Omar Quintanilla (.298) has a higher wOBA than David Wright (.295) after a month of the season.
All Mets fans have been acting like an ostrich, burying their heads in the sand rather that admit the obvious – that a lot of the team’s offensive struggles can be traced to Wright. There was hope that a four-game trip to Colorado, one of his favorite places to hit, would jump start his bat. Wright has a lifetime 1.145 OPS in Coors Field, thanks to a fantastic .677 SLG.
Wright has gone 5-13 in the first three games of the series but only one of those hits has gone for extra-bases and that was a double. Compare that to the three games played in Colorado in terrible conditions last April, when Wright had five hits, including two homers. When even Coors Field can’t help Wright’s slugging, it’s time to start worrying.
Let’s look at Wright’s season to date and compare it to the same point a season ago:
We can’t say that Wright’s been unlucky, as his BABIP is higher than it was a season ago. But outside of doubles, everything else is worse than it was this time in 2013. Two things jump out immediately. The first is his lack of power. He had 12 extra-base hits this time a season ago, compared to five now. Wright homered on Opening Day and since then he’s gone 127 PA (115 ABs) without a HR, a streak that would look at home in Ike Davis’ 2013 season.
And the real issue is the strikeouts. After having more walks than whiffs this time in 2013, Wright has a 3.5 K/BB rate here in 2014. His K% is 22% and regular readers here know that Wright has never had a good season when his K% has been over 20.
From his debut in 2004 through the 2008 season, Wright was very consistent with his strikeout rate, never posting a mark above 17.2 his first five seasons in the league. But then the Mets moved into Citi Field and Wright started to strike out at a noticeably higher rate. Over the next three seasons, Wright’s K% topped 20 each year, with a career-worst mark of 24% in 2010.
From 2009-2011, Wright averaged a 124 OPS+ — a good mark but significantly worse than the 139 OPS+ he posted his first five years when it seemed like he was building a case for Cooperstown. But in 2012, Wright’s K rate dropped under 20% and he followed it up with a similar rate in 2013. Those two seasons, Wright saw his OPS+ leap up to 149, thanks to a career-best 156 mark last year.
Wright started 2014 off fine with his strikeout rate. In Spring Training, he had just 8 Ks in 45 ABs. This carried over to the regular season, when in his first two weeks, Wright fanned nine times in 54 PA (48 ABs). But since April 14th, he has struck out 20 times in 78 PA (72 ABs) for a 25.6 K%
Perhaps Wright started to press after the poor start that Curtis Granderson and the rest of the offense got off to here in 2014. Perhaps it’s nothing but a small sample fluke. Whatever the reason, if the Mets hope to be playing meaningful games after the All-Star break, it would be a great thing if Wright got his strikeout and walk numbers back to his 2013 rates.
And hopefully once that happens, the power numbers will come, too.