Twenty Questions With David Wright

You carry your team to a championship, then hit .341 as one of the youngest players in the Arizona Fall League, then Baseball America names you as the Mets' top offensive prospect. What comes next? Are you going to Disney World? If you're David Wright, you sit at your PC and answer 20 Questions for

A supplemental pick in the 2001 draft, the 20 year old Wright continued his march to the Majors in 2003 with a full season at the Mets' high A affiliate in Port St. Lucie,FL that culminated in a league championship. Wright was among the league leaders in a number of offensive categories and continued to develop the complete arsenal of skills that have his stock as a prospect soaring and are drawing comparions to Major League players like Scott Rolen and Robin Ventura.

In addition to his play and statistical performances, Wright has earned accolades for his work ethic, maturity, and baseball smarts. His polished approach to the game and leadership skills are as much a part of the buzz his performance has created as the numbers he has posted throughout his professional career.















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Strap yourself in...It's 20 Questions with David Wright. :)

NYF: Do you ever wish you went and played college ball before you entered the draft? What do you think the advantage is of going to the minors directly after high school?

Wright: Because of the excellent instruction and great teammates and coaches that I have encountered so far, I think I made the correct choice in starting my professional career after high school. In the Mets system, I've learned the game from some the best. Just this past year, I had Ken Oberkfell, HoJo, and Dan Warthen as coaches and you can't get that kind of hands-on instruction or experience in most college programs.

NYF: Now that Jose Reyes is in the Majors, you are being touted as the best positional prospect in the Mets system. Does that create any added pressure? Have you noticed a different atmosphere around you because of this?

Wright: From day one, I've said that no one in the media can put as much pressure on me as I put on myself. It is truly an honor to be labeled as a prospect in such a talent-rich organization. They have consistently treated me with respect and their family-atmosphere makes playing the game that much more enjoyable.

NYF: If you were to describe your style of play to someone, how would you describe it? Who were your favorite players as a kid?

Wright: I'd describe my style of play to that of Scott Rolen. He's a five tool player who can hit for average and power, plays great defense, has a strong arm, and can steal bases. Also I like the way he carries himself on and off the field. He respects the game and is a real role model. My favorite player growing up was Cal Ripken Jr. I admired his competitive nature and desire to stay in the lineup everyday.

NYF: A lot has been made of changing your pre-game regimen this season during your midseason slump. Could you talk a little about what changes you made and how it affected your performance?

Wright: A few of the rovers and front office personnel were in town and met with me to compare my home and away stats. Over the last three years, I hit much better on the road. After going through my pre-game regimen, we discovered that I was over working myself at home by taking too much early work. I toned that down a little bit leaving me less fatigued during games.

NYF: What differences did you notice in the level of play between the Florida State League and the AFL?

Wright: Overall, the caliber of play in the AFL was better. I found the biggest difference was the mental approach to hitting. For the most part, the guys in the AFL had a plan and made very good adjustments in the middle of a game, and even in the middle of an at-bat. I learned a lot in the AFL from just sitting back and watching.

NYF: Who are the 3 toughest pitchers you have faced so far in your pro career?

Wright: I thought Boof Bonser (Giants), Gavin Floyd (Phillies) and J. D. Durbin (Twins) were all tough but I would hate to face a lot of the guys on teams that I have played on... Matt Peterson, David Mattox, Bob Keppel, Scott Kazmir, Len Dinardo.

NYF: Are there any tips, drills etc that you could pass along to High Schoolers that could better prepare them for their current games and for their future in baseball?

Wright: I think the biggest tip I could give a young player is to go out as much as you can and play the game. You learn from your mistakes and try to never repeat the same mistake. Also it is important for young players to be coach-able. Listen to coaches and parents advice and try it out. Always go to the ball park with an open mind wanting to learn and get better.

NYF: We have heard a lot about how you grew up a Mets fan. How did it feel to be drafted by them and how does it feel to be playing for them? Did you know before draft day that they were going to select you?

Wright: I could not have wished for anything better than being drafted by my favorite team. I had no idea I was going to be selected by the Mets on draft day but when they called my name, my house erupted. Since then, it has been an awesome experience.

NYF: You played in the FSL this season which is reported to be a pitchers heaven. Is it hard as it is made out to be? Do you look forward to getting into some friendlier confines?

