Forum Home

Master Index of Archived Threads

Knock on Wood

Sep 29 2005 05:07 PM

David Wright and the 2005 New York Mets, According to Baseball Prospectus

]New York Mets:

Games Back Playoff Odds %
Date Mets W-L East WC East WC
8-28-05 68-62 6.0 1.5 11.94 23.43
9-04-05 70-66 7.5 2.5 1.30 7.51
9-11-05 71-72 12.0 5.5 0.02 1.18
9-18-05 73-76 11.5 8.0 0.00 0.03
9-25-05 78-77 10.5 6.5 0.00 0.00

It was not supposed to be like this. The Mets went out and brought in a lovable manager, who if nothing else, gets to joke around with his cross-town counterpart in SUBWAY commercials. They went out in the free-agent market and brought in the big boys; Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, and Kris Benson were supposed to be the greatest New York trio since Hill, Conway, and DeVito. Expectations were high, and Mets fans wanted to see the boys from Flushing flush out the hated Braves. Unfortunately for Mets fans, it didn’t work out that way. And though it’s hard to fathom that the Mets could have received better production from Petey this season, the MVP of the Mets this season has been David Wright.

David Wright has yet to do much wrong in his professional career. Whether you want to say that players should be evaluated on five tools or six tools, Wright has them all working in his favor. Let’s take a look:

Hitting for Average: In his first two major-league seasons Wright has a raw average of .301. This does not lose anything in translation either, as he still clocks in at .303. His minor-league batting average is a bit lower, but his hitting environment in Capital City was not the greatest.

Hitting for Power – Wright’s isolated power is a healthy .202. It’s not rivaling the .291 and .282 ISO’s put up by Alex Rodriguez and Morgan Ensberg, but Wright’s number is good for fifth among his third base brethren and second behind only Miguel Cabrera for those aged 22 and younger. Wright has also been the Mets team leader in extra base hits, total bases, slugging, and OPS.

Running Speed: In his minor-league career, Wright stole 71 bases in 92 attempts, good for a 77.2% success rate. With the Metropolitans, Wright has swiped 23 bags in 30 attempts, for a similarly healthy 76.7% success rate. Wright has settled into a nice pattern of attempting between 25 and 35 steals per year and being quite successful at it. Wright also grades out well in other base-running situations, as measured by net speed score:

Category Score
Stolen Base Percentage 6.05
Stolen Base Attempts 5.02
Triples 1.57
Runs per Times on Base 6.13
Grounded into DP’s 3.76

Net Speed Score 5.24

While Wright is definitely lacking in the triples category, he counters that with his efficiency on the base paths.

Arm Strength: There's no metric to measure arm strength. He rates as a solid but unspectacular defender by FRAA and FRAR standards.

Hitting for OBP: This is the infamous “sixth tool” talked about in the stats vs. scouts debate linked above. This was a minor concern for Wright coming into this season, as Wright had a K/BB ratio of 2.86 in his Mets debut last season. He has cut that considerably this season, dropping it to 1.59. Wright also sees 3.97 pitches per plate appearance, which puts him at 26th overall and third overall among third basemen.
David Wright should be destined for a long career, headlining a Mets lineup that should see the torch officially passed from Mike Piazza to Wright this off-season, and with good reason. Using Keith Woolner’s newest calculations (stay tuned for more details), we close with a look at the best under-22 seasons at the hot corner since 1960:

Name Year Age VORP PA @ 3B
Albert Pujols 2001 21 74.9 217
Dick Allen 1964 22 69.2 709
Miguel Cabrera 2005 22 64.5 110
Albert Pujols 2002 22 63.1 155
David Wright 2005 22 52.4 637

Those are some tasty comps. A borderline HOF'er and some of the most exciting youngsters in the game today.

Don't fuck it up, David.

Sep 29 2005 05:10 PM

Expectations were not that high. I called 81-81 in the preseason guessing game.
This post had the designation 143) Tracy Stallard

Sep 30 2005 09:38 AM

Yeah, mine weren't either. I was thinking we'd get around 85 or 86 wins.

Here's another 2006 prognosis that aptly fits under the title thread.

From Rotoworld:

]Aaron Heilman, P, Mets – Heilman has a good deal of uncertainty heading into next season as far as what his role will be. Manager Willie Randolph stated that he won’t entertain using Heilman as a closer, which basically meant that he wants General Manager Omar Minaya to get him one this off-season. The Mets are planning on sending Heilman to winter ball this off-season, as a starting pitcher. However, he won’t go too deep into games, usually working only about three innings per contest. With Jae Seo and possibly Steve Trachsel around to compete with Heilman for the fourth and fifth starter roles, it won’t be an easy route to a spot in the rotation. However, as Ron Shandler always advocates in his Baseball Forecaster, in most leagues it’s usually best to draft talented pitchers and let the chips fall where they may as far as roles are concerned.

Even if strong middle relief has no value in your league, Heilman is going to be someone to monitor or stash on your roster. His overall numbers look nice for the Mets this season at 5-3 with a 3.22 ERA in seven starts and 45 relief appearances. However, his strikeout rate is excellent, 106 in as many innings, and his K/BB ratio is also a positive at almost 3:1.

What’s also encouraging is that Heilman has yielded just two earned runs with 36 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings since the start of August. He credits his success to going after hitters, and not trying to be too pinpoint with his control while dancing around the plate. Since Heilman does have a strong history of success in the minors and in college, it sounds reasonable enough. His low-90s fastball means he’s probably not going to be a top of the rotation starter, but at this point it looks like he’ll be the quality No. 3 starter that he was projected to be over two years ago.

Edgy DC
Sep 30 2005 09:45 AM

Let's not put too much stock in rotoforcasts.