Covering the Bases: Matt Wieters


http://bases.nbcsports.com/wieters4.jpgMatt Wieters is first up on the list for covering the bases. Wieters is a big switch-hitting catcher standing in at 6’5 and only 23 years old who has potential of becoming a future super-star. Some people are even going as far to say that Wieters will be on the same level as Joe Mauer. We drafted Wieters 5th overall in the 2007 draft and I’m sure the Pirate fans are still regretting that the organization skipped over him for ‘financial reasons’.

Wieters played college ball at Georgia Tech, where he is one of just three players in Georgia Tech history to earn first-team All-America honors on at least two occasions. In addition to them outstanding honors during high school, Wieters was also named first-team All-America by Baseball America, ACC Rookie of the Year, Freshman All-American and first-team All-ACC in 2005. With them type of honor during college, a lot of experts were shocked that the switching hitting catcher dropped 5th in the draft.

This upcoming season Wieters will be the starting catcher from day.  Wieters made his Major League debut May 29th after being called up a few days earlier from triple-A Norfolk. He played 96 games for the Orioles this past season finishing up the season hot with a .288 AVG and a .412 SLG percentage.  Wieters had some trouble batting from the right side of the plate, but seemed to improve against the left-handed hitters as the season went on.

Due to his size, some people are suggesting that Wieters moves to first in a few seasons to prolong his career. The fact of the matter is, if it does happen it won’t be for a long time. Wieters will have to improve on his accuracy throwing to second base, as he tended to be wild at times.

I’m so excited about this upcoming season to watch Wieters play from day one. I fully expect Wieters to have a breakout season, and improve on his power stats. We have been waiting for this season since we drafted Wieters during the 07 season. Hopefully, this upcoming season will be the beginning of the Wieters era.

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  • Ken Francis

    Michael, Your wrote “Wieters will have to improve on his accuracy throwing to second base, as he tended to be wild at times.”

    Correction: He was wild at times when he came up with the Orioles, but his accuracy improved significantly the longer he played. As evidence, take a look at this game from September, where he nailed speedy Carl Crawford at second with two perfect throws.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=6690589

    It doesn’t get much better than that when it comes to throwing out baserunners. As for shifting him to first, I agree with you but for a different reason. It’s going to be later rather than sooner, if he moves to first, yet that has less to do with his arm than with the fact that he’s too valuable as a catcher to move him.

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