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David Wright at Third Base

Poor Fielding at Third Base Has Hurt Mets

It’s no secret that the NY Mets infield defense has been bad this season. Fans knew coming in that the team’s fielding would depend on proper positioning to compensate for a lack of range. Perhaps the infielders have missed the presence of infield coach Tim Teufel. A lot of the blame for the poor fielding has been placed on the shortstop and second base positions. Both Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes have declined significantly at shortstop. Neil Walker, when healthy, has not performed as well at second base as he did last season. Maybe due to the after effects of last season’s back surgery.

Third Base Fielding

But the Mets have also under performed defensively at third base. Going into the season there was a slight hope that David Wright might man the hot corner. That turned out to be wishful thinking, as Wright never made it out of spring training healthy. The third baseman, while no longer flashing the defense that won him a Gold Glove, would still have been an improvement over those who replaced him.

Reyes and Wilmer Flores have gotten the most innings at third base. They’ve pretty much split the position, with Reyes now moved over to shortstop. As the table below shows, through the All-Star break no one had distinguished themselves.

PlayerInningsFld%RdrsRF/9
Reyes279.0.939-42.48
Flores299.0.929-42.35
T.J. Rivera148.2.939-22.78
Reynolds46.11.00002.91

As a team at third base, the total Fld% was .939 while the league average was .964. For RF/9, the team total at third was 2.51 compared to the league average of 2.59.

Future at Third Base

The Mets must realize that David Wright’s time as their regular third baseman has ended. Maybe they’re prepared to go into next season playing Flores, who’s best position is really on the right side of the infield. There’s no obvious successor coming from the minors. So unless someone is obtained via trade, the Mets should be looking this winter to sign a regular third baseman.

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Photo by mrzeising

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