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Prince Of the City
FRANZ LIDZ
May 29, 2006
In David Wright the resurgent Mets have the best of all worlds: a homegrown 23-year-old they can build around and a third baseman who is-on and off the field-almost too good to be true
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May 29, 2006

Prince Of The City

In David Wright the resurgent Mets have the best of all worlds: a homegrown 23-year-old they can build around and a third baseman who is-on and off the field-almost too good to be true

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WHILE DAVID WRIGHT is emerging as the face of the Mets, centerfielder Carlos Beltran (right) still commands the better part of the franchise's wallet: The seven-year, $119 million deal he signed in January 2005 is the richest in team history. Though he had a disappointing debut season in New York (.266, 16 home runs, .330 OBP), Beltran's start this year has made the Mets' hefty investment seem sound. Despite missing 10 games with a strained right hamstring, he had 11 homers through Sunday-putting him on pace to surpass his career high of 38-as well as more walks (27) than strikeouts (26), a feat he has never pulled off in his eight-year career. Beltran's .588 slugging percentage would also be a personal best. And after being caught stealing six times in 23 tries last year, he has resumed his highly effective ways on the base paths: He was 6 for 6 in stolen base attempts, raising his career success rate to 88.1%, by far the best in major league history (below). Beltran had done all this while batting just .252, which would be his lowest average since 2000. If he can hit 25 points better while maintaining his home run and walk rates, the 29-year-old Beltran will join Jim Edmonds and Andruw Jones as the National League's best all-around centerfielders.

HIGHEST CAREER STOLEN BASE PERCENTAGE (MINIMUM 100 ATTEMPTS)

*Caught stealing was not regularly kept in the AL until 1920 and in the NL until 1951

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