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David Wright’s pattern has been base hits to the right side, outs to the left side.The New York Mets went 15-13 in May, and a big reason for their success was the play of third baseman David Wright.
Wright has easily been the best offensive player for the Mets, and May 2012 was one of the best months of his career. Here's a closer look to see how he has been able to be so successful.
It all begins with Wright’s first at-bat. In the first inning this month, Wright posted a 1.253 OPS (.429/.538/.714) with five walks and four strikeouts. Six of his nine hits were doubles, and he went 5-for-9 with 5 RBI with runners on base.
In May, Wright had 16 hits in 23 at-bats ending with contact to the opposite field. That .696 average leads the league, and was more than 50 points higher than the next-closest hitter. He had only five fly-ball outs to left or left-center (see spray chart above), an impressive feat for a right-handed hitter. His 1.261 slugging percentage to the opposite field was second-best in the majors by a fraction to Andrew McCutchen's 1.263. Wright’s eight doubles were second only to Adrian Gonzalez's nine.
Righties not as intimidating
Historically, Wright has crushed left-handed pitching (.340/.436/.584). In May, he did it against righties as well. He batted .369/.431/.646 against right-handed pitching in May, and 13 of his 16 extra-base hits -- including both of his home runs -- came off of right-handed pitching.
Seeing the fastball
Wright did most of his damage against fastballs, recording 19 of his 34 hits this month when the pitcher threw a two- or four-seam fastball. Wright also hammered cutters and sinkers, going 9-for-15 in at-bats that ended with the cutter or sinker.
His .509 average and 1.457 OPS in at-bats ending on non-offspeed pitches are the best of any player in May (through games of May 30).
The only way pitchers retired Wright this month was with breaking balls. Wright hit just .190 in at-bats ending with a curveball or slider, tying him with Freddie Freeman and Dee Gordon for 118th in the majors. But Wright showed discipline, chasing only 14.3 percent of breaking balls out of the zone, which was tied with Carlos Santana for the second-lowest rate this month (Jamey Carroll, 10 percent).