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David Wright Player Profile: Rising or Sinking?

David Wright on September 23, 2012David Wright is entering his age-30 season and beginning the first year of an eight-year, $138M contract. The Mets are counting him to be the main man, and eventually to lead the team back to relevance. We’ll forgive you if you assume that D-Wright is an actual superstar, but the reality is that he is not. Mets owner Fred “Coupon” had it right when he said that Wright is “a really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar.” From an overall fantasy line, Wright should fill up the stat sheet in all five categories, while not dominating in any one.

Let’s start with where Wright will have an impact, which is in batting average. He hit .306 in 2012, aided by a .347 BABIP, which was comparable to his BABIP rate from 2005 to 2008 when he actually did produce superstar numbers. 2012's batting average was driven by a line drive ratio of 22.2%, a significant jump from the 18% LD rate he posted in 2010 and 2011. He cut down on his strikeouts from 2011’s 21.7% K ratio to 16.7% in 2012. Simply put, Wright is hitting the ball more squarely and striking out less. Considering he’s still 30 years old and has finally adjusted to Citi Field, there’s a good chance he’ll maintain a plus average, somewhere in the .290 - .300 range.

The 30 HR, 120 RBI days are a thing of the past. The Mets lineup is even weaker this year, which limits Wright's RBI potential while his power is in decline. Wright’s new norm should be in the range of 20-25 HR and 90-100 RBI. Looking at past performance, stolen bases are the category most in jeopardy of declining to a pedestrian level. It was only in 2009 that he had 27 SB against 9 CS. Compare that to 2012, which saw Wright steal 15 bases against 10 CS. A 60% success rate is just not going to cut it.

Net Net

David Wright remains a top-30 pick and should go off the board toward the end of round two or the beginning of round three in mixed league drafts. Rotoballer sees Wright as the third 3B off the board, behind Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre, with Evan Longoria right on his heels. While Wright remains a valuable player, be realistic about who Wright is today. Make sure you have other big boppers to provide HR and RBI. He’s not as bad as his 2011 stats, but not as good as the player he was from 2005 to 2008.