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W2W4: David Wright's 'opposite' prowess

David Wright Stat To Watch

You may have seen the stat about how David Wright's first game back marked the first time he'd had two opposite-field hits in a game since last June against the Marlins.

Wright noted that may have been because he was late on a couple of pitches, as part of the adjustment to facing big-league pitching again. That may not be such a bad thing.

We dug a little deeper on this subject, using the hit-tracking and pitch-performance data provided to us by the video-review group, Inside Edge.

Wright had significantly different approaches at the plate in 2009 and 2010, prioritizing power over getting on base.

David Wright’s Opposite-Field Contact
2009/2010

With that, Wright hit the ball to the opposite field less frequently. And as he did so, his opposite-field effectiveness declined as well.

Wright hit .372 in 2009 when his contact resulted in the ball being hit to right-center field or right field, and .361 when the ball was in play and playable by the defense.

Last season, Wright's contact average on balls hit to that area plummeted to .301, and since five of those were home runs, his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) to those spots was just .253.

The performance dips were greatest when Wright hit a ball classified as a ground ball or line drive, as you can see from the chart.

Interestingly, though the ground-ball performance was greater, Wright's batting average on line drives dipped despite the fact he made solid contact more frequently to that area last year (our hit tracking system had eight of 18 balls being hard-hit in 2009, 10 of 16 in 2010).

That leads us to believe that Wright could have lined into a few more "loud outs" than he usually does.

Point being, those of us who have seen Wright for the past eight seasons know how effective he can be at hitting the ball the opposite way. Friday's game was seemingly a good result for him. He's now 5-for-7 on line drives to the opposite field this season (0-for-2 on ground balls).

The Glove Flip

Carlos Beltran was the victim of a second-inning "glove-flip assist" by Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez on Friday night, which got us to wondering more about the subject of glove flips.

Prior to the season starting, we actually asked our friends at Baseball Info Solutions if they could track such plays for us. They've obliged.

It turns out that was Sanchez's third glove-flip assist of the season, tied for second-most in the majors. But he's well behind this year's leader, Rickie Weeks, who has seven.

The Mets have recorded one glove-flip assist this season. Justin Turner recorded it playing second base on May 15 against the Houston Astros, using it to get a force play at second base to end an inning.

Sanchez isn't the only Marlin with a penchant for doing whatever is needed on defense. Baseball Info Solutions is also tracking "assists from knees." Your major league leader: Hanley Ramirez with seven. Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada lead the Mets with two apiece.

Chris Capuano Matchup To Watch

Should the Marlins start Mike Cameron in center field Saturday night, keep this in mind. He's 4-for-10 with two home runs against Capuano. However, the home runs came a while ago, in 2004 and 2005.