Why do I still call David Wright 'Sugar Pants'? Mostly because it annoys people. However, it is still an apt nickname for the best third baseman in the universe over the next ten years. The kid can flat out play some baseball and I just do not think I talk about him enough. Luckily, Rob Neyer has us all covered.
With all that (and some other stuff) in mind, our tentative list:
9. Andy LaRoche
That's right. Neyer would take Wright over every other third sacker in the league over the next five years. I am sure he would pick him over the next ten years over everyone in the bigs and in the minor league hopper. The Sugary One has posted an OPS+ of 118, 139, 133, and 150 since breaking into the bigs with an astounding 81% of his bases stolen succesfully. If you look at his crude Hall of Fame monitors, they look pretty good.
Gray Ink: Batting - 41 (582) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 29.0 (288) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 40.5 (445) (Likely HOFer > 100)
That is with only three full years of ball and one half of a season with his best seasons clearly ahead of him. Wright has slugged over .500 in every season so far and batted over .300 in the last three years. Yeah, he is good. In case you needed more info on that one, only Alex Rodriguez and Matt Holliday topped him (by .4 in each case) in WARP1 last season and it was not even a career year for him when you factor in projection. Was anything he did that unreplicatable in 2008 and beyond?
His BABAIP has remained pretty consistent over the last three seasons as did his GB% and LD%. Basically, there is nothing to suggest anomally and I really do not think anyone could find anything to suggest such poppycock. The dude is also turning into the model of offensive consistency. Over the last three years, he has hit .282/.387/.475, .306/.377/.535, .314/.391/.574, .298/.364/.486, .328/.411/.556, and .324/.390/549 in April/March, May, June, July, August, and Sept/Oct. respectively. The man shows up from day #1 and can be depended on every day.
What is not to like? I'm sure Yankee fans will tell us plenty of things, but information never stood in their way when it comes to formulating opinions.
Now, Gomez posted a .281/.349/.423 line with more extra base hits in every category despite having thirty less at-bats. He also had 30% less walks, 30% more strikeouts, and he also stole bases at a much higher SB% in virtually the same exact amount of games while being a year younger at AA. I am not at all implying that Carlos Gomez will turn into that mystery player above who blossumed inexplicably the next season into one of the best players in the bigs after skipping AAA altogether.
However, it simply cannot be ignored when you are talking about these toolsy type players. Is anyone really all that curious why teams are still enamored with a kid that has largely not put up numbers to support his supposid skill set? If you watch him, you know what is possibly there and he has taken encouraging steps forward. I will be the first to admit it might be disaster starting 2008 off with Gomez in right if Church is dealt, but if they do, he needs to be in there everyday and take his lumps, which is not something Willie will feel compelled to let happen. With another manager on a non-contending team that might work, but not with the Mets. All in all, I would still not be upset to see the Mets pick up Livan or Lohse and keep their prospects. I still like Humber, Mulvey, and Pelfrey and Fernando and Gomez have a shot to be special.
For that, you may have first born.
"HGH [human growth hormone] is nothing. Anyone who calls it a steroid is grossly misinformed," Stallone says in the issue out tomorrow. "Testosterone to me is so important for a sense of well-being when you get older. Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it because it increases the quality of your life. Mark my words. In 10 years, it will be over the counter."
Also, anyone down on this deal is nuts. Hopefully it is for one season, but he essentially replaces Glavine's innings and is roughly as valuable as the 2007 version. With Livan replacing Glavine's production and Pedro adding his, this is a big step forward for the Mets.