Elias infielder rankings kind to Wright

Elias infielder rankings kind to Wright

NEW YORK -- The Mets' David Wright stands first among National League third basemen in the annual ranking of all big league players calculated by the Elias Sports Bureau for Major League Baseball. He also ranks second to Phillies second baseman Chase Utley among all second basemen, third basemen and shortstops in the league.

The statistics, measuring performance in 2007 and '08 combined, were issued on Friday morning. Wright was the lone Mets player to rank first at his position and the only one to rank as high as second in his position group.

Wright ranked first among NL third basemen over the two seasons in three of the seven categories used to measure performance of third basemen, second basemen and shortstops -- home runs, RBIs and plate appearances -- and he was awarded a value for each category. He ranked second in on-base percentage and total chances (two for each), third in batting average (three) and 16th in fielding percentage (16). His total value was 26. The average rank for the seven categories -- 26 divided by seven -- was 3.714.

Chipper Jones was second among the league's third basemen with an average rank of 4.429. Twenty-seven players were included.

Utley's average rank among second basemen was 3.429. Utley, Wright, Jones, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez ranked first through fifth in the position group. Jose Reyes, fourth among shortstops behind Rollins, Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies and Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins, was ranked ninth in the combined group.

Other ranked Mets players include starting pitchers Johan Santana, Oliver Perez and John Maine -- sixth, 14th and 18th, respectively, among 98 ranked -- relievers Billy Wagner, Aaron Heilman and Pedro Feliciano -- sixth, 27th and 33rd, respectively, among 150 ranked -- Brian Schneider (ninth among 38 catchers), Carlos Delgado (11th among 27 first basemen), Luis Castillo (11th among 33 second basemen) and Carlos Beltran, Moises Alou and Ryan Church -- fifth, 24th and 26th among the 97 outfielders ranked.

Alou ranked first in batting average and fifth in on-base percentage among the outfielders, which explains his high average rank. He was 59th in plate appearances.

Pedro Martinez, once the highest-ranked pitcher in the analysis -- as a member of the Red Sox -- ranked 74th among the 98 NL starters. His average rank, 65.167, reflected his rank of 76th in ERA, 72nd in starts, 74th in innings, 67th in victories, 43rd in winning percentage and 59th in strikeouts.

The statistics and rankings are byproducts of collective bargaining in 1981 and '85, and they are used to determine the compensation due a club which loses a player to free agency. Elias performs the calculations but did not develop the system. All players on active big league rosters and the disabled list on Aug. 31 are included in the study.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.