With Thursday’s announcement that David Wright will return to the majors for the final homestand of the 2018 season and take the field one last time in the Mets’ Sept. 29 game against the Marlins, we take a look at what the third baseman produced during his big league career and what could have been if injuries hadn’t derailed his superstar career in New York.
How Wright became a Met
The Mets drafted 38th overall in the first round of the 2001 MLB draft. That pick was a supplemental one for the loss of free agent Mike Hampton. The Mets had an earlier pick in that first round, and took Aaron Heilman 18th overall.
Other notables from the 2001 first round include Joe Mauer (1st), Mark Teixeira (5th) and Mark Prior (2nd).
Wright’s 50.4 career WAR is third-highest in that 2001 first round.
In fact, that is the fifth-most of any player drafted as a third baseman in the first round of any June draft, behind Manny Ramirez, Robin Ventura, Teixeira and Evan Longoria.
Where does he rank among the Mets greats?
– Wright is among the Mets all-time leaders in a number of offensive categories. He’s played in the second-most games in franchise history, but has the most at-bats, which lends logic to why he’s tops among these counting stats. No player has come to the plate more in a Mets uniform than David Wright.
– His career WAR is the most of any position player in Mets history and second-most of any player to wear the uniform, behind only Tom Seaver.
– His 242 home runs put him second to Darryl Strawberry, who hit 252 HR for the Mets.
– Wright played for the Mets in the 2006 postseason when the team lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS, and again in 2015 when they lost to the Royals in the World Series. His 24 postseason games played are tied with Edgardo Alfonzo and Robin Ventura in Mets history. Wright’s 13 postseason RBIs rank third behind Alfonzo and Gary Carter.
– Wright has eight career walk-off hits for the Mets, most of any player in franchise history.
– Wright had 489 RBI in his first 5 seasons, most of any player in franchise history in such a span. Wright’s 489 RBI are 5th-most of any third baseman in his first 5 career seasons since RBI became official in 1920.
What could have been for the star third baseman?
Wright doesn’t rank highly among third baseman in MLB history if we look at just the total numbers, but we can contextualize his career with the pace he was on through 2012, the last time he played in 135 or more games.
– Wright hit 204 home runs through his first 1,262 games. Mike Schmidt played 2,404 games. Had Wright played 2,400 games, he would’ve hit 387 HR by that pace. That would rank as seventh-most among players to primarily play third base.
– Wright hit .301 through that 2012 season. There are only 14 primary-position third basemen in MLB history with a career BA above .300.
– Had he played 2,400 games, Wright would’ve had 78.5 WAR based on his through-2012 pace, which would rank seventh among players to primarily play third base. As it is, Wright’s 50.4 mark ranks 22nd.
– Wright hit 130 HR in his first five seasons in the majors, tied with Evan Longoria for eighth-most among third basemen. That’s also the second-most HR by any Mets player in his 1st 5 career seasons, behind Darryl Strawberry’s 147.