David Wright has been voted into the All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive season, even though his season has been far from stellar in many areas.
He is no doubt the Mets' grittiest player and honored for that distinction, but there is concern for his energy level, and most fans want him to decline that starting nod for medical and/or performance reasons.
Let's look at this objectively. Even though I typically do not like the word "pace," with 84 strikeouts already, Wright is on a pace to strike out close to 200 times this season.
More of his strikeouts seem to be on called third strikes than prior years, so some of it can be chalked up to the umpire's whim on the strike zone. The swinging strikeouts are more normal for someone who is a contact hitter and is legitimately trying to protect the plate.
His unusually high batting average the first half is most likely the reason why he has received so many votes. That and he's one of the most popular players in MLB.
Although he is hitting .325 now, it dropped more than 40 points since mid-June when he was hitting .370 and sitting at the top of all MLB players in that category.
Wright is a career .300 hitter but does not usually hit near or above that level until well after the All Star Break. Normally, he hits between .270 and .280 the first half and already has at least 15 home runs. This year he only has five home runs so far, but the new Citi Field could have something to do with that decline.
Stolen Bases is another unusual statistic this year, he already has 20, which is 5 more than he had all of last year.
This may be another cause of his fatigue, he is running a lot more overall than last year, even though he was taking full advantage of third base being vacant on hits by Carlos Delgado because of the shift employed.
He has also made more errors than usual. Wright already has 12, both throwing and fielding, while last year he had just 19 for the whole season.
Some of the throwing errors may be due to not having a regular first baseman to throw to, some throws may have been handled by Carlos Delgado.
There is no question that Wright is mentally and physically beat up right now and the All-Star break will provide a three-day relief from that grind.
The second half of the season should see the return of the other star position players, and that should relieve some of the burden from Wright's shoulders, but our hope is to keep him off the disabled list.
If he continues to play beat up and/or exhausted, the potential for serious and season threatening injury is very real, and that is the last thing that the Mets need this season.