During the FOX broadcast of Saturday’s Mets-Diamondbacks game, Eric Karros said something along the lines of how David Wright is not the type of player who can carry a team.
About that: No such thing. There’s no player in baseball good enough to carry a team to contention on his own with a crappy cast around him, nor has there ever been. Obviously. The best hitters of all time fail in more than half their plate appearances, and they need guys on base in front of them to score more than one run at a time when they homer. Plus there’s all that pitching to be done.
But amounting that “carrying a team” is a part of the baseball lexicon that refers to a great player going on a torrid stretch, it’s frustrating in this particular instance because that’s pretty much exactly what Wright has been doing to date in the 2012 season.
Several other Mets have enjoyed hot streaks of up to a couple of weeks at a time, but by now, really only Wright has the type of stats that jump off the team’s baseball-reference page.
Check this out: The Mets have a collective .709 OPS for the season, tied for sixth in the National League and a tick above the league average .703 mark. But replace Wright’s 108 plate appearances with 108 plate appearances of the median production that National League teams have gotten from third basemen and the Mets’ team OPS falls to .674. It doesn’t look like a massive distinction, but Wright’s performance so far has been the difference between a slightly above-average offense and a well below-average offense.
Small samples abound, of course. And nothing about that should be particularly surprising: Wright had a fantastic first month. He’s fourth in the league in batting average, first in on-base percentage and third in OPS. And apparently nothing about that suggests he’s capable of carrying a team.