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David Wright thinks he's going to bounce back

Jan 8, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

This isn’t a “best shape of my life” article, it’s simply David Wright talking frankly about his bad 2009, his approach at Citi Field and talking confidently about 2010:

“I felt very uncomfortable in the batter’s box . . .I think one of my greatest strengths as a hitter is going the opposite
field and hitting with power to the opposite field. Obviously Citi
Field is going to take a lot of that away because it is spacious out
there . . . I’m not using Citi Field as an excuse. I’m not using the lineup as
an excuse.  It’s up to me to go out there and do what I’m
capable of and I think there were times last year that I did not do
that.

“You just have to adapt to the ballpark, whether it’s
learning to pull the ball a little bit more, getting stronger, doing
things that will help you hit the ball out of the ballpark . . . I’m ready to go.  I’m excited. We have a lot to prove. I have some things to prove.”

Wright may not be blaming Citi Field, but he is exaggerating its impact on him just a bit.  Like most hitters, he has always pulled more home runs than he’s hit the opposite way. Indeed, he only hit eight of his 33 home runs in 2008 to right field, so it’s not like the large right field of Citi is killing him that much. He’s probably far more on point with that stuff about being uncomfortable at the plate, having his swing all messed up and everything.

All that said, I think the “what’s wrong with David Wright” stuff has been a bit overblown.  No, he wasn’t himself last year, but he still got on base at a healthy clip. Indeed, he got on at an identical clip to his 2008 season.  If I had to wager on anyone having a bounceback season this year, Wright would be near the top of my list.

  1. all4tookie - Jan 8, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    Also, further evidence that Citi Field wasn’t the only cause of D. Wright’s woes: He had the same number of HR on the road (5) as he did at home (in 26 more plate appearances).

  2. Beanster - Jan 8, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    I agree with his potential to bounce back – last year his OPS was 1.040 in May and .961 in June, and his numbers were dragged down by his post-concussion .624 OPS in Sept with the, um, generously sized helmet. He’s never hit 35 HRs so no one should expect that playing at Citi, but I would be surprised if he doesn’t return to .900+ OPS. Mets fans have plenty of other reasons to worry – this is not one of them.

  3. Benny Blanco - Jan 8, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    The guy batted 307 in 09. So he hit less HR’s. Still a solid year from a great player.

  4. Moses Green - Jan 8, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    Behold the power of CitiField. So scary and spacious that it managed to scare poor little Davey into hitting only 5 HR’s on the road.
    Bounce-back? I’d say it seems a lot more likely that we’re seeing the results of no more PED’s for young Mr. Wright. No bouncing here.

  5. all4tookie - Jan 8, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    While I’ll agree he didn’t have a miserable year, there were a lot of things wrong with him in 2009. Cherry picking his .307 batting average as support that he is fine is misleading. His batting average on balls put in play was a flukey .400, indicating that his high batting average was supported by a fair bit of luck (duckfarts falling, ground balls with eyes, etc.).
    In addition, his slugging was more than .075 off his career low, his walks were way down, and his strikeouts were way up. There is plenty to be concerned about in David Wright land

  6. john pileggi - Jan 8, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Agreed. He is a solid guy. His power numbers may not ever be the same, but he is a “good hitter”, more than a “power hitter” and so can make adjustments and still drive in runs. The “bad signing” of Jason Bay will afford Wright better protection in the line-up than he had last year.

  7. YANKEES1996 - Jan 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    You can take all those numbers, averages and everything else and cram’em in a dark hole. David Wright got hit in the head (could have killed him). He will have a better year once he gets his confidence back, after being hit like that can you imagine the stress and nerves of getting back in the box again in a real game situation? Give the guy a break he is a good player and the guy is gamer!

  8. all4tookie - Jan 8, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Really? He got hit in the head? I hadn’t heard. Looking it up on google, I see that that happened in the middle of August.
    I guess in addition to being a gamer, he is a psychic whose premonitions caused him be scared into sucking (relatively) in April, May, June, and July?
    Just because something terrible happened late in the season doesn’t mean we should give the rest of his body of work the Adam James treatment.