Wright: Well, my ultimate goal is to make it to Shea Stadium. To get there, I am going to have to hit and produce no matter where I play. I just go into each season looking to learn and improve on the previous year. But the combination of good pitching, big ball parks, and humidity seems to make it more of a pitcher-friendly league.

NYF: You get to see a lot of young Mets prospects perform every day. Is there one guy(pitcher or regular) in particular that impresses you with his play? Who would you say is the least talked about Mets prospect that you think has the best shot at making the big leagues?

Wright: I have been fortunate enough to play with a lot of outstanding players over the past couple years. I really like how Bobby Malek and Chase Lambin play the game. Joe Hietpas' defensive skills are impressive.

NYF: What's the biggest thing you still have to work on in your game? What are the things the Mets have asked you to focus on this off season as you prepare for next year?

Wright: Although there's room for improvement in all aspects of my game, I continue to focus on plate-discipline (to improve my batting average and on-base-percentage). This off-season, I'm working hard on my strength and conditioning to increase my power output.

NYF: With Jeff Duncan and Danny Garcia making the jump from St. Lucie in 2002 to the Mets in 2003, do you think about possibly having a chance to get called up to NY this year?

Wright: The only thing that I can control is my performance on the field. The Mets have a plan for me so I try not to think about the decision-making part. I feel if I produce and continue to improve, I will eventually get a shot. And when I do, I want to take advantage of it and make the most out of it.

NYF: Being from Chesapeake, VA and growing up watching the Tides, are you excited that you will probably be playing for them sometime in the near future? Have the Mets indicated to you at all whether they plan to start you in Norfolk or Binghamton this year?

Wright: I'm excited about the possibility to eventually play in Norfolk. It would be awesome to play in front of my family and friends. From what the Mets have indicated, I have a good chance to start in Binghamton.

NYF: Do you use the Internet a lot? What sites do you like? Do you follow the Mets or players you know during the season?

Wright: Although I don't have as much time to get online as I'd like, when I do, I visit baseball web sites such as and During the season, I try to follow the other minor league teams as much as I can.

NYF: Other than your coaches and managers, do members of the Mets front office talk to you directly? Do you get a chance to speak with Jim Duquette or the Wilpons? Can you discuss your impressions of the organization in general a little?

Wright: I'm very excited to see what lies ahead for the New York Mets. It's a first class organization. The Wilpons and Mr. Duquette always make themselves available to the minor leaguers. It is good to know both the owners and general manager are interested in your development and follow your progress throughout the season.

NYF: In both 2002 and 2003, you started hot, slumped in the middle of the season, and then finished strong. Do you attribute that to adjustments the league made to you and then you adjusting? Do you think there is a reason for that pattern? Or is it just a two season coincidence?

Wright: Pitchers make adjustments throughout the season and in the past, I was slow to react. I have to become more consistent throughout the entire season and improving my plate discipline will certainly help. The adjustment to my early work should also help. I have learned a lot about myself over the last couple years and will continue to work on consistent performance.

NYF: Can you give us an idea of how you approach an at bat in general and how teams prepare for a pitcher in the minor leagues? Do you get scouting reports, or stat sheets or video to watch?

Wright: I like to study pitchers while they warm up in the bullpen and watch how they work the hitters on my team. Pitchers are creatures of habit and they tend to follow patterns. I also keep notes on how certain pitchers try to get me out. When I know we'll be facing the same pitcher again, I look at my notes and see what he did before.

NYF: Do you have any superstitions or pregame rituals?

Wright: If I'm going well, I try to do the same exact routine I did the day before. I don't like to break routines. Also, I like to get myself pumped up and get the adrenaline flowing before every game. I like to leave everything on the field and play the game hard.

NYF: You said in an interview following the AFL that you "wanted to see how I measure up". Well? Obviously you held your own, but how has your confidence or assesment of how close you are to being a major leaguer changed based on your experience in Arizona?

Wright: I am very pleased with my performance in the AFL but I also recognize I still have a lot to learn in order to reach my full potential. Hopefully, the AFL will be a springboard into the Binghamton season next year.

NYF: You are often reported to be a hard worker, very mature, a "smart player", etc. How have your "intangibles" like that developed in your three years of pro ball? Is there a coach or family member or someone in particular that you credit with helping you to develop those intangibles?

Wright: The "intangibles" part of my game come directly from my family. My work ethic and attitude are the result of coming from an excellent family and values that have been instilled in me since I can remember.

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