How can a guy hitting .288 be considered in a slump?
When your name is David Wright and your the face of a franchise, in one of the biggest baseball cities in America, you are expected to do a lot more then hit for a decent average.
There is an expectation level placed on Wright that is based on his own accomplishments, Wright has been incredibly consistent, not just over his career but even within a given season.
Throughout his career, during any portion of a season Wright could be penciled in for his career averages: BA .309, OBP .389, Slg. .529 and OPS .918...
After being that consistent, to see his numbers dramatically drop is alarming for most Mets fans.
He currently has a batting average of .288 with a .394 slugging percentage, .390 OBP and .794 OPS, but even those numbers only tell half the story.
The Mets have the third best batting average, as a team, in the National League, so players are getting on base but those base runners aren't being driven in, as evident by the team being seventh in runs scored.
Wright has hit in the third or fifth spot in the order, for every game to start the season, and in those primary RBI positions, of a lineup getting on base, he has only 6 RBIs in 66 plate appearances.
With the bases empty Wright is basically preforming as expected, hitting .345, OBP .441, Slg. .483 and OPS .924.
But with any type of pressure his numbers are dramatically down; with runners on base his average is .243 ( .349/.329/.673), RISP .208 ( .345/.333/.678), two outs RISP .200 ( .294/.400/.694) bases loaded .250 (.250/.250/.500).
These situations account for 37 of his 66 plate appearances so far this year.
It appears that Wright, who was highly criticized this offseason by many none Mets fans for his lack of clutch hits, in the last week of the season, is pressing. Not only are his pressure situation batting numbers down but his strikeouts are significantly up. Wright has always been known for making good contact and having a great eye at the plate, however; so far this year he is amongst the league leaders in strike outs with 20.
If all his numbers were down, I would agree that he didn't feel right at the plate, had an injury or was mechanically off, but with him hitting .345 with no one on and .243 or less with runners on, I have to believe it's mental.
The bottom line is, he wanted to carry this team offensively and get them off to a fast start but he still hasn't gotten over incidents like leaving Murphy on third with no outs in the last week of the season. So far this season Wright's performance at the plate can be summed up in one word...pressing.
So how do you fix a perennial All-star and potential Hall of Famer who is acting more like D-Rod then DW....
- It's mechanical or physical leave it to Hojo to fix
- Great hitters will work this out themselves, leave him alone
- Give him a day or two off to relax and clear his head
- Move him to the No. 2 spot to see more fastballs and get him started
- Move him to the bottom of the order to take the pressure off
Statistical numbers obtained from Yahoo Sports....