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Updated: July 8, 2010, 1:17 AM ET

Mets get the Wright feeling this year

By Chris Singleton
ESPN
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The Mets aren't exactly what you'd call a "lucky" team. In addition to dealing with injuries and late-season skids, there have been issues with players not addressing the media and just a general sense of discontinuity. But this year is different. Perhaps no player is benefiting more from that difference than David Wright.

The 27-year-old third baseman hit a pedestrian 10 homers for New York last season. Halfway through the 2010 campaign, he's already connected on 14 homers and leads the NL with 64 RBIs.

[+] EnlargeDavid Wright
Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMIDavid Wright has his stroke back this season, as evidenced by his NL-best 64 RBIs.

From a mechanics standpoint, Wright spent most of last year trying to push the ball to right field and play to the dimensions at Citi Field. Thinking about the layout of his home ballpark was probably taking more of a toll on him than it should have been; this year it's like he's "mentally free." He's being so aggressive -- instead of looking to push those middle pitches to the opposite field he's turning on them and hitting the ball hard. Last year, the mechanics he was working into his swing seemed to go on the road with him. Now he has the right approach for whatever stadium he plays in, and that's because he's sticking with his strengths.

Yes, he strikes out a lot. But look at all those RBIs. He can utilize the whole field, but can also turn on the ball with the best of them. So he's making sure that the power aspect of his game stays sharp and doesn't slide back just to protect his batting average.

Yet perhaps the biggest difference with "David Wright: 2010 edition" is his attitude and overall confidence. In the past, a lot of people wondered when he was going to step up and be the vocal leader of the Mets. I think with more veteran guys like Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran around, there was confusion over who should take the reins. Subsequently, it seemed like the 2009 Mets were led by their medical staff.

This year, there's no question that this is David Wright's team.

If something goes wrong, he can come into the dugout after an inning and command everyone's attention and respect. Guys such as Jason Bay, Jeff Francoeur and Ike Davis have helped create this positive clubhouse personality with Wright at the center of it all. Players are listening and responding to Wright's leadership. You can tell when a team starts to gel because you see them celebrating more and really relying on one another in tough situations. But the five-time All-Star is doing a great job of leading by example, too.

On Monday, when it was a sweltering 98 degrees at Citi Field and a lot of players around the league in other warm-weather locations were scaling back on their pregame workouts, Wright was out on the field taking ground balls before batting practice. He's maintained a tremendous work ethic on the diamond and in the batting cage, and I think it speaks volumes to the younger players on that team.

The keys for David Wright and the Mets are to stay healthy, add another quality arm toward the top of the rotation and make sure that when guys such as Beltran return to the team they're assimilated into this new Mets culture -- a culture that prides itself on working hard, holding each other accountable, and winning ball games.

Chris Singleton is an analyst for "Baseball Tonight"

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