So here is the game. Identify these three: Player A — .316/.370/.503, 141 OPS-plus, 150 homers/797 RBIs. Player B — .301/.382/.506, 137 OPS-plus, 222 homers/876 RBIs. Player C — .284/.375/.515, 129 OPS-plus, 231 homers/859 RBIs. Your clues? Over the past two days I had learned Scott Rolen is Jay Bruce’s mentor and role model based on their time together in Cincinnati from 2009-12, Rolen’s final four as a major leaguer. No surprise, Bruce believes Rolen is a Hall of Famer. At some point, David Wright — Bruce’s locker neighbor — joined in, which led to me pointing out that Wright was on a Hall of Fame trajectory through age 30, but like Rolen, durability has cost him. I saw doubt in the faces of Bruce and Wright, so I came up with a chart that I showed them Tuesday. You have seen the chart now. It is three guys through age 30. George Brett is Player A, Wright B and Rolen C. Wright’s OPS-plus is the fifth best in major league history for a third baseman through age 30 (minimum 5,000 plate appearances), behind Eddie Mathews, Mike Schmidt, Chipper Jones and Brett, who are all Hall of Famers. As is No. 6, Ron Santo. Rolen was seventh. So Wright left more than games with the Mets on the table when his body began to betray him. When trying to identify Players A, B and C, Wright asked if any were still active. I told him one, and when he ultimately learned it was him, Wright said with a grin: “I’m just glad you called me a current player.” He has played just 75 games the past three seasons, none last year. He has endured surgeries in that timeframe to his neck, shoulder and back — the one to his back last October to fix two bulging discs and remove bone spurs and a ligament in attempts to alleviate pain associated with his spinal stenosis. Wright had hoped to put off that procedure until after this career, but realized his last, best chance to play meant enduring it now. He has to allocate rehab time each day for both back and shoulder, and has yet to participate in any on-field activities.
David Wright’s body cost him a lot more than games
New York Post | Mar 7