The Mets’ 2013 season is going down in flames faster than even the most pessimistic fan could have predicted. Sure, the team was not expected to be playoff bound and eventually slot into fourth or fifth place in the National League East, but the fall has been fast and unrelenting. This writer, for one, expected a semi-competitive first half with the annual Mets Second Half Collapse™. You couldn’t even get that one right, Mets.
As of games played through May 18th, the Mets are 16-24. That puts them at 26th in baseball, ahead of only the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Houston Astros, and the Miami Marlins. It’s obviously still pretty early in the season and the level of talent on the Angels and the Blue Jays suggests they will not be at the bottom all season. The same positive outlook can’t be applied to the 2013 Mets, which leaves us with a very depressing conclusion: right now the Mets are in a group of ineptitude that includes the Marlins and the Astros.
The horrible performances of the teams’ regulars have (rightfully) received plenty of media coverage. The starting rotation, the bullpen, and the lineup have all been collectively awful and the negative press the team has received is well deserved. Rick Ankiel was released by the Astros, the worst team in baseball for years, shortly before the Mets signed him. Think about that.
There are precious few bright spots right now. In fact, there may only be two: Matt Harvey‘s emergence and David Wright‘s continued excellence. The former has garnered significant coverage, while the latter has not. Why has there not been more coverage of Wright’s performance? Well, probably because he’s expected to perform like he has been so far this season. That doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge it, though.
Through May 18th, Wright’s triple slash is a healthy .317/.420/.535. He’s in the top ten in bWAR, OBP, triples, walks, stolen bases, and OPS+. Those are some pretty impressive numbers, especially considering how bad the rest of his team has been, which brings up an interesting point.
Over the years we’ve heard that Wright “needs stars” around him to be a great player and that he’s a “great supporting player” but not a star himself. Well, in 2012 and 2013 we’ve heard very little about how well he’s done with the lack of talent around him. Maybe we should acknowledge Wright’s ability to rise above the mediocrity the Mets have surrounded him with over the last few seasons. Maybe that is what makes Wright a great player. Imagine what he can do when he’s surrounded by talent. Well, you need to look no further than his performances from 2005 to 2008.
Have we seen the best of Wright? He’s on the wrong side of his peak so it’s possible, but we won’t know for sure until the Mets surround him with a competitive team. Wright signed an eight-year, $138MM deal with the team in the off-season to essentially become a Met for life. He made that choice after sitting down with management so he could understand the team’s plans moving forward. He obviously liked what he heard, which is something positive for Mets fans to consider. It would be a shame if Wright made a mistake in buying into the team’s plans only to see them fall apart, however. There are seven years left to determine that, though, and all we can do is enjoy our homegrown star and hope for the best.