Monday, August 1, 2011

Could Loss of Bulk Be Fueling Wright?

The average has crept back up to .279. He's reaching the outside of the plate, driving balls the other way. He's driving in runs, he's even hitting for power. The David Wright that returned from the disabled list is a completely different one than the one that was placed on it weeks ago. It is not, however, a David Wright we haven't seen before.

David Wright, back ten games from the disabled list, has been hitting to the tune of about .450, with two home runs and 12 RBI's. It remains to be seen if this hot streak will turn out to be the upside of one of Wright's up and down, roller coaster stretches, but as of right now, he's swinging the bat the best he has all season. But what's different?

Having a fractured back prevents a person from doing a lot of things. Parasailing is not advised. Neither is BASE jumping. Most material to the discussion of David Wright, however, is that he was probably kept from keeping up his strict gym regimen, a few weeks off of which probably caused him to lose some muscle mass. This might be the key to his recent success.

Following a 10 home run season for the debut of Citi Field, the media reported exhaustively on Wright's new physique when he showed up for the following season carrying twenty to thirty pounds of extra muscle. That year, despite an uptick in his power numbers, began a decline in his batting average and increase in strike-outs. It also marked the near end of balls being driven the other way by Wright.

Now, after coming off the DL, he looks a lot closer to his first few seasons with the Mets, with great bat speed and an improved ability to hit the pitch where it was thrown. It could be because of the time off, a new approach he discovered with hitting coaches, or a rebirth from rehabbing with the minor league teams he was promoted from, but if I had to guess, I think the Wright we are seeing now is playing like the Wright of five years ago because he now more closely physically resembles him.