Now that the 2013 season has come to a close for the New York Mets, I wanted to use this week’s time machine on the man Sandy Alderson is planning on building a championship team around: David Wright. We received good news last winter, as Wright and the Mets agreed on an eight-year extension, keeping him in Flushing at least through the 2020 season.
He missed a significant chunk of time in 2013 with a hamstring injury, but still managed to hit .307/.390/.514 with 18 home runs, 23 doubles, 17 stolen bases, and 58 RBIs in 430 at-bats. He earned his seventh All-Star selection this season. It was also the fifth time he was voted by the fans to be the starting third baseman for the National League in the mid-summer classic.
David Wright has done plenty for the New York Mets since he made his debut as a 21-year-old back in 2004, but let’s take a look at his life before he made it to the big leagues.
The fourth captain in Mets franchise history was born in Norfolk, Virginia, then was raised in Chesapeake, attending Hickory High School. Obviously, he was a force on the baseball field, earning All-State honors in 1999, 2000, 2001. He was also named the 2001 Gatorade Virginia High School Player of the Year. In four years of high school competition, Wright put together a .438 average with 13 home runs and 90 RBIs.
As he was nearing graduation, Wright was planning on attending Georgia Tech to play ball and major in Engineering. However, the Mets had other plans.
With their compensation pick for watching Mike Hampton sign a lucrative deal with the Colorado Rockies that previous winter, New York selected Wright with their 38th overall pick in the 2001 MLB Draft. He decided to forgo attending college and signed with the Mets on July 12th, 2001.
The Captain began his rather short minor league career that summer with the Kingsport Mets, appearing in 36 games and stepping to the plate 138 times. He adjusted well to his first taste of pro ball, hitting .300/.391/.458 with four home runs and 17 RBIs.
The 2002 season was his first full year with the Mets, spending it in the Sally League with Capital City. He continued to show his promise, hitting .266/.367/.401 with 11 homers, 30 doubles, and 93 RBIs in 496 at-bats as a 19-year-old.
Success followed Wright to High-A St. Lucie, where he captured the Sterling Award for his 2003 season. He racked up his second straight season of 70+ walks, and hit .270/.369/.459 with 15 home runs and 75 RBIs.
From there, it was a rapid climb for David to Flushing. He started 2004 as the 21st best prospect in the game (according to Baseball America). His season began in Double-A Binghamton, but quickly showed he was ready for the next level of play. Through 60 games and 223 at-bats, Wright hit .363/.467/.619 with 10 homers, 27 doubles, 20 steals, and 40 RBIs.
The Mets promoted him to Triple-A Norfolk, where he got to play near his childhood stomping grounds. In 31 games, the third baseman hit .298/.388/.579 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs before debuting on July 21st, almost three years to the day he signed with the organization after getting drafted.
We all know the story from that point on. Wright has been an integral part of the organization since his debut, and will continue to be the face of the franchise for the rest of his career, and beyond. If he doesn’t hold a franchise record at the moment, he likely will by the time he hangs up his spikes.
Here’s where he ranks in major offensive categories in Mets history:
Batting average: .301 (2nd)
On-base %: .382 (4th)
Slugging %: .506 (T-3rd)
Hits: 1,510 (1st)
Walks: 613 (1st)
Doubles: 321 (1st)
Home Runs: 222 (2nd)
Extra Base Hits: 541 (1st)
Total Bases: 2,376 (1st)
RBIs: 807 (1st)
Runs scored: 783 (1st)
Runs created: 929 (1st)
There’s no doubt he’ll be one of the most decorated Mets players (if not the most) when his career is over. You can add in his two Gold Glove and Silver Slugger seasons to that list, as well as a 30-30 season in 2007.
I could go on and on about Wright. I’m so happy Mike Hampton signed with the Rockies to make this a reality, and I’m even happier the face of the franchise is “all in” for this organization. Mets fans have a special guy in David Wright, and luckily, we won’t have to let him go anytime soon.