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David Wright: Evaluating 3B’s Fantasy Value in 2014


The 2013 season was one that we’ve become all too used to seeing out of Captain America, or David Wright. He’s one of the game’s best players when on the field, but the following problems always seem to occur.

  1. Wright gets hurt and misses more than a month’s worth of action.
  2. His New York Mets teammates him give him little help, keeping the numbers relatively modest for a player that talented.
  3. Both.

Unfortunately, we got a heavy dose of No. 3 in 2013, as Wright produced the following numbers. 

Split
AB
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG
201258191219315.306.391.492
2013 (Actual)43063185817.307.390.514
2013 (Projected)56587229014.287.383.474

What about 2014?

 

– Why we like David Wright

He’s kind of like an outfielder, in a way. Wright will generally speaking be at least above average in every single major fantasy category. When he’s on the field, he can help keep your team afloat in any number of ways.

Case in point: The guy missed 50 games in 2013 and still came in seventh on ESPN’s third base player rater. When it comes to 2014 prospects, you can even bump that to sixth, as Edwin Encarnacion will lose eligibility there in most leagues. You can’t rank that high if you’re one-dimensional. Look at a guy like Pedro Alvarez, who played a full season. Yes, he had great power numbers (36 homers, 100 RBI), but the two steals, 70 runs, and .233 batting average couldn’t even crack the Top-10 at the hot corner.

You know something else that I like about Wright? The Mets — I think. It’s hard to be terribly excited about a guy on a team who was 23rd in MLB in runs scored in 2013, and 25th in 2012. But in this offseason, it seems as though they’re at least trying to attract a big name or two. How much of that is just posturing for the sake of ticket sales? Time will tell, but it’s nice to see that the team is trying to put talent around him.

Here’s something else to think about. While Citi Field isn’t Coors Field, Yankee Stadium, or the Ballpark in Arlington, it’s become a much better place for the long ball in 2012 and 2013 than it was from in 2009, 2010, and 2011

Year
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
Factor (Rank)1.057 (12)0.710 (27)0.735 (28)1.069 (12)1.120 (10)

It’s what happens when you move the fences in, the balls fly out of the park a little more often. So, while a park that’s ranked 12th and 10th in homers in this present configuration wouldn’t appear to be a great thing, it doesn’t work against Wright. Here’s what does.

 

– Why we hesitate to draft David Wright

Wright is a talented player and will put up decent numbers. Look at what he did in 2013 despite missing 50 games. Nobody really worries that he won’t put up decent numbers. But when you start to wonder what needs to happen for him to put up good or great numbers, you’re doing a lot of speculation.

  • The Mets seem to did sign Curtis Granderson, who has potential for a nice comeback season and could be a good source of protection. But he’s not getting any younger and even in a 43-HR season in 2012, only slashed at .232/.319/.492. Will opposing teams really fear him and pitch to Wright?
  • Wright missed 50 games in 2013 and 60 in 2013. He’s on the wrong side of 30 now, what if it becomes more of a trend, or what if he even begins to miss more games?
  • Doesn’t third base have a big influx of talented, albeit raw players emerging? Wouldn’t it make more sense to pass on Wright and grab one of them a little later in the draft?

All valid concerns when it comes to David Wright. He would appear to be one of the safer bets in the game but here we can actually see that there is some real risk involved in drafting him, if you decide to do so.

Every year when you’re going into your drafts, you should be setting goals. That’s nothing new. Now, let’s say that you’re planning on drafting Wright. Actually, to eliminate the variable of the unknown, let’s say that you’re in a keeper league and trying to figure out how to frame the rest of your roster.

When you’re doing your estimates, don’t plan on Wright having anything more than 500-520 at-bats. Sure, it could happen, but you need to be prepared for the very real possibility that that’s all you’ll get from him. That way, if he gets you more, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. Also, if you plan on 500 and he gets 400 or fewer, you’ve built a roster that will require fewer adjustments if they all do what they’re supposed to do. Generally, you want to be a little pessimistic with your guys but with a guy like Wright who’s got a bit of an injury history, you need to be.

 

– Where we Ultimately Come Down on David Wright

When it comes to the average/ratio stats, you can really depend on Wright to be somewhere in the range of a .300-.310 batting average, .380-.395 OBP, and .490-.520 slugging.

As for the counted stats, his games played question marks and team make it a little difficult to project now. A good thing to do would be to average out the last two seasons, which is basically what we’ve done below and I have basically no issues with those projections right now.

There are a few too many question marks to be awfully optimistic. But with sneaky 20/20 potential and a lot of talent, you really can’t be too pessimistic. 

David Wright: Early 2014 Projections

 
AB
Runs
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG
BB
K
David Wright50174217217.300.384.4946692

*Our goal in 2014 is to be even better in our projections than we were in 2013. Because of that goal, we’re partnering with Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball to crunch even deeper, so that we might provide the most accurate projections possible for 2014. Look for our full Crackerjack projections in our 2014 Draft Kit coming in February.

Tags: 3B David Wright New York Mets