Coming off a 2015 season in which he played in just 52 games, fourteen of which were in the postseason, David Wright knew he’d have to manage his spinal stenosis. The Mets’ captain undoubtedly worked hard to combat that condition and keep himself on the field, but for the second time in as many years, he suffered an injury that significantly shortened his season.
This time, Wright had neck soreness, which was eventually diagnosed as a herniated disk. It ultimately required surgery, which took place in June and ended his season. In total, he played 37 games.
In the games he played, Wright still fared well at the plate. Despite a .226 batting average and a 33.5 percent strikeout rate, Wright had a .350 on-base percentage and a .438 slugging percentage. He hit seven home runs in his 164 plate appearances. All of that translated to a 117 wRC+, which his third-lowest single-season mark in the big leagues but still comfortably above league average. He might not haven gotten there the same way—or quite as well overall—as he did in years past, but he was still a good hitter.
The fielding metrics weren’t as kind. While we’ve always been told to take small-sample defensive ratings with a grain of salt, there was plenty of concern about Wright’s play a third base, especially since he had -8 Defensive Runs Saved and was at -20.8 UZR/150. But with those numbers taken at face value, Wright had 0.5 fWAR for the year.
Going into 2017, the odds are stacked against Wright. Most people have probably given up on him entirely as a baseball player, and maybe they’ll look correct in a few months or years. If he can stay on the field, though, even on a semi-regular basis, it wouldn’t be shocking if he were still a productive player for the Mets.