On the surface it sort of looks like Matt Wieters stagnated last year. His home run production stayed about the same and his batting average fell to a disappointing .249, but Wieters’ underlying stats tell a different story.
While his average dropped, his line drive rate increased from 17.7% to 20.4% and his xBA increased from .271 to .285. While Wieters struggled to a .274 BABIP last year, lower than in 2011 with that below average line drive rate, our xBABIP formula suggests he should have had a BABIP around .315.
As for the power, Wieters actually saw his HR/FB rate increase from 13.6% to 15.5%. The problem was that he hit fewer fly balls than at any other point in his career with the Orioles. I’d expect a correction in 2013, and a little more luck could mean a true breakout season is on the horizon.
At a Glance
Strengths: HR, RBI
Neutral: R, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS
Best-case scenario: Buster Posey (SF) with a .290 BA instead of .315-.330