Tuesday, May 11, 2010

David Wright is Not Unusually Streaky

For some reason, over the last few years Matt Cerrone of the wonderful Metsblog.com has been convinced that David Wright is an unusually streaky hitter. The idea seemed to start maybe in late 2008, and blossomed into a mini-obsession in 2009. This year, it continues.

Today, he posted a blog entitled David Wright's 9 to 10 Game Swings where he looked at Wright's season in those little chunks. Here you go:
In his first 10 games of the season, Wright hit .290 and struck out 20 percent of the time...In the following nine games he hit just .156 and struck out nearly 40 percent of the time...Then, he returned to form, hitting .400 with four HR in his next nine games while playing at home, and in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, during which he struck out 25 percent of the time.

Now, he’s back to slumping, going 3 for his last 18 plate appearances, in his last four games, during which he’s struck out in almost half of his at bats.
In other words, 10 good games, nine bad games, nine good games, now four bad games.

…i try not too pay too much attention to batting average during these streaks, because the ball has a tendency to drop where it wants to drop, but it’s hard to argue his rhythm… it’s like he sees the ball well for only a week or so, and then he’s out of whack, then he’s locked in, then he’s out of whack, because the strike outs swing back and forth as well
I like Matt, but sometimes I wonder if he (or any of the other fans who make up the majority of the Mets fan base) watch other teams play. EVERY player is streaky. EVERY team does well, then sputters, then hits in the clutch, then doesn't.

Because I am a little short on time, here is just one quick example. For comparison's sake, I am going to pick the best hitter on the planet, Albert Pujols. I did not check the numbers before I ran them, but I am confident he'll have streaks. Here you go.

For the first nine games, Pujols hit .400/.486/.886.

Then for the next eight games, he hit .147/.275/.294.

But wait! In the next seven games, he hit .520/.600/.800!

But now he looks lost, hitting .222/.364/.296 in his last seven games.

That is baseball. Pujols is "The Machine" but he goes through swings like anyone else. It's luck, it's health, it's rhythm, it's weather, it's opposing pitching, it's being home or away.

Let's put this issue to bed. David Wright is a great, world-class hitter. He's striking out too much right now but he'll be fine. He's hitting .277/.403/.527 right now with 7 home runs. Let's leave him alone (for now).


James K. said...

Right on. That post at Metsblog was bizarre. I would like to see the list of players who aren't streaky in MC's book.


couldnt agree more!! great post!