If you are looking for two great third basemen then you have certainly found them in David Wright and Alex Rodriguez. If you are making a competition out of who is better or who you would rather have on your team then you can not go wrong.
Take a look at Alex Rodriguez for a second. Everyone said that he had a down year last season, but A-Rod hit .270 with 30 HR and 125 RBI for the New York Yankees. Rodriguez is the definition of consistency, having hit at least 30 HR and driven in 100 RBI for 13 consecutive seasons.
David Wright had a miserable first year in Citi Field, hitting just 10 home runs, but bounced back nicely last season and hit 29. Two things alarm you about Wright, however – the first is that he sacrificed his batting average in return for power, with his batting average dropping 24 points from .307 to .283. Another alarming statistic is that Wright struck out a career-high 161 times in 2010 and this could be a bi-product of his higher home run total.
Wright and Rodriguez are both five tool players and can hit for average, hit for power, play the field, run the bases, and throw the ball well.
Wright is a two-time gold glove winner and a five-time all-star. Alex Rodriguez is a two-time gold glove winner and a thirteen-time all-star.
One of the big differences between these two players is where they play their home games. While they both play in New York, Wright plays in Citi Field and Rodriguez plays in Yankee Stadium, two very different ballparks.
Citi Field is very big and has been known to diminish a players’ home run totals because its fences are so deep. Balls that would be 10 rows into the stands in another ballpark merely scrape the wall in Citi Field and this takes away from a players’ value.
Yankee Stadium is the exact opposite. The fences are not very deep, especially down the lines, and the wind current is strong towards right-center field. Luckily for A-Rod, his swing is best when he hits towards right-center, and he hits a lot of home runs in this area of the park. I am not saying that Rodriguez’s numbers are all juiced up by his home ballpark, the guy still has incredible strength and a great swing, but playing in Yankee Stadium is a very nice privilege to have.
Wright is 28 years old and Rodriguez is 35. While Wright is essentially in the prime of his career and should be coming upon his best years, Rodriguez has not shown any signs of slowing down just yet. While the consensus may be that a player in his mid-30′s has had his best years far behind him, I can realistically see A-Rod hitting 40 home runs this season. He said that he benefited from the opportunity of conditioning and training throughout the entire offseason as opposed to rehabbing as he had been in previous offseasons.
Both players should put up huge seasons and showcase their talents for us just as we expect them to. There is no reason to think that either will have a down year or a drop off. If anything, Wright will benefit from being a great player in a healthy lineup and having two years of playing in Citi Field behind him. Rodriguez will be himself as usual, and carry the star-studded Yankees’ lineup night in and night out.
Who do you think will have a better season, David Wright or Alex Rodriguez?
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