Most non-Mets fans take a look at the Mets starting lineup and aside from Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran you can hear a resounding “Who?”. I say to those baseball fans: Take a closer look. There is a player in that lineup that can help David Wright resemble the player he once was. He is the reigning NL rookie of the month, Justin Turner.
Turner has been a spark plug for the Mets offense and has contributed to their recent surge in the National League despite missing two of their biggest bats, David Wright and Ike Davis. The Mets have won 8-of-12 and although players like Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada and Angel Pagan have been terrific, it is Turner that has really stepped up. Turner has driven in 23 runs in just under a month and has helped cushion the loss of Wright and Davis.
Although Turner’s offensive production has been a godsend, his recent success can serve as a wake-up call to Mets third baseman David Wright. In no way am I suggesting that Turner should take Wright’s job once David is healthy. What I am suggesting is that Wright break down Turner’s success and learn from it. Some of you may be thinking: Are you insane? Why should David Wright break down a 26-year-old rookie's one month of success? I’ll tell you why.
Turner has had 12 hits to left, 12 to center, and 15 to right this season, clearly using all sides of the field to drive in runs. Remind you of anyone? If you guessed pre-pull happy David Wright, then we’re both on the same page. From 2006 through 2009 Wright had 47, 53, 39, and 46 hits to the opposite field. Last season saw that total drop to a career low 26. Mets fans have witnessed Wright go from one of the best two strike hitters who uses the whole field to a dead pull hitter that set a career high for strikeouts last season.
I disagree with Fred Wilpon that David Wright is not a superstar. I do agree that he has not played like one in a very long time. The key to Wright’s return to prominence is not to hit more home runs and conquer the Great Wall of Flushing in right field. His return to success will come when he realizes that he has to go back to being the player who had the makings of a superstar.
The success of a 26-year-old rookie may be just what this franchise needed.