Originally posted on Oriole Post  |  Last updated 5/1/12

Heading into the 2012 season, Matt Wieters has emerged as a leader for the Orioles. Many have argued whether or not he is a bust - despite only having played in the major leagues for less than three full seasons.

That being said, he is far from that. So Wieters has not turned into the next Johnny Bench or a Joe Mauer with power. The promise of the night when he debuted is still there, but it has taken a while to come to the surface.

Various television shows, Web sites, sports talk radio hosts and blogs have ripped the catcher apart. Right now, it seems like everyone's concerns were more than overblown. They were bordering on silly.

It is safe to say after Wieters' 2011 season, where emerged as an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner, that he is becoming what fans thought he would be.

Now he has become a force in the Baltimore lineup and a bat that pitchers must fear. He is currently batting .291 with a .371 on-base percentage and a 1.007 OPS. He also has six home runs and 13 RBIs.

As well, the Orioles are flying high with an 11-7 record and currently share first place with the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. The starting pitching - at least in the first 18 games of 2012 - has been for the most part excellent, and Wieters deserves some credit for it all with his work behind the dish.

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