As we head toward the All-Star break, David Wright is making a push to be in the discussion for National League Most Valuable Player. In a renaissance year of sorts, Wright is hitting .317 with 14 HR’s and a league leading 65 RBI’s.
Two years ago the idea of Wright winning an MVP would have been natural, but then the calender turned to the year 2009 and Citi Field was opened. But what it opened for Wright was a can of worms, which had people in baseball questioning his place in the game. The mere idea of that thought seems blasphemous.
But for Wright, the 2009 season was no ordinary season.
The 2009 campaign was a disastrous year for Wright, at least by Wright’s standards. His power numbers were sapped (10 hoem runs and 72 RBI) by the spacious Citi Field and amidst countless injuries the team limped to an awful 70-92 record. Wright also had to endure to a severe beaning to the head which placed him on the DL for a few weeks with a concussion. But the physical effects of his concussion were nothing in comparison to the psychological issues that came from that beaning.
For a while after the beaning, Wright was not the same player and it carried over into the early parts of this season. People questioned if he can ever get that swagger back and regain his MVP-like form.
There is no question, where Wright will again take part in the festivities, the swagger is indeed back.
Wright has rebounded emphatically and has the Mets in contention as the team prepares for second-half baseball. He was named NL’s player of the month for June after hitting a sizzling .404 and driving in 29 runs. Wright has four more home runs this year than he did in all of last season and the Mets have only played in 87 games.
Wright has finally reached a comfort zone at Citi Field and his turnaround from last year to this year has been nothing short of amazing. Wright is finally at peace at the plate.
Earlier in the year, perhaps with the beaning still in the back of his mind, Wright was pressing-which led to a heap load of strikeouts. But, Wright has cut back on the strikeouts and has taken the Mets and put them on his back and kept them in contention. Wright has picked up his game at the most opportune time as Jason Bay, Ike Davis, and Jeff Francoeur have struggled in the last few weeks.
The Mets, however, have been caught in cement lately and go into Sunday’s game losing eight out of their last 12, but it is no fault of Wright.
When the second half of baseball resumes on Thursday, Wright and the Mets might be on track for the playoffs. And if the Mets make the playoffs, Wright may just be NL MVP at the end of the season.
After 2009’s misfortunes, that’s a welcome sight, if not natural for Wright.