2006-04-14 / Sports

The Wright Star at the Wright Time For Streaking New York Mets

By Joe McDonald Sports Columnist

By Joe McDonald
Sports Columnist

David Wright watches as his sacrifice fly in the ninth inning helped the Mets beat the Marlins 3-2 last Sunday at Shea Stadium. (AP/Kathy Willens)David Wright watches as his sacrifice fly in the ninth inning helped the Mets beat the Marlins 3-2 last Sunday at Shea Stadium. (AP/Kathy Willens) FLUSHING, NY - One more year, one more step to stardom for David Wright. And if the first week of the season was any indication, the young Mets' idol is just about achieving it.

"So many people are excited about what he is doing," Tom Glavine said after Wright drove in three runs - including the game winner - in Sunday's win over the Marlins. "He does such a tremendous job - day in and day out - of making adjustments. To me that is what I am most impressed with him. He was come up in big spots and produced for us. Hopefully he will get more opportunities to do that."

In the opening homestand of the season, the 23 year-old hit .474 with two home runs and nine RBI in five games. Needless to say, he has been a major part of the team's 4-1 start.

"Those are the times especially at home, we have to win," Wright, who regularly gets "MVP" chants now at Shea, said. "I think everybody in the clubhouse wants to in that position with the game on the line, whether it's X or Cliffy, I will see those pitches to drive with runners in scoring position."

Fair enough, but Wright seems to be developing into a complete hitter this season. Instead of trying to just hit home runs, he has produced in different ways which can best help the team. For example, last Sunday with the winning run on third in the person of Carlos Beltran, the third baseman just tried to lift a fly ball to the outfield, so he can get him in.

"I knew I didn't have to crush it or bang it," Wright explained. "I am just trying to meet the bat and the ball."

That type of smart hitting makes his some of his teammates feel the Mets' young star is farther along at this age than other All-Stars when they were that young.

Glavine sees Wright as a more polished hitter than a young Atlanta third baseman that came up 10 years ago. "Chipper [Jones] was more of a raw talent," Glavine compared. "David amazes me every day of the adjustments he makes every day and he's done it since the day he's got here."

Having a guy like Carlos Delgado hitting ahead of him doesn't hurt either. Because the Mets' first baseman is such an accomplished hitter, Wright can see how Delgado does his work and that is something that makes manager Willie Randolph very happy.

"[Wright] has done a nice job this year so far making some nice adjustments," the manager praised. "I think most good hitters, like Carlos Delgado, has been showing that you can hit a single and drive in some runs."

That kind of situational hitting is what made the Yankees a success in the late 1990s and Randolph hopes his Met players follow suit.

The manager was asked to compare Wright's development to Derek Jeter and Randolph said much like the Yankee shortstop, "He has an idea. Once you have an idea that's half the battle. I like that he is working with the adjustments and not trying to do too much in that situation."

Smart hitting, great talent and respect from his teammates. What else does this young third baseman from Norfolk, VA have?

"I think he's very mature," said Billy Wagner, who seen a similar type of progress with Chase Utley last year in Philadelphia. "For a young kid, he's very well mannered and a level head. It takes him a long way. He's not overwhelmed; it's just part of his game. For him to do as well as he's going to do this year, it's a compliment from where he is from."

Wright has all-star written all over him.

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