Mets infield prospect David Wright

Originally Published: November 25, 2003
By John Sickels | Special to ESPN.com

David Wright
New York Mets
Position: 3B Height: 6-0 Weight: 190 Born: 12/20/82 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Year Team Level G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2001 Kingsport A 36 120 27 36 7 0 4 17 16 30 9 1 .300 .391 .458
2002 Columbia A 135 496 85 132 30 2 11 93 76 114 21 5 .266 .367 .401
2003 St. Lucie A 133 466 69 126 39 2 15 75 72 98 19 5 .270 .369 .459

Background
The Mets drafted David Wright with a supplemental first-round pick in 2001, out of high school in Chesapeake, Va. He's from the same town as Twins prospect Mike Cuddyer, and is similar in many ways. Wright played very well in his rookie ball debut, then put up solid though not spectacular numbers in his full-season debut in '02. In '03, he turned up his power production at Class A St. Lucie, confirming his status as a premium prospect. A good performance in the Arizona Fall League leads the Mets to believe he could reach The Show sometime late in 2004.

Scouting report
Although Wright is not physically imposing at 6-foot, 190 pounds, he's a fine athlete and quite strong. His swing is short and sharp, and produces above average drive to all fields. He can pull the ball for power, but is also increasingly adept at going with the pitch and hitting to the opposite field. Wright is patient, and seldom swings at bad pitches. Defensively, he features adequate range, a strong and accurate arm, and quick hands. Scouts say he is already a major-league third baseman with the glove, and further experience could make him an excellent one. Wright is a favorite of scouts and coaches due to his work ethic. His drive to succeed is remarkable. He's one of the first players to the park every day, and plays with great confidence and intelligence, which helps maximize his physical tools. Although he doesn't have blazing natural speed, he reads pitchers well and gets good jumps, enabling him to steal bases at a good percentage.

Performance
On the surface, his '03 numbers don't look substantially different than his '02 numbers. But if you look closely you can see a substantial increase in power production; more doubles and home runs and a bump in his slugging percentage. He did this at St. Lucie, which is not a great hitter's park, so the improvement is genuine. Wright hit just .244 at home, but .301 on the road. His power production was steady in both environments, however. He hit over .300 in April, July, and August. He has a fairly strong platoon split and is more effective against southpaws, so he'll have to make some adjustments against right-handers as he moves up. Wright doesn't project to be a huge batting average guy, but his power will carry to higher levels, and he draws enough walks to get on base at a good clip.

Health record
Wright has had no serious injury problems. He follows a strict workout program that helps keep him healthy, but has sometimes left him fatigued on the field.

What to expect
Double-A should be Wright's destination for 2004, and if he plays well there, a shot at Shea should come late in the year or early in 2005. He is polished for a young player, and has a good combination of tools and skills. Wright is just now getting the attention he deserves as a top prospect. I think he will be a mainstay in Shea Stadium eventually.

John Sickels is the author of the 2004 Baseball Prospect Book, which can be ordered from his Web site, JohnSickels.com. He lives in Lawrence, Kan., with his wife, son, and two cats. You can send John questions or comments at JASickels@aol.com.