Everyone, including myself, is waiting for Matt Wieters to break out and be the consistent power hitter we all think he can be. There has been a lot said and written about him being a bust, and one publication even went as far as saying he was one of the biggest busts of all-time. And even though he hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations that followed him into the major leagues, to say that he is one of the biggest busts of all-time is a little much.
Wieters was supposed to be the savior of an organization that desperately needed a young player to step up and the “the man.” His Orioles debut was one of the most hyped moments the organization has had in a long while. Needless to say, there was a lot of pressure on him before he even stepped on a major league baseball field. It’s hard for a young man to grasp the fact that a city and its fans are relying on him to be the savior of their baseball organization. The pressure had to be weighing on him and may have affected his performance somewhat.
Don’t get me wrong, Wieters is an excellent player and probably one of the top defensive catchers in the league. His numbers at the plate over the past two seasons are decent (.266 average, 20 home runs, 98 RBI), but nowhere near what they should be considering he was one of the O’s top prospects a few years ago. The biggest knock on Wieters is the lack of power he has shown. He started to show some signs of better contact towards the end of last season and definitely has the skills to be a consistent power hitter. He just needs to reach that potential and show everyone he’s not a fluke.
This year could be the year his talent will finally shine through, mostly because he won’t have as much pressure on him as he’s had in the past. The O’s loaded up their lineup with talent this past off-season, which means Wieters won’t be relied on as much for a source of power as he has been the past two seasons. The O’s now have some protection for Wieters throughout the lineup and the offense is much more balanced that it has been in the past. All this should add up to Wieters having a breakout season. I know, it’s all been said before. But I’m not ready to give up on Wieters just yet.
Submitted by Steve Giles