David Wright is in the prime of his career
When people think of the New York Mets, Wright's name is probably the first one that comes to mind. However, is he the greatest Mets player ever?
Not yet. That honor belongs to "The Franchise" Tom Seaver, a Hall of Famer and three-time Cy Young Award winner in 1969, 1973 and 1975 with New York.
However, the 30-year-old Norfolk, Va. native is gaining some ground on Seaver. Wright is already New York's all-time leader in hits (1,426), runs scored (790), walks (616), doubles (322) and RBI (818).
That's a pretty impressive résumé, but he's not in Seaver's territory just yet. Here are four things that Wright must accomplish to be considered the greatest Met ever.
David Wright has been named to the National League All-Star team six times, an impressive figure so far. He's is one of the best third basemen in baseball, along with Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Adrian Beltre of the Rangers and Evan Longoria of the Rays.
Tom Seaver was a 10-time NL All-Star as a New York Met, so the bar has been set pretty high. Wright is in the prime years of his career right now, and all the other top-notch third basemen are all in the American League. So Wright leads the way in the National League.
If he can remain healthy, Wright has the talent to leapfrog Seaver and wind up with the most All-Star appearances by a Mets player in franchise history. It would signify a consistent excellence on his part, which is the mark of a truly special player.
By the time Wright has concluded his career in a Mets uniform, he'll probably own just about every significant offensive record in New York's record book—if he can remain healthy.
As previously mentioned, Wright is already the Mets' all-time leader in hits, runs scored, walks, doubles and RBI. He is also on the cusp of becoming New York's premier home run hitter (he needs 49 to pass Darryl Strawberry) and trails only John Olerud in batting average (.315 to .301) in team history.
Wright also ranks fourth in OBP (.381) and is tied for third in slugging percentage (.506) with Carlos Delgado. When all is said and done, Wright should hold the majority of New York's batting records.
Seaver owns most of the Mets' pitching records (wins, strikeouts, ERA, games started, innings pitched, WHIP, complete games and shutouts). The list seems endless. If Wright has most of the all-time hitting marks, then he has to be in the discussion of who is the greatest Met ever.
No Met has ever won a National League Most Valuable Player award in the club's 51-year history. It might be tough for Wright to vie for the honor in the next couple of seasons because New York doesn't figure to be in the pennant chase.
But you never know.
Tom Seaver captured three Cy Young Awards, pitching's highest honor, as a Met. So if Wright is to be considered the greatest Mets player ever it would only be fair for him to win at least one MVP award.
Wright has finished as high as fourth in the NL MVP voting, in 2007, when he enjoyed one of the best years of his career. During that campaign Wright hit a career-high .325 with 30 HR, 107 RBI and 34 stolen bases. He also earned the first of his two Gold Glove awards that season.
In my opinion, Wright currently ranks as the second greatest Mets player of all time, behind Seaver. Collecting a MVP award may push him over the top.
He still has plenty of time and ability to win one.
It might not seem completely fair, but in order for David Wright to be considered the greatest Met ever, he has to lead New York to a World Series title. He's going to need that championship ring on his finger. Bottom line.
In order to vault past Seaver, Wright needs that distinction on his résumé. "Tom Terrific" was the main cog in the Miracle Mets' shocking World Series championship in 1969, authoring a stellar 25-7 ledger with a sparkling 2.21 ERA during the regular season. He also hurled a 10-inning, complete game triumph over Baltimore in Game 4 of that Fall Classic at Shea Stadium.
So Wright has his work cut out for him. He's still just 30 years old, so he has several peak years remaining. The Mets seem to finally be headed in the right direction, building their team with young, talented pitchers.
However, with multiple playoff rounds these days, it's harder to win a championship in Major League Baseball than it was in 1969. No one said it is going to be easy.
If Wright did lead the Mets to a World Series title, though...
What a parade down the Canyon of Heroes that would be.