After being drafted by the O’s out of Georgia Tech, Wieters was believed to be the “Chosen One.” He would be the next great thing for this franchise, really taking it back to it’s elite status in the 70s and 80s.
However, he hasn’t even come close to living up to all those expectations. I’ve been a pretty harsh critic of Wheaties (a nickname I made up that I heard some woman use at the O’s game tonight; maybe she’s reading this! Hi!) since his career started a few years ago. Defensively, he’s as solid as concrete. He calls a really good game, his pitchers just don’t have the stuff to show it and we all know how wonderful he is at catching runners stealing. He’s amazing. Top notch.
Offensively, however, I haven’t been his biggest fan. Looking at his career numbers, in 2009 he hit 9 homers, 43 RBI, and a .288 average. In 2010, he hit 11 homers, 55 RBI, and a .249 average. This season, he’s already hit 20 homers (10 from each side of the plate) with 61 RBI and a .260 average. Although his highest batting average came his rookie year, he was expected to be a power guy so looking at the home run numbers in ’09, you aren’t too impressed. Same with last year. 11 homers in a season isn’t exactly what you think of when you think of a power hitter AND a “chosen” hitter. The season isn’t over yet and he’s already almost doubled his home run total from last year. His RBIs have increased every year and his batting average has increased a whole .11 from last season.
He’s clearly having his best season offensively (and probably defensively as well). I said at the beginning of the season if he didn’t improve majorly with homers, I’d consider him a bust (again, I’m just speaking offensively). But, he’s proved me wrong. At least so far. I give him another few years and if he continues to get better and better, then good for us as Orioles fans! He obviously has so much potential and is starting to show that he can turn that potential into actual playability.