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Friday, November 30, 2012
ESPN Stats & Info: Wright by the numbers

By Adam Rubin

Here's an incredibly thorough look at David Wright, produced by Justin Havens and the ESPN Stats & Information crew:

Franchise 3B ‘Staying Loyal’

A number of face-of-the-franchise third basemen have re-signed with the teams that drafted them recently -- all three to $100 million or more deals.


The Nationals selected Zimmerman out of the University of Virginia fourth overall in the 2005 draft -- one spot ahead of Ryan Braun. Zimmerman has hit 153 homers, hit .287, made the All-Star team and won a Gold Glove for the Nats, and this past February signed a $100 million extension that will keep him in Washington through 2019.


The 2006 Draft went Luke Hochevar, Greg Reynolds, then Evan Longoria. He’s been a part of the Tampa Bay organization ever since, posting an .877 OPS, three All-Star games, two Gold Gloves and two top-10 MVP finishes -- and he just turned 27. Longoria committed to the Rays through at least 2022 thanks to a six-year, $100 million extension signed earlier this week.


The Mets took David Wright 38th overall in the 2001 draft, the year Joe Mauer and Mark Prior went 1-2. Little more than a decade later Wright owns many of the Mets all-time franchise marks, including runs, hits and RBI.


• Wright’s first full season in the majors was 2005. Since that point, he’s clearly been among the elite third basemen in baseball.

David Wright, Since 2005, MLB Rank among 3B
BA .301 2nd
HR 190 4th
RBI 778 2nd
2B 305 1st
XBH 513 1st

• Wright has always had a dynamic blend of power, speed and ability to get on base. In fact, perhaps no third basemen in the Live Ball Era has demonstrated his broad base of skills over such a long period of time.

Most Seasons of 20 HR, 15 SB and .350 OBP
Third Basemen in Live Ball Era (Since 1920)

David Wright 6<<
Alex Rodriguez 5
Mike Schmidt 4
Chipper Jones 3
Toby Harrah 3
>>2005-08, 2010, 2012

• Wright had a renaissance season in many ways in 2012, producing his best season statistically since 2008. As measured by Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Wright was the fourth-most valuable position player in the National League in 2012.

Most Wins Above Replacement
2012 NL Position Players

Buster Posey 7.2
Andrew McCutchen 7.0
Ryan Braun 6.8
David Wright 6.7<<
Yadier Molina 6.7
>>Best season by WAR since 2008 (6.7)

• Since becoming a full-time player in 2005, Wright ranks among the 10 most valuable position players in baseball over that span.

Most Wins Above Replacement
Position Players Since 2005

Albert Pujols 60.3
Chase Utley 50.9
Alex Rodriguez 42.5
Miguel Cabrera 40.7
Adrian Beltre 39.3
Mark Teixeira 38.7
David Wright<< 37.1
>>2nd-youngest among 7 players listed

• Through his age-29 season, Wright ranks right there with some of the greatest third basemen to ever play the game.

Most Wins Above Replacement
Third Basemen Through Age-29 Season in Live Ball Era

Eddie Mathews 65.5 1952-61
Ron Santo 54.9 1960-69
George Brett 52.8 1973-82
Mike Schmidt 48.9 1972-79
Scott Rolen 44.1 1996-04
Wade Boggs 42.6 1982-87
Buddy Bell 41.4 1972-81
David Wright 39.1 2004-12
Adrian Beltre 38.4 1998-08
Chipper Jones 36.9 1993-01
>>Among those played at least 75 percent of games at 3B


• Wright is arguably the greatest Mets position player ever, at least over an extended period of time.

David Wright
Mets Career

Runs 790
Hits 1,426
Doubles 322
RBI 818
>>Ranks 1st in team history in all

Most Career Hits
Mets Franchise History

David Wright 1,426
Ed Kranepool 1,418
Jose Reyes 1,300

Most Career RBI
Mets Franchise History

David Wright 818
Darryl Strawberry 733
Mike Piazza 655

Most Career Wins Above Replacement
Mets Franchise History

David Wright 39.1
Darryl Strawberry 34.4
Carlos Beltran 30.2
Edgardo Alfonzo 28.0
Jose Reyes 27.0
Keith Hernandez 25.0

• Wright’s contract is eight years and about $138 million when including his 2013 option, which is the way it appears to be presented at the moment. That would make it the second-richest contract ever issued to a third basemen, in both total value and average annual value, behind only Alex Rodriguez’s second massive contract.

Largest Contracts by Total Value
Issued to 3rd Basemen in MLB History

Alex Rodriguez $275M, Yankees, 2008-17
David Wright $138M<<, Mets, 2013-20<<
Evan Longoria $100M, Rays, 2017-22
Ryan Zimmerman $100M Nationals 2014-19
Chipper Jones $90M, Braves, 2001-06
Scott Rolen $90M, Cardinals, 2003-10
>>According to most recent report
>>>Third basemen at time of signing

Largest Contracts by Average Annual Value
Issued to 3rd Basemen in MLB History

Alex Rodriguez $27.5M, Yankees, 2008-17
David Wright $17.25M<<, Mets, 2013-20<<
Evan Longoria $16.67M, Rays, 2017-22
Ryan Zimmerman $16.67M, Nationals, 2014-19
Adrian Beltre $16M, Rangers, 2011-15
Michael Young $16M Rangers 2009-13
>>According to most recent report
>>>3rd basemen at time of signing

• If the figures are accurate, Wright’s $138 million in total value will surpass Johan Santana’s contract from 2008 as the richest in franchise history.

Largest Contracts by Total Value
Mets Franchise History

David Wright 8-yrs/$138M<<, 2013-20<<
Johan Santana 6-yrs/$137.5M 2008-13
Carlos Beltran 7-yrs/$119M, 2005-11
Mike Piazza 7-yrs/$91M, 1999-05
>>According to most recent report


• For a period of about four years, 2005-08, you could make a case David Wright was perennially a legitimate NL MVP candidate. But over the past four years, 2009-12, Wright appears to have settled in as closer to a "very good," as measured by both traditional stats and advanced metrics.

David Wright
Average Season 2005-08 2009-12

BA .311 .290
OBP .394 .372
OPS .928 .843
HR 29 18
RBI 112 82
SB 22 18
WAR 5.8 3.5
>>2005: 1st full season in MLB

• Wright’s value has bounced all over the place over the last six seasons. He’s been anywhere from a top-three player to outside the top 100, according to WAR.

David Wright: Wins Above Replacement
Past six seasons (with MLB rank<<)

2012 6.7 T-7th
2011 1.9 T-121st
2010 2.5 T-85th
2009 2.9 T-76th
2008 6.7 T-7th
2007 8.1 3rd
>>Among position players

• It’s not entirely clear what sort of player David Wright is. Not only has his performance varied from year to year, he also saw a significant drop-off in performance in the second half this season after establishing himself as a legitimate MVP candidate through the All-Star Break.

David Wright
2012 1st Half vs. 2nd Half

BA .351 .258
OPS 1.004 .750<<
K rate 13.2% 20.7%
BB rate 14.0% 9.9%
>>.723 OPS from August until end of season

The primary reason for this? Wright’s propensity for chasing pitches out of the strike zone ballooned from 18 percent in the first half to 25 percent in the second half. Wright’s judgment on pitches on the outer third of the plate completely changed. He swung at 12 percent of out-of-zone outside pitches in the first half, 22 percent in the second half.