Found December 20, 2011 on
Matt Wieters is finally starting to fulfill the massive promise he showed in the minors.
His bat finally started to come around and he flashed some of that power we expected to see from Day 1. He smacked 22 homers, and easily set career highs in slugging percentage and ISO. I don't think anyone believed that Wieters would be such a good defensive catcher but he delivered Gold Glove caliber defense and has cemented himself as one of the better defensive catchers in the game. No regular delivered such a combination of bat and glove from the catcher position in 2012. (OK, Arizona's Miguel Montero comes close.)
So this is it right? He just keeps getting better and better and multiple MVPs lie in his future. Well, not exactly...
He did only hit .262 last season. He lowered his strikeout rate for the third straight season but his walk rate dipped a bit as well, contributing to his .328 OBP. And he only OPSed .662 against right handed pitchers.
Which is what concerns me. Over the first two seasons of his career, Wieters has hit fairly well against righties while struggling mightily against lefties. This season, while he was posting that .662 OPS against righties he was clobbering lefties to the tune of a 1.124 OPS.
Leaders in wOBA against left handed pitchers in 2011:
After struggling against lefties for his first two seasons, Wieters hit them, literally, at MVP levels in 2012.
Which is great...but it screams fluke.
Is Wieters going to keep OPSing 1.124 against lefties going forward. Not a chance. His OPS against lefties prior to last season was sub-.650. There's just no way he can sustain that. He career OPS against righties is .725. There is reason to believe that 2012 will see a slight hiccup and/or regression in Wieters' offensive production.
But there are still reason to believe in the bat. The power surge is likely legit and more in line with what we expected from him all along (.188 ISO in '11, a 60 point jump from the previous year) and the .276 BABIP was probably a little unlucky. With the power likely to keep on an upward clip and a few more balls falling his way, the regression against lefties that is likely to occur can be offset.
The bat is very good for a catcher and I think ultimately he will be an elite hitter but 2012 may be a bit uneven and a struggle for our Gold Glove catcher.
BEST OF MAXIM
Free-agent outfielder Endy Chavez has agreed to a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles.
An experienced and dependable fill-in, Chavez batted .301 with five homers and 27 RBIs in 83 games for the AL champion Texas Rangers last season.
Dan Duquette, the Orioles' new executive vice president of baseball operations, says Chavez is a ''tremendous defender''...
The Braves made a run at Orioles outfielder Adam Jones earlier this month, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Connolly reports that Atlanta offered Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, and a pitching prospect for Jones, but the O's "didn't bite," indicating how much they value their center fielder.
It was reported earlier this month that the Orioles and...
Yesterday, the Baltimore Orioles announced that there would be additional upgrades and renovations to Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the 2012 season and beyond.
There’s more news about the changes here, here and here.
Some changes are subtle, others are not.
From the Orioles.com site:
BALTIMORE -- With 2012 being the 20th anniversary season of the famed Oriole Park at Camden...
Small change, but the O's have agreed to minor-league contracts with:Right-handed pitcher Kyler* Newby; the soon-to-be 27 year-old sometimes starter (he's been shifted into that role a little bit in recent years) has spent most of his minor-league career in Double-A, where he's punched out some batters (8.3 K/9) but shown only decent control (3.0 BB/9) and a tendency...
Where we distill all the recent baseball chats down to their Oriole essence...Jason Parks, Baseball ProspectusWill T. (Cary, N.C.): Upside of Orioles RHP Parker Bridwell?Jason Parks: Could be an innings horse, but he still has a long way to go. He's a Texan, so that helps.@Lembeck451 (Detroit): Has Chris Davis officially become Chris Shelton (please say yes, please say yes),...
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Free-agent outfielder Endy Chavez has agreed to a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles.
Free-agent outfielder Endy Chavez has agreed to a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles. An experienced and dependable fill-in, Chavez batted .301 with five homers and 27 RBIs in 83 games for the AL champion Texas Rangers last season. Dan Duquette, the Orioles' new executive vice president of baseball operations, says Chavez is a "tremendous defender" who gives the team...
The Orioles announced their plans to renovate Camden Yards for the stadium’s 20th anniversary this upcoming season and, as I am sure you all know by now, that includes six bronze statues of the club’s current Hall of Famers.
The Orioles are looking for the new voice of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, as the team announced on Wednesday that longtime public announcer David McGowan has stepped down because of a change in his availability.
The Brewers have signed Cesar Izturis to a minor league contract, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. In a team release, the Brewers announced they've also signed left-hander Juan Perez to a minor league deal. Both players will receive invitations to Spring Training.
Izturis spent the last three seasons in Baltimore, hitting .240/.283/.292 in 958 plate appearances for the...
The Orioles announced some improvements/changes to Camden Yards today.