Believe it or not, today marks the 10th anniversary of David Wright’s Major League debut. As we reach this milestone, it is an appropriate time to assess his legacy with the team.
Selected during the supplemental round of the 2001 amateur draft (20 picks after Aaron Heilman if you can believe it), David Wright served as a compensatory pick after the Mets lost Mike Hampton to the Colorado Rockies during free agency. Prior to being drafted, Wright, the 2001 Gatorade Virginia High School player of the year, had committed to attending Georgia Tech.
Fortunately for the Mets, Wright decided to forgo his prior commitment and sign with his childhood team.
Wright rocketed through the Mets farm system. In the 91 minor league games that Wright played before being promoted in the summer of 2004, Wright hit .341 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs between Binghamton and Norfolk.
On July 21st, the Mets selected David’s contract for a game against the Montreal Expos. In just 69 games, David would hit 14 homers and garner 40 RBIs while batting .293. The future franchise cornerstone had arrived.
Now, ten years later, Wright is the captain of the Mets and unanimously beloved amongst the team’s fans. He already owns nearly every accumulative franchise record and by the time he retires he will undoubtedly lead in every category, save for perhaps triples and stolen bases.
Known as Captain America, Wright has been the face of our franchise for a decade now. He has demonstrated his loyalty to the team, stuck it out through the tough times and yet the fact remains, the Mets have made the playoffs only once since his debut all those years ago.
From 2005-2008 David Wright was unbelievable. In those four seasons, David batted .310 with 116 home runs and 449 RBIs. He won 2 Golden Gloves and matching Silver Slugger awards in 2007 and 2008 respectively. He also played in 160 games three of those four seasons, the lone outlier being 154 in 2006.
That was when David was 25 years old. Now, Wright is 31 and since that time he has just one 100 RBI season and one season of 25 or more home runs, both in 2010. His batting average since 2008 has dropped nearly 20 points, to .292 over that span. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Wright has struggled to stay healthy through the 162 game schedule as he has gotten older. After playing in at least 154 games every full season through the age of 25, he has accomplished that feat just twice since. The other fact to keep in mind, Wright has not been to the playoffs since he was 23 years old.
This is not a bashing on David Wright in any way. In the dark years that have followed the September collapses of ’07 and ’08, Wright has long been a lone bright spot for a franchise with little to cheer for. He is certainly one of the greatest if not the greatest position player in franchise history. But with just one post-season series victory under his belt in 10 years, I have to wonder what his legacy is at this point in time. Where does he rank in Mets lore?