There's been a lot of talk on our Bristol campus about David Wright's slow start. It's early, but Wright's hitting is not at the form that Mets fans expect.
Beyond the basics (a .239 batting average and 56 strikeouts in 163 at-bats since returning from being beaned by Matt Cain, including a .182 batting average with 17 strikeouts in his last nine games), our tools from Inside Edge allow us to pinpoint two specific areas of trouble, which basically go hand-in-hand.
2008: .241 BA, 32 XBH, .786 OPS
2009: .188 BA, 17 XBH, .566 OPS
2010: .143 BA, 1 XBH, .533 OPS (through 16 games)
Wright is missing on about 31 percent of his two-strike swings, up from the 19 percent mark of two seasons ago. That explains the extremely high strikeout rate.
Curves and sliders
These were an issue for Wright in his September/October return. On the pitches Inside Edge's video review team deemed curveballs/sliders, Wright took 36 swings. He missed on 18 of them.
To put that into proper perspective: the average major leaguer would miss on about 10 of those swings, and Wright's pre-beaning numbers are basically in that range.
This season, missing isn't as much of a problem, but doing something with those pitches has been.
By Inside Edge's calculation, Wright has had 20 at-bats end with a curve or slider. Only two have ended with hits (both on sliders).
Again, it's early, but consider this: Over the last two seasons, Wright has been a significantly above-average performer against curves and sliders (batting averages of .308 and .274). This season, he's not close to being there yet.
For that matter, he's not there yet against changeups either. Inside Edge doesn't have him with a hit against one yet this season. He's been trending downward against that pitch the last three seasons, his batting average as high as .348 in 2007, but down to .205 last season.
Don't think that opposing pitchers aren't aware of this, and that seems to be the bottom line mixed in all of this data.
Wright has seen more offspeed pitches as the season has progressed. Last year, Wright saw offspeed pitches only about one-third of the time. This season, that's risen to nearly half the time and it would stand to reason that won't change until Wright shows some production.