After finally solving the troublesome Bob Aspromonte Hall Problem…the Mets want to do what?!
Among third basemen through age 28, David Wright is seventh all-time in OPS+ with 134. That’s not seventh all-time among Mets third basemen—that’s seventh among all third basemen in M.L.B. history. The only six ahead of him are Eddie Mathews, Frank (Home Run) Baker, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Chipper Jones and Mike Schmidt. That’s five Hall of Famers and in Jones, a clear sixth. The man just behind Wright, Ron Santo, just got elected to the Hall of Fame as well.
It’s often remarked that Wright is in some kind of premature decline. And sure, facts are facts: Wright was a star from 2004-2008, but in the past three years—since Citi Field opened—he’s been relatively pedestrian.
...Looking ahead, if Wright is to return to his 139 OPS+ levels of 2004-2008, he’ll be in extremely select company. Only Mike Schmidt, Alex Rodriguez (who famously moved from shortstop to third base for Derek Jeter), George Brett and Wade Boggs produced that well at third base from ages 29-32. In all four cases, they improved their production over what they’d posted through age 28, or in Brett’s case, simply maintained. In all four cases, that defies baseball’s aging curve.
Of the other three third basemen who’d been better than Wright, ever, Chipper Jones also improved from age 29-32 relative to his OPS+ through age 28. Frank Baker actually retired for a season after turning 28, came back after a year layoff, and was never the same. Only Eddie Mathews among these elite third basemen followed the typical aging curve, with an OPS+ of 153 through age 28, 138 from ages 29-32.