After the Mets lost to the Royals on Opening Day, it wasn't surprising to see a lot of fans worried about the prospects of the defending National League champs. Even as a seasoned fan, it's impossible to not overreact to Opening Day. We build up that game like it's another World Series even if our brains tell us that it's just one game out of 162.
Still, it was interesting to see even veteran scribes writing off David Wright as a has-been following his poor performance on offense and defense during that one night in Kansas City. As our own Steve Schreiber so sarcastically put it in his response to critics, it's not like one bad game from Wright spelled the end of his career.
In fact, Wright has only looked healthier and healthier has April has worn on. Last night in Philadelphia, the third baseman hit a pair of opposite-field home runs and made a sparkling defensive play to boot.
That vintage right field power is especially promising, but no one is thinking that a 33-year-old coming off of a 2015 campaign plagued by injury is going to improve on defense. But Wright only needs to hold his own at third base to provide tremendous value to the 2016 Mets.
The .952 OPS that Wright has hit for so far is a little misleading since he's struck out 28 percent of the time and sports a .391 BABIP that is high even when compared to Wright's .340 career figure. From an anecdotal standpoint, you see fastballs get by him that you swore he would have crushed back in his heyday.
But the Mets don't need the 2007 version of Wright to win big this season. They just need someone who can take a few walks, hit around 15 home runs, and keep impressing us with the occasional barehanded play at third. Wright's not the player he used to be. No one with his history usually is. He can still be very useful, though. The first few weeks have shown us that with proper rest, Wright still has the power and defensive ability to be one of the top third baseman in the senior circuit.
Tonight, with a tough right-hander in Vince Velasquez on the mound, will be another chance for Wright to show that he's a much bigger asset for New York than he looked like after one game.
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