious and tended to pull the ball and did manage to blast several home runs into the picnic area.  This tendency also caused him to swing at less than ideal pitches, or have awkward swings at very hittable pitches.

Last September, Wright was brought to Citifield along with Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans to see how the ball carried in the new stadium.  They were all successful in hitting at least one out of the stadium.

David Wright knows there are many adjustments to make and he will do so, but it will be interesting to see how his HR/stolen base numbers are affected by the new stadium.