Prior to this year’s season, Baseball Prospectus predicted that the Orioles catcher Matt Wieters would be “the team’s biggest disappointment in 2011.” Nearly two months into the season, the guys at BP couldn’t be more wrong.
Wieters was highlighted in Steve Goldman’s article about the most disappointing prospects of all time, in which he crushed O’s fans dreams of seeing the young catcher develop into a superstar behind the plate.
As we were among the first to hop on the Wieters bandwagon, let us be among the first off of it. The backstop is heading into his age-25 season. Whatever his .343/.438/.576 rates seemed to portend, that’s gone, along with the notion that he’s a switch-hitter (he has hit .230/.278/.344 from the right side) or a power hitter. His glove and the dream of what might have been will keep him around for years, but stardom now seems spectacularly unlikely.
This season, Wieters’ defense has played a vital role in the Orioles success in the win/loss column. He’s thrown out 48% of runners attempting to steal on him (14 of 29) and is leading a young pitching staff in his game calling.
At the dish, Wieters is hitting .576 with runners in scoring position. He’s driven in 25, with three homers and five doubles in 33 at bats with guys on second and third. He’s hitting .273 on the season with four homers and 26 RBI as he continues to grow as a switch hitter.
The outlandish prediction made by Goldman at BP just doesn’t seem to be holding up, the jury is still out on Wieters.