Coming into 2013 there was a small concern regarding David Wright, given how poorly his 2012 season had ended. Overall Wright had a great year in ’12 but most of the damage was done in the first half of the season. After having a 1.004 OPS before the All-Star break, Wright had just a .750 OPS in the second half of the year.
But Wright quickly put those fears to rest. He had an .892 OPS at the end of April and at the end of June that number stood at .912. Wright’s ledger stood at .904 in early August when he came down with a hamstring injury. Wright had been trying to play through the injury and manager Terry Collins indicated that he trusted Wright to know his body. The fact you would trust a guy who once insisted he was fine while playing with a broken bone in his back seriously calls into question your judgment.
Anyway, it seemed like it might be a season-ending injury, especially with the Mets not even remotely in the race for the postseason. But Wright, who in the offseason signed a big contract and was also selected as team captain, thought it was important to come back and play again before the year was out.
He returned in the third week of September and got into seven games before the end of the year. To the naked eye he looked recovered and he certainly hit well. Wright had a .916 OPS in the final week and he clubbed 2 HR in 22 ABs.
So, what will he do in 2014? Here’s what we think:
As you might expect from a veteran player with an established track record, our projections are all fairly similar. The two outliers are Mike Koehler forecasting only 75 RBIs and Charlie Hangley with Wright having 31 HRs and only a .116 ISO, which would be the lowest mark in MLB history for a player with 30 or more homers in a season. The current lowest ISO is the .179 that Dave Kingman put up in 1985 with the A’s when he had a .238/.309/.417 line.
Charlie is also expecting Wright to get the Barry Bonds treatment and receive 25 intentional walks. Only two players in Mets history have received at least 20 intentional walks in a season and both happened in 1988. Darryl Strawberry had 21 and Howard Johnson had 25.
Here’s what the group as a whole projects for Wright in 2014:
That seems like a pretty solid forecast and Mets fans should be happy if Wright matches that this season. None of the numbers are outlandish and the biggest concern is likely playing time. Our prediction of 644 PA is one that Wright has failed to meet in three of the past five years. Let’s hope the hamstring doesn’t become a chronic ailment and that he can avoid getting beaned.
Let’s see how our forecast stacks up against the others available on FanGraphs for Wright in 2014:
ZiPS does not forecast intentional walks.
How quickly we go from a “solid forecast” to the most optimistic one available! Some of the difference is playing time and all of the forecasts are pretty similar in the spread between AVG and OBP. The big difference comes in expected ISO. We expect more power from Wright and have him with an ISO at least 20 points higher than everyone else. We also think he’ll end up with more rib eye steaks.
While it’s easy to be disappointed with the Steamer and Oliver forecasts, both of those systems have Wright posting a fWAR over 5.0, which is very good. Ours would likely put him much closer to the 7.4 mark he posted in 2012, depending on how he performed in baserunning and with the glove.
Check back Monday for our next entry in the projection series.