  9. Max - Jan 8, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    An interesting analysis of Wright’s 2009 from the tremendously awesome Dave Allen: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/david-wrights-power-outage-part-2/
    The takeaway. Wright’s plate coverage on the outside part of home-plate was dismal by his standards.

  10. Larry - Jan 8, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    I know I’m a big Met fan and thus a big Met apologist, but we have to be willing to give Wright some leeway going into 2010. Sure he struggled mightily in ’09, and I (masochistically) watched most of the Mets’ games, so I know he never looked like he was comfortable or had his weight right. Like we was “trying to hit” and pressing as opposed to reacting. All of that said, he was pretty productive under the circumstances. He had Angel Pagan and Luis Castillo and Joey Cora batting in front of him, and Ryan Church, and Omir Santos behind him. I think he would have been more comfortable with a hot hitting Francouer in the lineup with him, but he was hit in the head during that same stretch, so we’ll wait and see. In his worst ever year and with a lineup of nobodies around him, he still gave the team 70+ rbi, .300 avg, steady defense and god speed. If it turns out to be the worst year of his prime, I think we’ll all forgive him. I’m not presuming he’ll reach his previous production levels in 2010, but he could. I’m just not pessimistic based off of last year either. To me, Wright’s slate is clean, and he’s got all the talent in the world to re-establish himself among the game’s elite.

  11. Moses Green - Jan 8, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    That’s because he has no opposite field power without the PED’s. Repeat – David Wright is a roid-head. Enjoy your new skinny, wimpy hot corner guy, Metropolitan fans. His body looks like it sunk in on itself, a lot like what happened to Jason Giambi … hey I think I see a trend here.

  12. Moses Green - Jan 8, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    Keep making excuses for your roid-head hero. Pretty well under the circumstances? That’s true if by “circumstances” you mean no more PED’s. He’s slowly tailed off to his current stick-figure.

  13. willmose - Jan 8, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Wright won’t bounce back. His comment reveal he is still suffering from the concusion. You can’t adapt to reactiong to the ball a half of second too late. It is sad, but Wright’s career is over. Hopefully, Wright won’t get serious hurt while trying to play. The Mets medical and training staff are the worst in MLB.

  14. mitch53 - Jan 9, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    The ballpark has everything to do with it. The deep high fences force you to alter the way you hit and messes with your psyche and that continues on the road. The lineup of nobodies hitting around him adds to the problem. Wright will hit better this year but ultimately, the Mets need to pull the fences in a little and lower some of those walls. Don’t want to see anything like Philly or Yankee stadium where the ball carries like a little league park. But the dimensions of Citi field are ridiculous. I always disliked Shea Stadium with that wide open outfield where the ball did not carry well, but Citi field is even worse.

  15. Fast Eddy - Jan 9, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    It would be nice to see the old David back in form after the injury, however the Mets have big problems, and this is not one of them. Whether he hits 10 or 40 HR’s is not going to bail them out of the hole they have dug. It will take a lot of good pitching and defensive play along with the hitting expected to come. And Smoltz is not the answer.

  16. RGold - Jan 9, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Keith Hernandez called it from virtually the first week of the season. Wright had a long loopy swing all year, way off balance. Problem is, either Wright is too stubborn to change or the Mets are wasting their money on Howard Johnson as their hitting coach.

  17. JT - Jan 9, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    I wouldn’t say Wright is “too stubborn” to change. If anything the guy tinkered with his swing too much to try to adapt to Citifield. He was constantly changing things and altering his approach, probably so much so that he couldn’t get comfortable with any one swing. Also based on some of his swings and some of what he said, he seemed to give up on the notion of trying to hit HRs in Citi. He over tinkers with his swing…there is no need to change what had worked for so many years
    And the steroid allegations are silly. There has been testing since he’s been in the league. What he somehow elluded the tests for 4 years and then just decided to stop juicing in 2009? Not likely.

  18. JT - Jan 9, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    I don’t see any evidence that he’s still suffering from the concussion. That seemed to be one of the few injuries the Mets handled correctly last yr

  19. Patricia Shultz - Jan 30, 2010 at 4:06 AM

    Toller Beitrag, vielen Dank.

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