“It’s been a drastic change over the last couple years,” Chris Tillman told MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli.  “From then until now, he kind of went from baby Wiet to daddy Wiet in taking control of the reins.”

He’s all grown up.

Maybe Matt Wieters transformation has taken (or, is taking) longer than Orioles fans had expected, but so far the reports from Sarasota indicate that Wieters is prepared to build on a successful 2011 season.  Ghiroli reports that the Gold Glove winning All-Star has been spending time in the video room with Zach Britton critiquing his mechanics and arm slot and is dedicating time with the Orioles new arms Jason Hammel and Tsuyoshi Wada.

“When we run through our team fundamentals he’s instrumental in vocally leading that aspect of camp and [manager Buck Showalter] really puts that on him to kind of show guys the way things are done and he’s very, very good at it,” Jake Arrieta told Ghiroli.  “I think he enjoys being in that position.”

It definitely is encouraging to hear the reports about Wieters.  His defense has certainly lived up to Orioles fans lofty expectations and it’s great that he is taking over as a leader in the locker room.  If his bat could pick up and if he could develop some power, there’s no reason to think that he couldn’t be a top five catcher in the league.

FanGraphs.com projects that Wieters will hit .275 this season with 21 homers and 80 RBI.  Those numbers nearly match Wieters’ production at the plate in 2011 (.265 AVG, 22 home runs, 68 RBI).