I have been going to games at Shea stadium for many years and have seen many things.
I have seen postseason shutouts, grand slam singles, botched calls, an empty-gloved Steve Finley, an acrobatic Endy Chavez, and many more.
Aside from these great moments, I have picked up on the tendencies of Shea as well.
It is not an easy task to hit a ball out of the park at Shea. Ask Mike Piazza how many fly balls he tagged that just died in left field.
Next year is the opening of Citi Field. A person who strives in mathematics may infer that the dimensions of the two fields are nearly similar and all the dimensions differ by no more than 10 feet.
That is true, but the main reason, in my opinion, that Shea was a pitcher's ballpark is because of the gruesome wind coming through the old picnic area where the left-field bleachers were.
In Citi Field, there are large walls and many predict that the wind will not be nearly as much a factor as it was at Shea.
That being established, let's browse the power numbers.
First, lets take a glance over at the division rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.
Sure, Ryan Howard is a powerful slugger, who, when hot, can rip the ball out of any ballpark, but in Philadelphia, many home runs to left field would be fly outs anywhere else.
There is a reason Todd Hundley and Carlos Beltran hold the New York Mets' home run records at only 41 a piece.
Looking back on how some of the Met players of current have been doing in a pitcher's ballpark, I expect certain players numbers to improve.
The one player I expect to improve home runs is David Wright.
Wright seems to be holding to a consistent year: 30-33 home runs, 120-ish RBI, .300-ish average, a fair share of stolen bases (very rarely getting caught) and some Gold Gloves on the side.
I predict, since David Wright is a powerful right-handed bat, that some of his fly outs in Shea will now be home runs.
David's work-ethic is phenomenal, he strives on building off success and thus exceeding his confidence. Once he realizes he can knock the ball out to left, he will not look back.
Not solely because I am a Met fan, but in fantasy baseball, I would pick David Wright as my second or third overall pick.
He is less injury prone than Albert Pujols, he is young, and his numbers are generally consistent. Also, the Yahoo! end-of-season-rankings, which included pitchers, put Wright among the top three overall.
Here are my bold offensive predictions for David Wright in 2009, barring injury:
.309 BA, 37 HR, 129 RBI
Also, expect more home runs from Beltran from the right side.
As sad as I am to see Shea go, I look forward to a more exciting offensive year for our powerful lineup and to David Wright being the 2009 National League MVP.